Cost of Wynn's MA casino complex climbs to $2.4B
- A shuffling of features and amenities at the Wynn Boston Harbor casino and hotel in Everett, MA, has driven the price tag up to $2.4 billion from $2.1 billion, according to CBS Boston.
- Wynn officials notified the Massachusetts Gaming Commission last week that rising construction labor costs had made the project more expensive, as had the removal of retail space and the addition of more gambling machines, restaurants, bars and convention and meeting facilities.
- The resort is still on target for a 2019 opening, one year later than Wynn originally projected due to lawsuits regarding licensing, as well as the development's impact on air quality and traffic.
By the time Wynn received unanimous approval from the gaming commission last October, it had survived legal challenges on two fronts. The cities of Boston and Somerville, MA, lodged complaints with the commission over its decision to grant Wynn the one remaining gambling license instead of to the operators of the Mohegan Sun–Suffolk Downs casino project.
Somerville also fought the issuance of an environmental permit to Wynn because of what it said would be the impact of increased traffic congestion and the resulting pollution. All told, Boston ($1.9 million) and Somerville ($400,000) spent about $2.5 million in the failed effort to stop casino construction from moving forward.
The commission ultimately gave its stamp of approval for the 3-million-square-foot project last fall, which is expected to create a total of 4,000 temporary construction jobs and 4,000 permanent positions once complete. Wynn has called its Boston Harbor project the largest private development in state history and awarded Boston-based Suffolk Construction the $1 billion construction contract early last year.
In its 2017 construction forecast, Dodge Data & Analytics predicted that starts for amusement and recreational projects — the category that includes casinos — would increase by 13%, or nearly 47 million square feet. The past few years have seen some impressive casino activity. In January 2016, the Clark County zoning commission approved the $4 billion, 7,000-room Resorts World Las Vegas hotel and casino for the former site of the Stardust hotel. The first phase of the 88-acre development, which is expected to open next year, will feature a movie theater and convention center and is expected to generate 30,000 construction jobs and 13,000 permanent positions.
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