WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Investors weren't the only ones disappointed with Mayor Sarno's decision Tuesday. Some local businesses in the city's North End share that same sentiment.
The skyline just to the south of downtown Springfield could be very different if MGM is able to win voters' and the gaming commission's approvals.
For businesses and residents in the city's North End, the decision to go with MGM was a surprise. Penn National used part of the Student Prince restaurant on Main Street as their regional office in Springfield.
The owner of the Student Prince, Rudi Scherff, told 22News he can't hide his disappointment, but for him, as a business owner in downtown Springfield, anything that could bring more people to the city is helpful regardless of its exact location.
"I think the City of Springfield desperately needs a casino. It's going to give us an economic jumpstart. It's going to put people on the streets in downtown Springfield. This wasn't my first choice, but it was definitely my second choice," said Scherff.
For Springfield's South End residents, Mayor Sarno's decision to go with MGM means an opportunity for revitalization.
A casino in the South End of Springfield means an economic redevelopment for local business owners. MGM's plan will give the 1200 block area of Main Street in downtown Springfield a new look.
Tuesday 22News spoke with local business owners and residents who work and live in that area about this announcement. For them, a casino in their neighborhood would mean new jobs, new shops and new entertainment options.
We do know that some buildings may be torn down, but some buildings like 73 State Street and the former armory building on Howard Street will be incorporated into MGM's proposal.
After reviewing MGM's casino plan , many people told 22News they aren't surprised that Mayor Sarno picked MGM.
Dina Gifford of Springfield told 22News, "It was so obvious that MGM was all in. You couldn't watch TV in the evenings. You couldn't drive down the highway without noticing them. They were very visible. I think it made a difference in the end."