WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - In less than two months, West Springfield voters will head to the polls to either say "Yes" or "No" to a casino.
City leaders, Hard Rock executives and West Springfield residents packed the parking lot and filed into the West Springfield Middle School where for the first time residents got to see a detailed 3-D Model of Hard Rock's proposed casino.
However, before residents even got in the door they were handed papers from a group that wants them to vote "No."
Nathan Bech of "No Casino West Springfield" told 22News, "What people don't know is that property values will go down. Crime will go up. Businesses in West Springfield are going to suffer if a casino comes to town."
Peter Soule, the owner of one Durocher Florist, told 22News he's keeping an open mind. "I have a concern, the fact that we've been in the building for 25 years, and it's kind of our retirement sitting there."
Crime, property values and taxes; all issues on the minds of West Springfield voters, but one of the big concerns is traffic.
"Creating new roads and access like you said off of Route 5," said Hard Rock N.E. President Tim Maland. "Improving the access from the Agawam bridge side, and redoing all of Memorial Avenue, we believe that is a significant differentiation of our bid compared to our competitors."
Hard Rock's pitch to voters includes $35-million dollar traffic plan, 3,500 jobs, and world class entertainment.
It was Hard Rock's first community forum since the company signed their host community agreement with the city.
West Springfield residents will vote either "Yes" or "No" on September 10th, just three days before the start of the "Big E."
Even if residents vote "Yes" it'll ultimately be up to the Mass. Gaming Commission to decide if the casino should go in Springfield, West Springfield or Palmer.