Wynn Seen as Serious in Everett

March 1, 2013

A move by the Wynn Resorts – headed up by casino mogul Steve Wynn –  to bolster its image locally and to radically differentiate itself from the Suffolk  Downs/Caesar’s Entertainment group has made a big splash this week in the small pond of casino developers vying for a Greater Boston casino license.

The move – observers said – shows that Steve Wynn is interested in making a serious run at getting the license, as opposed to just trying to make waves and upset the order of things for a short time.

Many in Revere, East Boston and surrounding areas had doubts about Wynn’s seriousness.

Doug Bailey of DBStrategies in Newton – a veteran public relations operator in the Boston area – told the Journal that Wynn had hired his firm to reach out to local press in relation to Wynn’s proposal to build a casino in Everett.

Prior to that, local press had to contact company representatives in Las Vegas.

That news came just as it was passed around insider circles that other high-powered public relations operators and Boston area power brokers had joined the Wynn team.

At the same time, in a press release directed to the Journal, Wynn Resorts highlighted the fact that it had been named a 2013 Forbes Five-Star Award Winner. The release also noted that Wynn Resorts had 40 stars among their Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award winning properties, which is more than any other independent company in the world.

It was also pointed out that Caesar’s Entertainment came in fourth on that same list in which Wynn Resorts stood at the top.

It was the 55th edition of the Forbes Travel Guide and  it named the Tower Suites and Spas at Wynn and Encore Las Vegas and the hotels and spas at Wynn Macau and Encore Macau to the rigorous ratings list.

“The Forbes Five-Stars are generally regarded as the most prestigious and stringent of all hotel and resort rating institutions,” said Wynn, chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts. “Our new awards at Encore Macau, Five-Stars in both the spa and hotel, and the latest Five-Stars for both the spa and hotel at Wynn Macau, create a clean sweep for our Macau hotels. Our ongoing Five- Stars for both the spas and hotels at Encore Las Vegas and Wynn Las Vegas afford us the honor of holding more Forbes Stars than any other independent resort company in the world.”

Wynn continued, “We are, of course, thrilled at this wonderful distinction. Yet, we recognize and covet the most important of all ratings – the satisfaction of each guest at each of our hotels every day.”

Forbes Travel Guide’s Star rating designations are considered by many as the gold standard for hospitality excellence – at least according to the acclaimed Forbes Magazine.

That top-of-the-list designation and Wynn’s move toward gathering some of the top public relations specialists and power brokers in the Boston area came on a week when Caesar’s Entertainment took a couple of hits.

On Monday, the company’s earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012 came out and disappointed some on Wall Street – as the company has already had some questions about debt and its overall bond rating in the last few years.

Citing the effects of Hurricane Sandy in the final months of 2012, the company posted a loss and did not meet the expectations that had been predicted on Wall Street. However, CEO Gary Loveman said the results showed progress in the company strategy to reinvigorate its core business.

Caesar’s is partnered with the ownership  of Suffolk Downs to operate the casino portion of the proposed development, but is not a majority stakeholder in the operation.

More locally, in East Boston, a group of concerned residents formed a new coalition that is displeased with Suffolk Downs and the City of Boston’s community process.

On Monday, that group – called the Community Alliance – unveiled a survey of 360 residents from various areas of Eastie in which more than 50 percent reported being in opposition to a casino there. Many were concerned about higher crime, more traffic, more air pollution and noise.

The survey showed that some residents of Eastie reported that general quality of life and sense of community would decline if a casino were to emerge at Suffolk Downs.

If the survey can be seen as accurate, it signals that perhaps Suffolk Downs has just as much work to do on its image as Wynn does.

Or then again, it could simply be more Las Vegas hardball imported to the uninitiated Boston gaming scene.

  • If you give Wynn the license, the public will be stuck for the cost of cleaning up the land. He never does anything for free.

  • drensber

    Unless Suffolk Downs comes up with a more aesthetically pleasing proposal that’s better integrated into the surrounding area and provides a lot more real infrastructure improvements to the host communities, then I say let Everett have it. With the right leadership, Suffolk Downs and Wonderland can both be repurposed to something much nicer than a Casino that’s sure to become a complete dump 20 years from now when all of its aging clientele have passed away.

  • Michael Carter

    Re purposed to what exactly? Housing to be filled with kids so we need another $100,000,000 schoolhouse? After they are done sucking up school $ and emergency services we would be in the red. I agree a casino at Suffolk will bring in some problems, drugs,crime etc. but there will be mitigation money to hire police etc. If the casino goes to Everett they get all the mitigation money and Revere gets all the problem people the casino will attract. The worse thing that can happen to Revere is a casino in Everett. If Wynn wants in so badly Caesar’s can make him a partner!

  • Michael Carter

    Agree with this also. The land in Everett can not possibly be safe to build on. A Monsanto chemical plant? Does that make you wanna take a shower there and have a meal or what? At least the horse sh&t washes away.

  • drensber

    Not sure what, but if you let nature take its course, Suffolk Downs (the racetrack) will go bankrupt in a few years, and someone will think of something better than the presently proposed Casino to do with the empty log. Maybe use part of it to expand the shopping center and also create an extension to the Bell Isle park (something similar to what they did with Wellington in Medford.

  • drensber

    The people who will frequent a Boston-area casino are largely cranky old people from the North Shore. This is one of the last demographics who still eats all of the crappy old chemical-filled foods that were in vogue in the 50’s and 60’s. I doubt that they’ll care one bit that they’re drinking, smoking, and gambling on a site where those food additives, fertilizers, and weed control chemicals were produced.

  • drensber

    Not sure what exactly, but if you let things go their natural course, Suffolk Downs (the racetrack) will go bankrupt in a few years, and someone will think of something better than the presently proposed casino to do with the empty lot. Maybe use part of it to expand the existing shopping center and use the remainder create an extension to the Bell Isle park (something similar to what they did with Wellington in Medford.

  • Michael Carter

    Box stores are going belly up right and left. Except for the third world labor companies like Wal Mart which add no value to a community nothing can fill Wonderland & Suffolk but a Casino/hotel/stadium or housing. Housing is bad for a community. Also as far as a park goes? How much do parks pay in taxes?

  • drensber

    Michael: I’m sure that the dirty old men from Eastie/Revere past who sold their constituents on having an airport and tank farms in their back yards made similar arguments. Colleges and universities don’t pay taxes either, but most places that are home to one are doing pretty well. The things that provide the biggest and most immediate sources of income for the dirty old mens’ coffers are not usually the best for the majority nor the best for the long term.

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