AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) - Hard Rock Hotel & Casino took steps Wednesday night to gain the business community's support for their plan to build a resort casino on the grounds of the Big E in West Springfield.
Hard rock made a presentation to about one hundred business owners and members of the West of River Chamber of Commerce. They told crowd at Chez Josef in Agawam that a casino at Eastern States would have a reverberating effect through every level of small business.
The chamber's chairman said this meeting was an opportunity to learn about the impact of Hard Rock's proposal. He said members were concerned about the effect a casino would have on nearby businesses, as well as traffic issues.
"I don't always look at traffic as a bad thing because I'm a business owner myself. But that's a concern for residents," said West Of River Chamber chairman, Michael Beaudry.
Casino developer Mark Rivers is the President of Bronson Companies. He was representing Hard Rock.
"You're talking about two thousand permanent jobs. An annual payroll of over one hundred million dollars put into the community. A great relationship with the local community and small business," Rivers said.
Rivers told 22News that Wednesday night's meeting with chamber members was an important beginning to building partnerships and relationships with small businesses in West Springfield and Agawam.