HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) - The 22News I-Team obtained emails between Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, Economic Development Director Marcos Marrero and potential casino developers. Marrero said in an email that most of his conversations with developer Eric Suher were in person.
The I-Team discovered Marrero had met with Suher on September 12th, more than two months before the Mayor announced he would entertain the possibility of a casino in the city. Marrero asked Mayor Morse to talk after that meeting. A day later, the Mayor responded he didn't like Suher's Mountain Park proposal. Marrero pushed the Mayor to look at Suher's proposal, saying how different it was than the Wyckoff plan (Paper City Development plan).
At some point between then and the Monday after Thanksgiving the mayor began to show some interest.
October 1st, Mayor Morse sent Marrero some links about a casino in Bethlehem Pennsylvania, which they later visited.
Marrero also met with Suher on Friday November 2nd.
On November 18th, one week before the mayor's news conference, he sent an email scheduling the casino announcement.
On November 26th, the mayor announced that Holyoke would listen to casino proposals.
Holyoke hired David Panagore of Panagore Associates out of Hartford, Connecticut as an advisor.. They began working with Holyoke on November 20th. The city paid a $4640.00 bill to Panagore Associates on December 3rd.
On December 13th, Mayor Morse announced the city is ending their pursuit of a casino.