EVERETT (CBS) – Massachusetts’ newest casino officially opened for business on Sunday, and visitors were certainly excited for the big day. Several hundred people lined up hours ahead of time as they were among the first to walk through the doors of Encore Boston Harbor in Everett.
The casino opened its doors at 10 a.m. About 50,000 people are expected on the first day of business.
Mayor of Everett Carlo DeMaria said during an opening ceremony Sunday this “truly is an amazing day” as he reflected on the work that went into opening the third casino in the state.
“We will no longer be a back door to the City of Boston. We will be the front door to the City of Everett,” he said.
Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chair Cathy Judd-Stein called this a “new opportunity for economic growth for all the citizens of Massachusetts.”
As 10 a.m. arrived, fireworks went off above the facility and surrounding area and customers were let in the doors.
Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox said a total of 7,400 construction workers built the resort in less than three years
“It’s a new day for the City of Everett. We are proud to be members of the community. And we are proud to members of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” said Maddox.
The resort brought thousands of jobs to the state. Maddox said 135,000 people applied for positions at Encore Boston Harbor.
“What makes me and our company most proud, the building is amazing, but it’s the 5,000-plus employees hired to run what will be one of the finest resorts on the planet,” he said.
Several hours before the main doors opened, a line of people began to form out front. Among them was Artie Ells of Chelsea, who marveled at how different the area looks.
“This is absolutely gorgeous. This was a dump. This was wasted land,” he said. I just came back from Las Vegas, and this is exactly what was there. You can just come here and walk around. You don’t even have to gamble.”
In advance of opening day, police urged guests not to drive to the casino in an effort to avoid traffic backups. There are several options for shuttles by ground and boat.
Visitors are being reminded of several security policies. Large backpacks are prohibited, as is outside food or drink. Weapons, marijuana, selfie sticks, and coolers are also not allowed at the casino.
Encore Boston Harbor is a 210,000 square foot facility with an 88 table poker room and 14 restaurants, bars and lounges. It cost $2.6 billion to build