Casino Plan Unveiled

June 6, 2012

Architects Elkus Manfredi’s rendering of the proposed casino at Suffolk Downs. The plan, unveiled to the public Tuesday, includes a $1 billion investment to build a 300-room hotel, a 200,000 sq. ft. casino gaming facility, entertainment and nightclub venues, up to 10 restaurants.

The casino plan that Revere residents will soon have the opportunity to vote for or against was unveiled Tuesday by owners of Suffolk Downs.

While dramatically different from plans touted back in 2010, the proposal by Suffolk Downs’ principal owners and Caesar’s Entertainment includes a $1 billion investment to build a 300 room hotel, a 200,000 sq. ft. casino gaming facility, entertainment and nightclub venues, up to 10 restaurants that include fine dining concepts, a buffet, food court and sports bar. According to Suffolk Downs’ owners and Ceasar’s the gaming space will have 4,000-5,000 slot machines, 200 table games and a World Series of Poker room and was designed by architect Elkus Manfredi of Boston.

The project includes plans to improve the track’s racing facilities and provide millions of dollars in funding to reduce longstanding transportation concerns and to make improvements on the local road network.

“The process of earning a license requires significant investment and substantial resources and we have worked with our partners at Caesars Entertainment to assemble a best-in-class team as we move toward a second phase of larger public review of our plans to create thousands of jobs and improve the local economy,” said Joe O’Donnell, principal owner of Suffolk Downs.

At the unvieling of the proposed plans, owners said that in the coming days and weeks, the reacetrack will share detailed plans about the development and transportation plans, as well as plans for broader community input on jobs and job training, opportunities for local businesses, public safety programs, regional tourism initiatives and entertainment partnerships.

“This is an economic development initiative that will set the standard for gaming development in Massachusetts and will create thousands of new jobs with real career paths and room for advancement,” said Richard Fields, principal owner of Suffolk Downs.  “And it is built on a foundation of collaboration and partnership — with local residents and community groups; with local businesses; and with Boston’s entertainment, tourism and convention facilities.”

Reaction to the proposal by neighbors present at the unvieling had positive comments of Suffolk Downs and Cesear’s plans.

Diane Ingemi, a whose house abuts Suffolk Downs property, said she was thrilled by the design.

“I’ve lived next to Suffolk Downs for the past 18 years and seen that property remain in an idle state,” said Ingemi. “The design looks more like a world-class resort than gaming facilities you would see elsewhere. This is a place you can bring your wife, your mother and go to a great restruant or to a high end shopping area or to see a show and feel that you are in a fabulous place.”

Ingemi, who said she travels to Las Vegas twice a year, commented that the aspect she likes the most is the fact that a vistor to the property could concievable go to Suffolk Downs, shop, eat a restaruant or go see a show without stepping foot into a casino.

“It’s not like the casino in the other parts of country were you have to walk through rooms and rooms of casinos before you get to the restaruants or malls,” she said. “This is going to be a place that gives local residents another option for eating or shopping even if they don’t want to gamble.”

The architectural renderings also illustrate a potential additional hotel on a future phase of development that may contain up to 150 rooms.

Suffolk Downs has operatied live horse racing and entertainment at the same Eastie site for the past 77 years and established strong working relationships with neighbors, community leaders and nearby businesses, said Suffolk Downs’ Chief Operating Officer Chip Tuttle.

“While we have had a longstanding and ongoing dialogue with the local community, today starts a new phase of that process, so that our neighbors, neighboring businesses and the broader community can have a seat at the table as these plans evolve,” said Tuttle. “One of the benefits of this development will be roadway improvements that the local community has deserved for far too long.”

Gary Loveman of Caesars Entertainment, Suffolk Downs’ gaming management partner for the development, spoke about the advantages of siting a facility in the state’s tourism capital and said he looked forward to using Caesars’ marketing expertise to grow jobs and revenues among area businesses, should Suffolk Downs be selected as a licensee.

“We are proud to join forces with Suffolk Downs to bring the Caesars brand, our management expertise, Total Rewards loyalty program and industry leading best practices to Boston as we develop this world-class destination resort together,” said Loveman said.  “With this project, we are together bringing another world-class attraction to a top tourist destination and are building upon our vision to develop and manage urban casino resorts that serve as engines for job creation and economic expansion in the surrounding communities.”

  • Here the Revere Journal goes again, promoting the good-old-boy-network point of view at the expense of regular citizens.

    If you’re done reading the BS that the “journalists” at the RJ just presented you with, consider the following:

    First of all, most people with any sense of aesthetics don’t consider these plans stunning at all.   They’re rather gaudy, and the curvature of the building will forever be mocked as being reminiscent of the nearby oil tanks.

    Secondly, the lack of development on the Revere side of the property means that Revere will have little to gain in terms of tax revenue.  The fact that the only entry point on the Revere side of the property is a delivery truck entrance means that Revere will effectively be the “back alley” behind the casino.  Anyone who’s ever been to Atlantic City should know why this is something that no place would want to be.

    The laughable $40M that is being proposed for road improvements is just taking advantage of the fact that most people in Revere and East Boston have no concept of how little money this is to solve such a large problem. To put things in perspective, this is less than half the amount that was spent to build the new parking garage at Wonderland station. Do you really think that will solve such a major traffic problem with so many choke points?If the “leaders” in Revere and East Boston had the area’s best interest in mind, they’d be demanding that the developers spend at least twice this amount and that the state match that. They should also be asking why the plans for the development are not more transit oriented and walkable from other places in the surrounding area like the East Boston Greenway and Revere Beach. Since the Blue Line is so close, why are there no skyways from Suffolk Downs and/or Beachmont T stations in the plans?   This reeks of 1950’s era urban planning

    The Revere Journal shows an extreme lack of journalistic integrity by simply promoting the mayor’s opinion and not asking any of these questions.    I would urge Revere and East Boston residents to educate themselves and vote “no” on the casino unless the developers are ready to present a proposal that is fair to both of the host communities and beneficial to all the nearby residents.

  • Sylvia

    totally agree with you, the plans are hideous and gaudy. I don’t buy into this being a benefit at all. Traffic will be hell for commuters that live in the area, and the creepos hanging around this place is going be beyond annoying, and we already have how have two shopping centers pretty close by. Seriously I don’t need a store every half a mile. I don’t want to feel like i live in a shithole like vegas. Jobs: getting people drunk, cleaning after drunks, prostitution, and gambling. love it…the stumbling drunks on the road not just on friday,saturday but everyday of the week.

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