Encore Boston Harbor Development Plan Could Propose Smaller Venues

Posted on: February 3, 2022, 11:04h. 

Last updated on: February 3, 2022, 01:51h.

Encore Boston Harbor apparently is looking to scale down a planned economic development across from the Everett, Mass. gaming venue, according to a Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) official. It appears a proposed entertainment building will have fewer than 1,000 seats, as opposed to the earlier 1,800 seats.

Encore Boston Harbor
The Encore Boston Harbor, pictured above. The MGC may review next week a revised development proposal to be sited across from the casino. (Image: Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The revised proposal is likely to be presented to the MGC by Encore representatives, as well as those from its parent company, Wynn Resorts, next Thursday.

Earlier plans included some 20,000 square feet of restaurants, as well as a 2,200-space garage. In January, company officials said they were reevaluating whether the development proposal was the best use for the site across from the casino.

The original entertainment development was expected to launch this year and be completed in 2024, the Boston Globe reported.

Joe Delaney, the MGC’s community affairs chief, told State House News Service Wednesday that Jacqui Krum, Encore Boston Harbor’s SVP and general counsel, relayed to him the company was now “ready to go.”

Theater May Have Fewer Seats

“She had indicated to me that they had reduced the size of the theater, the entertainment venue, to under 1,000 seats — whether that’s 900, 950, 999, I don’t know,” Delaney told the news agency.

The Rev. Richard McGowan, a finance professor at Boston College who closely follows New England gambling trends, told Casino.org, “It would appear that the Wynn Corp has turned its financial gaze in a different direction.

“It appears that Macau and Dubai have become the focus of Wynn’s expansion. While Encore Boston Harbor has done well lately, the dream of making that site a full-scale entertainment [district] has passed,” McGowan added.

Legal Issue

The MGC also has to determine whether the planned development is part of Encore’s “gaming establishment” footprint, State House News Service reported. If it is under the footprint, it would fall under MGC’s oversight and Massachusetts’ gaming law. A decision by the commissioners may be made in March.“

We are pleased with the progress we’re making on designing a development plan that will act as a springboard to create a Lower Broadway Entertainment District,” an Encore spokeswoman told Casino.org last month. “We continue to evolve that plan and will present it to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission at the appropriate time.”

There was no immediate comment from Encore Thursday on the latest news about the development plan. Also, plans for the Broadway development remain at the Everett Planning Department. But public hearings will not move forward until a revised proposal is ready, Delaney said last month.