Cost of Everett casino rises another $100m

Wynn Resorts says price tag now set at $2.5b

EVEN AS WYNN RESORTS is fighting to retain its Massachusetts casino license, the cost of the Everett project keeps on rising.

At a hearing before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Friday, Wynn Resorts officials said the expected price tag of the project was now $2.5 billion. That means the cost has increased another $100 million since February 2017, when the price tag increased $300 million to $2.4 billion. At the time, company officials indicated there would be no more increases.

Robert DeSalvio, president of the Everett casino, said the new price tag was disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company’s annual report, filed on February 18, stated matter-of-factly that the total project budget, including gaming license fees, construction costs, capitalized interest, pre-opening expenses, and land costs, “is estimated to be approximately $2.5 billion.”

It was unclear what prompted the price increase. DeSalvio said one change was the decision to sharply reduce luxury retail space and expand the amount of room devoted to conventions and meetings. Other Wynn officials said they believed the cleanup of the heavily polluted site on the Mystic River cost more than expected.

The annual report said $1.13 billion had been spent on the Everett project as of December 31. Wynn Resorts held a topping-off ceremony for the project on Friday with the 1,600 construction building the casino/hotel. The casino, the largest private investment in Massachusetts, is expected to open for business in mid-2019.