MGM reveals glimpse of businesses, plans for opening day

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – We’re getting a better idea of which businesses might be moving into MGM Springfield when it opens in September 2018.

At the Massachusetts Gaming Commission meeting Thursday morning at the MassMutual Center, MGM Springfield President, his team and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno updated the commission on progress inside and outside the resort-style casino. Of note: a 94.1 million dollar increase in project spending. That money was divided among many entities, with 9.3 million dollars for exterior facades, 2 million more for the church and 4.2 million dollars more for the hotel.

Mathis told 22News they’re careful of what will be announced a year before opening day, so as to keep the competition in Connecticut guessing. “You see all the progress on the outside, but we really have to be careful about the information we have inside… “We have to be conscious of our competition and making sure that it’s a fresh launch this time next year,” Mathis told 22News.

He did reveal that a local and regional jeweler will be moving in. MGM announced Kringle Candle will open in the historic church. As for the armory, Mathis said it sustained worse damage in the June 1, 2011 tornado than was previously estimated. That means it will be gutted and renovated into an open space for the grand opening, but plans for a restaurant, nightclub and rooftop bar have been delayed past opening day.

Mathis wouldn’t say which restaurant, but said that a national casual dining restaurant from the west will be opening where Dave’s Furniture once stood.

MGM announced it’s also meeting biweekly with the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority to discuss a possible 24-hour trolley as well as extended bus service to accommodate late night workers and tourists.

Also at the meeting, the five-member Gaming Commission voted unanimously in favor of Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz’s request for $100,000 in mitigation funds. The grant would help the City come up with a marketing plan to attract MGM tourists to Northampton while they’re in the area. The Gaming Commission also had the option of approving $35,000 up front and the remaining money afterwards, but decided that would delay the process of planning.