HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) - Mayor Alex Morse says he's moving forward with plans to consider a casino in Holyoke, despite the backlash he received from critics.
"I understand that all my decisions might not be popular," Morse said.
Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse is standing by his decision to consider a casino proposal in Holyoke despite his once anti-casino platform and peoples shock to the flip-flop.
He told 22News the proposal for a resort casino at Mountain Park has amenities outside of the casino he likes.
"Be it a convention center, dining options, a hotel, recreation, skiing, hiking, things like that, a true destination of what Mountain Park used to be as its been a destination for over a century," Morse added.
When Morse took office, he rejected a proposal by Paper City Development to build a resort casino at Wyckoff Country Club.
Morse says there were a number of things that he didn't like about the Paper City Development proposal, for example, he says there were no plans for traffic mitigation or a tie-in to downtown. However he did say he'd sit down with them again if he revised his proposal here to meet his standards.
"Obviously, they have the right to knock on my door and on the door of our economic development team to have that meeting."
22News I-Team reporter Ryan Walsh traveled to Florida to meet with Paper City Development President Joe Lashinger who says they want to meet with the mayor as soon as possible.
He also says, their proposal has it all.
"We're the only applicant that would be on the 91 North South corridor. The land mass, the amenities, the reservoir, the scenic mountain; I heard the mayor talk about those types of recreational uses, we put those forth a year and a half ago," Lashinger said.
Mayor Morse says over the next 24 hours the city is developing guidelines and a framework for developers who want to have meetings.
He also says, if they can't come to agreement he thinks will benefit the city and the region, they won't move forward with the plans and put it to voters.