EVERETT (CBS/AP) — Encore Boston Harbor, the first casino in the Boston area, will open Sunday morning, and it’s expected to draw up to 50,000 people to Everett.
A brilliantly colored carousel sculpture made of tens of thousands of fake flowers and jewels greets visitors as they step into the opulent lobby of the $2.6 billion hotel, casino and entertainment complex.
Twenty-six floors above, in the casino’s swooping, bronze-toned hotel tower, a pair of penthouse villas each boast butler service for a three-bedroom, 3½-bath spread totaling 5,800 square feet across two floors.
And within the casino proper, private gambling salons and high limit tables are perched on a mezzanine, looking down onto an expansive casino floor buzzing with slot machines and blackjack, roulette and craps tables.
The 33-acre waterfront development, which involved environmental cleanup of a former chemical plant site, is one of the biggest private developments in state history.
It’s also been mired in controversy since Wynn Resorts won the lone state gambling license reserved for the wealthy and populous Boston area nearly five years ago.
New CEO Matthew Maddox, in an interview Friday, said the company believes the resort — the company’s first outside the gambling centers of Las Vegas and Macau — can be a template for the company’s future and possibly for the casino industry broadly.
He envisions the company continuing to extend its reach beyond the traditional gambling centers of Las Vegas and Macau to major metro areas like New York and Chicago. Maddox said that more than 30 states currently have gambling facilities, but that too many have been built far from major cities like Boston.
“This can be a great example of what’s to come, once other states see the potential for this,” he said. “This isn’t a local casino. This isn’t regional gambling. This is the first time a major city has a five-star, large-scale, integrated resort.”
Massachusetts’ two other casinos are MGM Springfield and the Plainridge Park slots parlor near the Rhode Island state line.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)