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Encore’s harsh reality on its 1st anniversary

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No odds on when the Encore Boston Harbor Casino may reopen. A commuter train races past the shuttered resort that honored Memorial Day with a gold star design. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

The casino and hotel known as Encore Boston Harbor was to have been the mayor’s crowning achievement.

In a personal way, he was hoping to make more money from the casino coming here than he could ever have imagined – not just for the city but for himself.

He valued himself a friend of Steve Wynn, who proved himself to be someone far less appealing than his public reputation.

The mayor cried at the podium on opening day last year.

He praised Wynn. He emphasized his loyalty to him.

It was all great theater as Wynn was not present as his life was ruined by revelations of his sexual incontinence by the Wall Street Journal.

It is turning out to be something far less crowning and insubstantial an achievement than what all of us believed was coming when the casino opened last June.

The Encore will celebrate its first anniversary with its doors closed and the casino itself a big question mark.

From the start, the casino and hotel never materialized busi- nesswise as had been expected.

The closure of the casino since March does not bode well for the future.

Its reopening is dependent on the state.

When it reopens, it is likely only 50% capacity will be allowed and with restrictions.

Such a scenario makes cutting a profit impossible.

Reopening won’t happen for quite a while according to the Gaming Commission.

When it finally does reopen, it will no longer be a five star facility as it billed itself when the doors opened last June. The clientele simply never materialized in great numbers necessary to sustain such an assignation.

Encore has become overnight, just another casino struggling to maintain itself in a region overpopulated with them.

Social distancing and betting at a craps table are incompatible.

The club and restaurants won’t be able to function at half capacity – not even close – which means they can’t survive when they reopen.

The large meeting rooms meant for business gatherings can’t be used, at least not for a long, long time or until a vaccine is available and people can be inoculated against the virus and feel comfortable in large crowds that the state will sanction.

The economy is in trouble. The casino and hotel are victims not only of the virus but of a corporate bet to succeed that didn’t come through.

What was to have been the mayor’s crowning touch has be- come an albatross around the mayor’s neck.

The mayor knows this better than anyone.

The casino is not the city’s savior. It is becoming the city’s nightmare.

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