Wynn Resorts is ready to unveil its new plans to expand its Encore Boston Harbor property. According to 7 News Boston, the gaming company is ready to brief next week, in a Feb. 10 meeting, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on its plans to develop the land across its Everett venuea commission official said on Wednesday.
The development plan would involve a new entertainment venue, restaurants and parking garage. While Wynn has been discussing plans to develop the land across the casino for some time now, and the Gaming Commission was prepared to listen to a proposal last month, the company decided to pause the process to do “some reevaluation.”
However, Joe Delaney, community affairs chief for the Commission, has revealed he recently got a call from Jacqui Krum, Encore Boston Harbor’s senior vice president and general counsel, who said the casino company was now “ready to go” – but it seems the plan has seen some changes from its prior version.
“She had indicated to me that they had reduced the size of the theater, the entertainment venue, to under 1,000 seats -whether that’s 900, 950, 999, I don’t know, we’ll be finding that out very shortly-,” Delaney said, according to the State House News Service.
“They intend to keep the pedestrian crossing across Broadway and so on, and the exact location of that will depend on whether or not the venue is considered part of the gaming establishment,” added the community affairs chief. “So we’ll talk about all of those things.”
A prior version of Wynn’s plans featured a proposal to include a 1,800-seat entertainment venue, about 20,000 square feet of restaurant space, and a garage with about 2,200 spaces. It is not yet clear if the company also intends to reduce the size or modify other amenities besides the entertainment venue.
An earlier rendering for Encore Boston's proposed expansion
The upcoming meeting between Wynn officials and the Gaming Commission will be followed by a report on the issues at play, and a Q&A period for commissioners. Afterward, a public hearing to allow community input and verbal testimony on the development would be conducted in late February. The Commission targets March for a final decision.
The Gaming Commission was going to take up the question of whether the development would be considered part of Encore’s technical “gaming establishment footprint” in its frustrated January meeting. The issue is now set to resurface.
This would make the development subject to the commission’s regulatory oversight, and the provisions of the state’s expanded gaming law. Encore officials announced they would be tapping the brakes on the project before the January meeting to reconsider the proposal, and to assess this issue.
“Some issues came up with respect to whether it’s part of the gaming establishment or not -that has certain impacts on their development- as well as COVID and other things that they’re considering at this point in time,” Delaney explained last month.
An Encore spokesperson told the Boston Herald last month that the company was “pleased” with the progress made thus far “on designing a development plan that will act as a springboard to create a Lower Broadway Entertainment District.”
Matthew Lattanzi, director of Planning and Development and assistant city solicitor in Everett, told the cited news source that Everett is “excited” to review the transformative redevelopment proposed by the casino’s team. He described the area as “a longtime home to industrial and unsightly uses” that “never had its true potential explored.”
Last week, Wnn Resorts also earned media attention after being honored on FORTUNE Magazine’s 2022 World’s Most Admired Companies list in the hotel, casino and resort category. The company placed first overall in the group for Quality of Products/Services.
Craig Billings, CEO of Wynn Resorts.
“It is a privilege to be recognized year after year for our commitment to excellence,” said Craig Billings, CEO of Wynn Resorts. “The achievement is a credit to our 25,000 employees. Our proven formula for success is to recruit and engage the most talented people in the business, then create an environment in which they take personal ownership of the guest experience.”
The company credits the debut of a series of new offerings over the past year with proving its commitment to offering a world-class experience. This includes the modern-day supper club Delilah at Wynn Las Vegas; the cocktail venue Overlook Lounge, Aperitifs and Spirits; and the all-new Casa Playa restaurant. “The resort will also unveil a multi-million dollar room renovation and an innovative new production show in 2022,” Wynn announced.
Another recent highlight is the WynnBet Sports Bar at Encore Boston Harborwhich is set to provide sports fans “the ultimate sports viewing experience,” featuring more than 70 televisions, a 10-foot-high and 123-foot-long immersive video wall.