HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The opportunity to work with MGM brought business leaders to an event in Holyoke Wednesday morning.
“For us it’s the perfect site and the perfect town. The perfect company with the perfect proposal,” said MGM President Mike Mathis.
But not quite a perfect process… The Supreme Judicial Court presented a new hurdle to MGM Springfield Tuesday, with their decision to place the casino question on the ballot on November.
MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis admits the decision is a setback. The city of Springfield already said yes to a casino. For months they’ve been working with surrounding cities and tones to reach agreements. Now they must expand their campaign to get their message to voters across the commonwealth.
“The most important aspect of the project for is the host city. It’s important the commonwealth knows we are being embraced by our host city. We only want to be somewhere where we’re invited and welcome,” Mathis said.
But as they look to rally support in the eastern and central regions of Massachusetts, there’s still work to be done locally. That’s why the MGM Springfield team was in Holyoke Wednesday, to meet with business owners and suppliers who could join their team pending statewide approval.
“They’re going to need a lot of help from local businesses and we want to make sure our businesses are ready for that and they take advantage to help themselves,” said Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce President Kathleen Anderson.
“We are a minority owned business so it’s nice to know MGM values diversity in their selection of contractors. Being able just to make a handshake with somebody,” said Rachel Leary of Sovereign Consulting.
Mathis said as a new industry in Massachusetts, MGM knew there would be an education process. They’d hoped to appeal to the rest of the commonwealth as they developed and operated; he told 22News they’re happy to compress that message and take it on the road until November.