CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - Penn National Gaming is saying "No" to western Massachusetts altogether, even though as recently as three weeks ago, they spoke with Chicopee officials about possibly putting a casino at the Cabotville Industrial Park on Front Street.
Chicopee Mayor Michael Bissonnette had said the Cabotville Industrial Park would be an ideal location for a casino, and last month, he said he would be willing to talk to developers about bringing a casino to the city, but now we know, it won't be Penn National.
The company's decision means a loss of job opportunities for Chicopee residents who were hoping to work close to home.
Joshua Gendron of Chicopee told 22News, "I've been unemployed for over a year now, and I was looking forward to it because I knew I would pretty much get a job when that was going to happen. Not to mention all the jobs that would provide other unemployed people in the area."
Still, for some residents, the headache caused by the Davitt Bridge construction was enough.
Scott Gonyer of Chicopee said, "Not easy to get in and out of downtown Chicopee."
They don't want any other projects affecting their commute.
Gonyer said, "Don't need all the traffic and crimes that come with a casino here in Chicopee. That area just couldn't handle that kind of traffic. No way it could have been able to."
Penn National already paid the $400,000 application fee to the State Gaming Commission , so they could still pursue another location in a different part of Massachusetts.
They had originally planned to build a casino in Springfield's North End, but Mayor Domenic Sarno decided instead to support a rival proposal by MGM to build a casino in the South End.