Sunday, May 26, 2024


The Wynn casino to be built in Everett

The Wynn casino to be built in Everett is include a water taxi/shuttle dock that could link to Cambridge. (Image: Wynn)

Wynn, the company awarded a gaming license to build a $1.6 billion casino resort in Everett, has delivered a $200,000 check to Cambridge in accordance with a “Surrounding Community Agreement,” company officials said today.

“We do have check in hand,” said Lee Gianetti, of the city’s public information office.

It will be used to pay for a traffic impact study for Edward H. Land Boulevard and the McGrath/O’Brien Highway in Cambridge, according to the company. Once the resort opens, the city will get an additional $100,000 per year in payments to split in support of local businesses and its nonprofit and cultural organizations – each use getting $25,000 – and with half of the money going to a program “to facilitate the implementation and use of water transportation in Cambridge.”

The resort will include a water taxi/shuttle dock at its expected 2017 opening, initially to link with Boston’s Downtown and South Boston, “with expansion as demand increases,” according to Wynn. Cambridge has potential water ferry options at Kendall Square’s canal and East Cambridge by the CambridgeSide Galleria.

“It’s a really big issue for Wynn,” Gianetti said. “We’re not sure what’s going to happen in Cambridge. Those plans are still being developed.”

The city has gathered a internal working group to look at water transportation from Cambridge, consisting of Gianetti, finance chief Louis Depasquale, city planning chief Brian Murphy, human services officials Sue Walsh and Ellen Semonoff, City Solicitor Nancy Glowa and officials from Pub Works and Public Safety, Gianetti said. But “nobody yet is talking to Wynn about this. We haven’t even started thinking about it.”

There’s also a possibility of using the money for other purposes if study finds water transportation isn’t worthy of the expenditure, he said. There’s similar flexibility built in to mitigation funds, which will account for the effects of traffic changes during Wynn construction and the running of the casino, but the first step – a study of what’s expected – is yet to happen.

The $100,000 annual payments are for the full 15-year term of Wynn’s gaming license.

There are similar agreements with Lynn, Malden, Medford, Melrose and Somerville – which gets $150,000 per year – with Chelsea also winning some considerations.

Wynn also agreed to use local vendors and give hiring preference to residents from the surrounding communities for construction and operation jobs.

“We plan to work with the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce to identify and solicit bids from Cambridge businesses and help them become properly certified,” said Robert DeSalvio, president of Wynn Everett. “Millions of dollars a year will be spent on the operations and upkeep of our resort, and we are committed to work with as many local suppliers and hire as many local employees as we possibly can.” Somerville won a commitment for Wynn to make “good faith efforts” to spend at least $10 million on goods and services from its businesses, while Cambridge’s agreement includes no specific dollar amount.

Wynn will buy vouchers for Cambridge businesses as part of its rewards and employee benefit programs and feature local restaurants and other attractions in its Concierge Program of establishments to which Wynn guests are referred by the resort’s concierge staff. While Somerville’s agreement specifies an annual $25,000 in vouchers and gift certificates, there is no dollar amount attached to Cambridge’s agreement.