Wynn Everett To Be Renamed Wynn Boston Harbor, Casino Mogul Stands Up to Local Mayor
Posted on: March 18, 2016, 01:30h.
Last updated on: March 18, 2016, 11:25h.
The Wynn Everett resort and casino in Massachusetts, across the Mystic River from Somerville and Boston’s downtown, will now be known as the Wynn Boston Harbor moving forward.
Wynn Resorts founder and chairman Steve Wynn announced the name change during a press conference earlier this week. The occasion marked the first official visit from the Wynn boss to the Massachusetts area in more than a year.
The branding modification wasn’t exactly well-received by all in attendance. Several reporters questioned Wynn if he realized the location of his planned resort had no geographical ties to the actual Boston Harbor.
“We’re connected to it,” Wynn said of the Mystic River’s flowing south through the city and eventually emptying into the Boston Harbor. “Do you think it’s a reach?”
Living up to Wynn’s quintessential manner, the press forum was theatrical and humorous. He joked during the 40-minute affair about his relationship with 2016 Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and knowing his three wives, and at times comically played with the press.
After all, this man is from Las Vegas, and like the performers he hires (not to mention like Trump, who he reportedly coached earlier in the campaign trail), he’s a showman first and foremost. But the life of the party was also there to discuss some rather serious matters.
The billionaire announced the total cost of the Wynn Boston Harbor was increasing by about $300 million to $2 billion, and revealed a new architectural model of the riverfront property.
However, the real reason Wynn showed his face was to likely pressure nearby Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone to end his road blocking of the resort’s environmental permit. Last month, the mayor appealed the permit, due to concerns over expected traffic impacts created by the casino.
“Worsening traffic is far more than just a simple nuisance, it is a serious health threat,” Curtatone said at the time. His appeal could last more than a year, and has forced Wynn to halt construction until the issue is resolved.
Curtatone critics say the mayor’s stymie is simply about more money. Wynn Resorts will pay the City of Somerville $650,000 annually for traffic mitigation, but $2 million each year to Boston, a city that is obviously many times larger.
“The chances of the mayor of Somerville getting any extra money from us are zero,” Wynn told the media. “We’re done paying.”
Wynn Not Showing Him the Money
While it might seem a bit unfair to some that Somerville will collect $9.75 million over the next 15 years while Boston receives $30 million in the same time frame, the reality is that the Boston downtown city proper will be most impacted by additional traffic congestion.
The Wynn Boston Harbor will go up across the Maiden Bridge that connects Alford Street to Rutherford Ave., the latter being a main artery that leads south into Boston. The primary transportation route in and out of the Wynn Boston Harbor won’t even cross into Somerville territory, which is why Wynn is so against giving more funds to the neighboring city.
Mitigation funds are to be utilized by local officials to build solutions to appease the already congested area.
Regardless of Curtatone’s continued appeal, Wynn says he isn’t folding on the Massachusetts project. “Look, the building’s going to get built, give or take a month or two,” Wynn concluded.
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