SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Penn National Gaming had wanted to build a casino in Springfield's North End, but now that is not an option, and those backing the proposal will have to move on.
"We are obviously disappointed by the Mayor's announcement this morning given the time, energy, and resources we have invested in our proposed Hollywood Casino, which we felt was the best plan for Springfield given its optimal location and significant ripple effect. However, we respect the Mayor's decision and want to thank him and his entire team for what has been a fair and open process."
Speaking to 22News on Tuesday afternoon, Penn National's partner Peter Picknelly echoed those thoughts, saying that when he got the call from Sarno, he was disappointed by the news, but knew that only one proposal could be chosen.
Picknelly said that he felt the City handled the process well, and says that over time, he will see what MGM's proposal had and theirs did not.
All in all, Picknelly says that he thinks they provided some real competition, which benefits Springfield residents.
"I'm proud of our effort, and I'm proud of our partnership with Penn and I'm most proud of the competition we brought to the city. I am sure that allowed the city to get the best deal it possibly could from MGM, so I think it's a win-win for the city, and I'm solidly behind a casino in Springfield. I hope to see it happen here someday," Picknelly said.
The Republican Newspaper's Main Street headquarters would have had to be relocated for Penn National's project to be built.
22News spoke on Tuesday with George Arwady, the newspaper's Publisher and CEO. Arwady said that he would have liked to have seen Penn National get Sarno's approval, but noted that The Republican didn't have any investment in the project, so now it is business as usual for them.