MGM Resorts CEO Meets with City Leaders
--Reaffirms commitment to Springfield
--Discusses recent project design changes
--Addresses next round of communications
SPRINGFIELD (MA) October 29, 2015 - MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno met privately today with their respective teams to discuss the status of the largest economic development in the City's history. Accompanied by MGM Resorts President Bill Hornbuckle and MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis, Murren was at Springfield City Hall at the Mayor’s request to discuss next steps in the evolving design and construction of MGM Springfield.
After the meeting, Murren said, "I felt it was important to come to Springfield to discuss our vision and commitment for this project. The complexities of designing and building an urban outward-facing destination resort casino have come to the forefront recently. Putting all the related challenges on the table for the Mayor was paramount.”
Murren continued, "The Mayor clearly expressed his concern over the way recent design changes were communicated to the City. We agreed that this is a dynamic process and that MGM will be assertive in keeping the City informed. We know we need to work even harder to maintain the public’s trust and I assured him that work has already begun."
Murren also reminded those gathered at the meeting that “building world-class resorts is a collaborative and iterative process that by its very nature is designed to change and evolve along the way.”
The meeting was organized soon after news reports that MGM Springfield was reducing its square footage. The Mayor held a press conference expressing his concerns about the reduction and followed the public appearance with a letter to the MGM executives on Oct. 22 requesting their attendance at today's meeting. In a letter to the Mayor accepting his invitation, Murren said, he would attend, in part, due to his "long and fruitful relationship" with the Mayor.
Following the meeting, Sarno said, "I appreciate the prompt attention Jim and the MGM team gave to my concerns. I know on any day Jim has business obligations that take him all over the world. I know that he went out of his way to be with me in person today to demonstrate MGM’s commitment. I feel assured that over the next few weeks MGM will be providing me and the residents of Springfield with comprehensive updates to the development as we continue our review of their proposed design changes.”
MGM Springfield must still obtain approvals from the Mayor, Springfield City Council and the state for its updated design, which relocates the hotel tower proposed in its original design to a low-rise Main Street location, and moves the residential programming off-site. The company announced on Oct. 5 it had entered into an agreement to purchase 195 State Street to relocate planned market-rate apartments. MGM has consistently maintained that it has never abandoned its commitment to the City and although designs may evolve that overall commitment is unwavering.
Mathis said, "There is nothing our company wants more than to give the people of Springfield the information they want and deserve. The delays and challenges, along with the subsequent public confusion, have been frustrating to all of us. I have personally made commitments to the residents of Springfield and beyond and those conversations energize me every day to open a world-class urban resort that will change the future for all of Western Massachusetts."
Both MGM representatives and the City of Springfield team confirmed that a comprehensive cost and design analysis is being finalized. MGM is expected to present the complete information the week of November 16, prior to a Massachusetts Gaming Commission hearing on November 19.
About MGM Springfield
MGM Springfield is slated for 14.5 acres of land between Union and State streets, and Columbus Avenue and Main Street. For more information about MGM Springfield please visit www.mgmspringfield.com.
About MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM)
MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is one of the world's leading global hospitality companies, operating a portfolio of destination resort brands including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage. The Company is in the process of developing MGM National Harbor in Maryland and MGM Springfield in Massachusetts. The Company also owns 51 percent of MGM China Holdings Limited, which owns the MGM Macau resort and casino and is developing a gaming resort in Cotai, and 50 percent of CityCenter in Las Vegas, which features ARIA Resort & Casino. For more information about MGM Resorts International, visit the Company's website at www.mgmresorts.com.