Encore shoots down sale rumors

Encore Boston Casino on March 14, 2020. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Tells employees they are all in on the casino


The Encore Boston Harbor Casino and Hotel are not for sale, according to the top executive of the Everett business.

“I want to assure you that our company has not engaged in any conversations about the sale of the property,” Brian Gullbrants, President of Encore Boston Harbor, wrote to employees.

His comments were in response to a Leader Herald story indicating the facility is up for sale, that the price is $800 million, and that Encore is hiring a broker to make it happen.

The Leader Herald sourced a major player in the industry who was apparently offered the facility, but who allegedly declined.

A second industry source made the same claims to the Leader Herald several weeks ago.

In 2019, before that, and after, there have been more than several stories in the Boston press that the facility was for sale. In one such story, it was reported by the Boston Globe shortly before the casino opened that MGM was look-ing to buy the casino.

That sale never materialized.

The casino has faced softer earnings than expected from the casino and the hotel since opening in June, 2019.

Industry analysts claim the casino and hotel have not lived up to its five star standard, and that attracting high rollers and international gamblers has not materialized.

Also, the demise of Wynn Resorts founder Steve Wynn’s ability to steer the new development in Everett is believed to have had a powerful, negative impact on the business.

“I want to assure you that our company has not engaged in any conversations about the sale of the property,” continued Gullbrant’s message, a copy of which had been obtained by MassLive.

“In fact, we are very excited about and committed to the future of Encore Boston Harbor and we cannot wait until we are fully re-open, and we have all of our team members back with us every day.

“The team is hard at work planning for the future of Encore, post COVID, and we can’t wait to share all of these exciting new ideas with you,” stated Gullbrants.

The rumors of a $800 million sale emerged as the casino sector continues to struggle amid ongoing COVID-related business restrictions.

Business at the sprawling casino and hotel in Everett is way down, and has been down or non-existent since its closing in March and its more recent partial reopening.

The hotel has been closed for longer than a month, and was only partially open during the summer months.

The casino has suffered disastrous state measures aimed at stopping the spread of the virus.

This has resulted in the casino’s hours of operations being drastically reduced.

Presently, the casino is open Monday thru Thursday from 12:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Friday thru Sunday, its hours are from 9:00 a.m.- 9:30 p.m.

November’s revenues at the casino were down about $14 million over October’s.

About 4,000 employees were initially furloughed and paid their salaries but ultimately laid off due to a lack of business.

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