SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Ameristar Casinos has announced that they are pulling out of their plan to bring a resort-style casino to Springfield.
In a news release sent to 22News, The Las Vegas-based casino company announced Friday that they have decided to end their plan to develop a resort casino at the Westinghouse property on Page Boulevard in East Springfield.
In the statement, the company said that they are ending their efforts to seek a casino in western Massachusetts over concerns about the local process for gaining the region's sole casino license. "Although the Company believes it had the superior proposal for a casino in western Massachusetts, the Company concluded that there is not a sufficient likelihood that the basis upon which it could be awarded the license to develop and operate a casino in Springfield is favorable enough to warrant its further pursuit," the statement reads.
The company's plan had been for a $900 million project, the largest proposed in the region.
Ameristar owns the 40-acre Westinghouse property and paid to demolish the former industrial buildings on the site. The company has not determined what they will do with the land, but stated "Ameristar believes this is the single largest commercially developable site in the City of Springfield. The site's size, location, and ease of access to major highways make it attractive for a variety of large-scale developments in addition to a casino."
Ameristar was the first of three developers to propose building a casino in the city. MGM and Penn National currently have proposals to develop casinos in the city's South End and North End respectively. There are also proposals to build casinos in Palmer and Holyoke.
In a statement, Mayor Domenic Sarno said that he was disappointed that Ameristar is pulling out of Springfield.
"Obviously the City is very disappointed in Ameristar's decision to withdraw from the competition to locate a world class resort casino in Springfield. Ameristar made a strong proposal for an exciting project that would have given our voters a clear choice as to the type of location that would best serve the City," he said, adding however that he believed MGM and Penn National had strong proposals, in which he has confidence.