PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will hear this Wednesday about the expected effects on the region of an $800 million casino resort being proposd in Springfield.
Michael Mathis, vice president of global gaming development at MGM Resorts International, will be the keynote speaker at Wednesday morning's Good News Business Salute breakfast at the Crowne Plaza.
MGM Springfield is vying for the single Western Massachusetts casino operator's license: Connecticut's Mohegan Sun, which was qualified earlier this month, has expressed interest in developing a casino resort in Palmer. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is expected to make a decision in early 2014.
Springfield voters in July approved MGM Resort's plans for a gaming complex on 16 acres near the city's downtown that will include a hotel, casino, shopping center and cineplex. The company has committed to 3,000 jobs — it began recruiting workers even before the vote —and expects to have a direct $50 million economic impact in purchasing services and supplies locally.
"MGM has been working closely with the local and regional Chambers of Commerce and other business associations to ensure that local businesses are informed of these opportunities available through the MGM Springfield project," according to a statement on the MGM site.
The Gaming Commission has strongly urged candidates for licensing to promote local and regional tourism outside their casinos, according to a report last week in the Republican of Springfield. Local leaders have expressed concern that any massive gaming complex will hinder smaller venues' abilities to attract performance talent.
The breakfast will also showcase the milestone anniversaries for New Life Chiropractic, Berkshire Place and Bousquet Ski Area, as well as the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board's implementation of the Connecting Activities Program.
The breakfast runs from 7:45 to 9 and the cost to attend is $25 for Berkshire Chamber members and $35 for non-members, and includes a breakfast buffet. This event is sponsored by MountainOne.