Mohegan Sun unveils sketches of billion-dollar casino - FOX Carolina 21

Mohegan Sun unveils sketches of billion-dollar casino

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PALMER, MA (WSHM) -

Mohegan Sun officials presented a dramatically different design to the public and town council at a meeting Monday night.

"We know the town has been looking for a lot of specifics and tonight we're going to give them," said Mohegan Sun CEO, Mitchell Etess.

The casino company had originally planned a $600 million project.

Their new vision is a $1 billion resort complex with two hotels, gaming, and an indoor water park set on 300 acres.

"They're going to see about our water park, they're going to see about 300,000 square feet of retail and a 40,000 square movie theater, numbers of tables games, numbers of jobs," Etess said.

Monday night they laid out a time table to Palmer residents:

  • Mid-July: the host community agreement should be complete
  • 60-90 days later: the town will get to vote whether they want a casino
  • Dec. 31: casino companies must hand in their final applications to the state gaming commission.

Town councilors left Monday night's meeting satisfied with the level of detail.

"I thought Mohegan did themselves well. There's always little details and glitches that you'd like to see corrected but I think overall I think it was a good strong presentation," said Palmer Town Councilor, Paul Burns.

Ultimately, the voters will decide.

Some people have wanted a casino in Palmer for years.

"Well it's jobs. Palmer's a dead town, there's not a lot going on in Palmer. And now we've got a chance," said John Toutant.

Others will head to the polls to try and strike the proposal down.

"I'll vote against the casino...honestly I think we need to really look into what we're jumping into before we decide, 'Ok , we're just going to step into this blindly.' I want all the details before I go out and vote," said Lucas McDiarmid.

Mohegan is still waiting to hear from MassDOT on their traffic plans off the Massachusetts Turnpike.

They are competing against Hard Rock and MGM for the Western Mass casino license.

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