A bit of Vegas in Everett
Wynn goes with trademark bronze, curved glass
NEARLY FOUR MONTHS after the Massachusetts Gaming Commission awarded a casino license to Wynn Resorts, the commissioners on Thursday finally got a look at the final design for the exterior of the Everett hotel. The artist’s rendering looks a lot like Vegas.
The new design features the same curved, bronze glass of Wynn’s two Las Vegas hotels along with the signature Wynn name across the top. Gone are the previous boxy design and the white trim that some commissioners found offensive.
The commissioners seemed to like the new approach. James McHugh called the new design radically different from the earlier version, which he had criticized as “generic.” Enrique Zuniga called the new design “very iconic.” Steve Crosby, who recused himself from the eastern Massachusetts casino license award process, called the new design a vast improvement over the old one. He said he hoped the building would become as recognizable as the Leonard Zakim Bridge. “Hopefully it will be more visible than the windmill nearby,” he added.
Wynn officials didn’t make a huge deal of their new design at the commission meeting at the Boston Convention Center, perhaps because its very existence is confirmation that their initial approach to the hotel tower wasn’t appreciated. The new tower is about the same height as the old one, but the curved design required the building to be thicker, which allowed Wynn to add more than 100 rooms, bringing the total to 629. Even so, Wynn officials said they planned to reduce the size of the parking garage from 3,700 to 3,400 spaces.
The Wynn hotel proposal features a low-rise section in front of the tower that will be home to retail stores and restaurants and surrounded by green space and a path along the Mystic River. Disalvio said Wynn has decided to scrap a nightclub planned for the end of the low-rise section, called the esplanade, and to replace it with convention and exhibition space that could open up on to a park along the river walk. DiSalvio also pointed out that the new building design slants upward at the top of the building, allowing for the installation of some luxury duplexes.The Gaming Commission on Thursday also heard from Attorney General Maura Healey, a critic of casino gambling during her campaign for office. She told the commission she intended to make enforcement of state gaming laws a priority. She also said she wanted to make sure the casinos live up to the commitments they’ve made and consumers are protected from unfair practices.
“Expanded gaming presents unique policy and practical challenges, and our readiness will soon be put to the test,” she said in her remarks to the commission. “In only a matter of months, the state’s first slots parlor is scheduled to open in Plainville. Casinos are coming to Massachusetts just as the gaming industry on the East Coast is experiencing seismic shifts. The decline of casinos in Atlantic City, their ascendancy in Pennsylvania, and their struggles in neighboring Connecticut and Rhode Island require us to tread carefully and pay close attention as we act on behalf of the public.”