Wynn holds back hotel rendering

Pokes fun at Walsh instead

Casino magnate Steve Wynn was poised to unveil a rendering of his new Everett casino design Thursday night at a real estate event, but for some reason he changed his mind and decided to poke some fun at Boston Mayor Marty Walsh instead.

Wynn was ticking off some of the economic benefits of his $1.75 billion hotel/casino project: $130 million in infrastructure money, of which $76 million would go to Boston; 10,000 to 15,000 direct and indirect jobs: $50 million a year to the state of Massachusetts; and more visitors than the New England Patriots, the Boston Red Sox, and the Boston Celtics attract in a year.
“I don’t expect a parade or anything, but maybe a fruit basket,” Wynn quipped. “The mayor is suing me because it’s not enough.”

Walsh and the mayors of Somerville and Revere are suing the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, not Wynn. But Wynn is taking it personally because the mayors are suing the commission for awarding the eastern Massachusetts casino license to him.

Wynn aides said the Las Vegas-based casino operator had a slide lined up showing his new rendering of the Everett casino, which reportedly uses the same bronze-colored glass as his casinos in Vegas. Officials at the Gaming Commission criticized his initial design as too drab.

Aside from his jibes at Mayor Walsh, Wynn had little new to say at the Colliers International real estate conference at the convention center in South Boston. He said his parents and his aunt and uncle, who used to live in Revere, would have been amazed to see his return to the Boston area to build what Wynn calls a “grand hotel” featuring the largest rooms in the country outside Vegas. He said the bathrooms alone will be 160 square feet.

Wynn also dismissed a question about whether New England has reached the saturation point on casinos. Wynn said that, to him, it’s not how many casinos there are in an area. “It’s how good they are,” he said.

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Bruce Mohl

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About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

He promised his hotel — not the casino — will be good enough to draw visitors from around the world (he hailed the recent addition of nonstop flights to Logan from Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong) and from across the United States. In fact, he suggested Everett will be his first location where he isn’t squaring off against a competitor next door or just down the street. He said he was looking forward to that.

“I hope the mayor doesn’t slow us down,” he said.