By Josh Resnek
Encore’s John Tocco delivered another tour de force performance before an absolutely empty council chamber during several hours of seemingly endless debate and comment on matters about sanitary sewers and storm drains to asking the police to rid the city of the bad element hanging out in the Walgreen’s parking lot.
If Tuesday evening’s meeting had been a baseball game, it would have lasted about 14 innings, with no runs, no hits and no errors, with no great decisions made of any kind.
Rocco stole the show, again.
During his umpteenth appearance before the council, the young, articulate and well informed Encore executive gave an up to date review of exactly where the casino/hotel project finds itself about two weeks before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission meets to decide whether or not Wynn Resorts will retain its license to operate.
However, Tocco spoke not a word about the swirling controversy that could change Everett’s future, nor did the councilors, any of them, ask him a word about the controversy and what happens next if the license is pulled by the MGC.
Short of that, Tocco gave a top to bottom view of the world from the eyes of an Encore employee watching over the completion of the largest single development project in Massachusetts business history.
The $2.5 billion development is nearing completion but as Tocco noted: “It still has a long way to go.”
Tocco said: “I don’t want to say the project is done yet. What has been done so far I would liken to setting the table.”
Tocco answered a variety of questions from a number of councilors all asking the same thing – what about traffic? Where will all the busses park after disgorging themselves of people? What about tree plantings and sidewalks?
“We will make all of you proud for supporting us,” he added.
He was greeted deferentially by the councilors, all of whom he has come to know well during his nearly ve year stay on the Everett project.
He detailed 1500 workers a day coming to the site.
Everything inside the towering hotel structure has been sheet rocked.
Out of the 1500 employees now working on the site, 185 are from Everett, nearly all of those positions in the construction trades.
He estimated that $11.5 million has been paid to those employees in salary and bene ts since construction began.
He detailed vendor fairs taking place – that is – Encore bringing together bringing vendors to serve the needs of the casino/ hotel when it gets going and open for business in June, 2019.
He detailed how 4800 employees will be hired and working at the sprawling casino/ hotel site when all is said and done.
Councilor Wayne Matewsky thanked Tocco for appearing before the council, again.
“You have always been free with your time for us and it is appreciated,” he said.
Councilors Mike McLaughlin and Mike Marchese asked Tocco several questions regarding traffic, replaced sidewalks, newly planted trees and landscaping.
Marchese’s question about where the busses will park was one of the highlights of Tocco’s appearance for it was one of the questions he could not answer.
‘We’d like to keep them on the casino/ hotel grounds but we are not sure about this yet,” Tocco said.
“How many busses a day do you expect?” Marchese asked.
It was one of the better questions of the night-as his colleagues were left to wonder: yes. how many busses a day might come to the location when it is open?
Two-hundred? Three hundred? More? Less?
Such a question gave shape and form to the question, just how busy the casino/hotel will likely be when it opens?
“I have no idea how many busses will come everyday,” Tocco told the council.
He didn’t know.
We’d bet its a lot of them, everyday, forever once the place opens.