Encore suffered terribly in 2020

The Encore Boston Harbor and the smoke stacks from the Exelon facility. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Reports of resort for sale continue despite denials


Encore executives won’t say it publicly, but it is a good bet that they are not too sorry to send off the old year and to welcome 2021.

The virus. The shutdown of the hotel. The restrictions on gaming. The disastrous reduction in hours the casino can be open. The fights, overdoses, knifings, and shootings didn’t help either.

All in all, 2020 is the year of the headache and when Encore’s wallet shrank just a bit.

Rumors of a possible sale or attempted sale coming at the end of 2020 forced company officials to deny the rumors.

Such rumors have occurred repeatedly, and especially in the weeks just before Encore opened in June 2019, when MGM was reported in the Boston Globe to be negotiating the purchase of the Everett property.

Revenues tanked dramatically in 2020. They are like mating a recession with a depression for the gaming giant.

The casino and hotel cannot support themselves to the extent that the revenues can cover the debt reduction liability connected to the loans for the $2.6 billion price tag – nearly all of which was borrowed – for the finished product.

As a result, there is the likely-hood that Encore will be renegotiating with the City of Everett the yearly cost of the Host City agreement.

It is $30 million right now, and unless we are mistaken, not all of it has been paid to the city as 2020 comes to a blessed end.

If it has been fully paid to the city, the city has spent nearly every last bit of it as 2021 comes in.

Fear not, casino lovers and those who believe the casino and hotel are the economic saviors of the city.

Fear not, the disaster of 2020 should not be replicated in 2021.

With the vaccines going nationwide by March or April, and with the virus itself trailing off instead of continuing at the present rate, there is the general belief that life might return just a bit to what we used to regard as normal.

By June and July, the virus should not be raging, deaths should not be mounting, closures of businesses and schools should be coming to an end.

If this is rushing things, then let’s be safe in predicting that by September 2021 it is likely the situation will be far more advantageous to business than it is today.

In that case, the casino and hotel should be open by September with longer hours of operation and larger crowds allowed.

It is unlikely that 35 million tourists will pass through Logan Airport in 2021 but it is highly likely that that number might be 10-15 million or more as international air travel and domestic travel by air recover.

Bottom line, Encore Casino and Hotel is facing a positive turn in direction for income, visitations, hotel rooms rented, and the number of millions gambled in the casino.

No matter what the final figures in 2021, they will dwarf the figures from 2020.

Many rehires and new hires will have to be made to meet the increased demand for services at the casino and hotel.

Everett’s largest business has made it through 2020.

A business that can do anything.

Going down is a disaster.

Coming back is sweet.

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