Encore’s Appetite for Everett Land Must Be Matched with Payback

By Josh Resnek

Encore and Wynn Corporation must be feeling pretty good.

They have a toe-hold on Everett land down to the Mystic River. They are taking in about $800 million a year in gambling alone.

Encore pays about $35 million a year for that right – about a 3% return for the city.

Now comes the gambling, entertainment and hotel giant telling the people of Everett they will again be blessed as Wynn Corporation prepares to buy another 100 acres to develop it, to enhance their income, and to double and triple their bottom line.

What Everett needs to ask – but it won’t – is what do we get for Wynn Corporation owning nearly an entire ward of the city?

Can it be determined if it is better for Wynn Corporation to own a ward than for the city to develop a ward by itself?

Development is a wonderful add-on for the city but it needs to be managed properly.

The right to develop an entire ward should not simply be given away to Wynn Corporation by the mayor who will raise his arms high and say for all to hear: “Look at what I have done. Look at my greatness. Feast upon the profits of everything I have brought you.”

So far, there is about $35 million a year coming in to celebrate about.

That figure should be, must be, will not be raised.

With the planned expansion of the casino’s manifold interests – most of which are conceived to bring in more dollars of gaming money- the city will need more public safe- ty muscle, a new firehouse/ police station/ ambulance depot. More firefighters must be hired. More police are a necessity. Ambulance drivers and trained EMT’s are needed. The city will also need to cut roads, place and maintain sewers and gas lines, to bury electric lines, to make sidewalks, to place lighting, and on and on.

What does Everett get in return?

One might well ask that question.

Encore and Wynn Corporation are great at letting us know their grandiose plans to develop a territory they wish to own. But the real question, the compelling question, the bottom line question is this: how much are they willing to pay to play?

The $35 million a year the city gets shrank by about $3 million this year alone with inflation.

Those millions are not the panacea the mayor made them out to be.

What to do?

Someone, anyone, maybe a city councilor and chief among our elected public officials the mayor, all need to ask for more money before another inch of Everett land is allowed to be consumed by Encore and Wynn Corporation.

They act like a giant vacuum cleaner sweeping up Everett land to their own advantage mainly, and paying the city about 3% for the privilege of doing so.

The city must demand a revisit to the host city agreement. What does that mean?
The city must ask for money in order for Wynn Corporation to move ahead with more development.

To do any less is to give the city away to a heads up corporation that does not like to talk about what is paid out as much as it likes to count what is coming in.

The mayor is clearly out of his water negotiating with Encore and Wynn Corporation.

The city needs a good lawyer with a head for numbers.

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