SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – MGM Springfield celebrated four years Friday, marking the occasion with $75,000 in grant funding to local non-profit organizations.

Four years and a billion dollars later, MGM Springfield has established itself as an entertainment anchor in downtown Springfield. The casino marked this anniversary with an all employee celebration, where $75,000 in grant money was distributed to local non-profits, like Dress for Success and Open Pantry. MGM President Chris Kelley is optimistic heading out of the pandemic and with sports betting now.

“We’ve been through some challenging times but we have an extraordinarily resilient team, resilient city, resilient community and as we look ahead we are truly optimistic about what we are seeing,” said Kelley.

Post pandemic, MGM is making a comeback. They currently employ 1,200 employees and are always looking to hire more. Plus, they are booking big name acts again like Jay Leno and Staind. Kelley said MGM is pleased to give back to the community adding much of the success of the casino is due to the non profits recognized Friday. MGM is a big piece of the revitalization of the city.

Mayor Domenic Sarno told 22News, “Now I’m hopeful that the city council will pass the Court Square urban renewal plan because that’s really the next step now to enliven the downtown.”

Employees at the celebration say they are humbled to be a part of an organization that makes community a priority.

“We work with a lot of the local community organizations with community outreach volunteer. I’ve actually been a part of a lot of the volunteer opportunities that they have here,” said Casey Martell, Senior Hotel Operations Manager.

The hotel continues to look to add staff and has weekly hiring events.