MGM CEO, President to meet with city on casino changes

Mayor Sarno rearranged his schedule to be at Thursday's meeting.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The C.E.O. and president of MGM Resorts International will be heading to Springfield this week, for a meeting with Mayor Domenic Sarno and other city officials to discuss recent changes to the design of their South End casino project.

Company CEO Jim Murren and President Bill Hornbuckle will be joined by MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis for the meeting. Last week, Sarno and several city councilors expressed frustration with MGM over paperwork they filed, proposing to reduce the square footage of their resort by 14%. They had already announced their intentions to eliminate a 25-story glass hotel tower.

Sarno and the councilors said that MGM had not indicated to them any changes to the project beyond the elimination of the tower. The mayor had requested the meeting with MGM officials.

In a letter to Sarno, Murren wrote:  “I regret and apologize to you, personally, that our desire to aggressively advance permitting and construction of the project has recently frustrated our ability to work more collaboratively with your team.”

The mayor responded: “I am pleased that we are meeting to continue the progress towards completing this historic economic development project for the City of Springfield.  More than 5,000 construction and permanent jobs, plus millions in property tax revenues are a significant stimulus to our economy.”

Under the terms of the Host Community Agreement between MGM and the City, any changes to the project affecting jobs or revenue would have to be approved by the mayor, the City Council, and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

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