SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Ameristar Casinos literally rolled out the red carpet for a presentation unveiling their plans for a more than $900 million casino project.
The company held a reception complete with giant screens and a live band for the unveiling of their plans. The reception was held in a giant tent at the former Westinghouse property on Page Boulevard; land that Ameristar hopes to use to build a resort-style casino.
The firm unveiled artists' renderings of their proposed site, which includes a 500-room hotel, a 150,000 square-foot casino, a spa, and lots of parking. To ease traffic congestion in the area, Ameristar is proposing a special interchange from Interstate 291 directly into the casino, a $58 million project which they will fund themselves.
"Having our traffic solution will be pretty unique," said Jonathan Little, Ameristar's Springfield representative. "Obviously, being able to stay within the Mass Highway right of way, right after St. James where it kind of goes from four lanes to two lanes, we'll be able to expand that back to four lanes and create an interchange."
Among the dining options proposed for the casino are restaurants run by famed chefs Wolfgang Puck and Martin Yan, as well as Boston Red Sox commentator and former player Jerry Remy. Local favorites Frigo's Market and Deli and Schermerhorn's Seafood would also have locations at the casino.
Ameristar is one of three companies vying to build a casino in Springfield, and one of four currently in the running for western Massachusetts' only casino license.
MGM wants to build a casino along Main Street in the South End of Springfield. Penn-National wishes to build in the North End on property that is now home to the Peter Pan Bus terminal and the Republican newspaper building. In Palmer, Mohegan Sun hopes to develop a site on land they own on Route 32, near Mass Pike Exit 8.
At $910 million, the Ameristar project is the most expensive of those currently being proposed.