Encore Takes Step Back on Auditorium Development After Pushback

Encore Boston Harbor . (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

The Plan for an Entertainment Venue Put on Hold

By Josh Resnek

The rollout of the auditorium development intended for land across the street from the casino and hotel was a typical Encore public relations victory.

They fed the story to the Boston Globe. The Boston Globe carried the report first early in December, 2021 with a glowing appraisal of the 1800 seat auditorium and parking garage to augment the casino and hotel operation across the street.

But then on December 28, after the Gaming Commission got involved following complaints from a number of theater owners, that the project as reported by the Globe didn’t seem right.

What’s worse, the Globe later reported, a number of theater owners who tend to compete with one another had complained – to the Globe and the Gaming Commission that Encore’s development plans didn’t seem legal.

Another Globe piece this time discussed the Massachusetts Gaming laws which do not allow casinos to build entertainment venues, with an explanation about the Encore development proposal.

“State gaming law blocks performance venues at Casinos but Wynn aims to build one next door in Everett…” the Globe wrote.

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Encore Should Pay

JANUARY 5: Encore Boston Harbor towers over roofs as seen from Day Playground. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

The topic of a new public safety facility to provide for the needs of the growing city came up at Monday evening’s city council meeting.

The city needs such a facility.

With an expected crush of development coming in what will be the former Exxon site, and the same one day to take place on the Exelon Property, it is high time to pursue this integral part of the development scheme on Lower Broadway.

Out of necessity it should be a large facility housing fire, police and rescue elements in the area of the Encore Boston Harbor Casino and Hotel.

Councilor Wayne Matewsky has set the ball rolling with that suggestion, which took place before the council at his request. Such a facility built in today’s dollars would cost as much as $30 – $40 million to build and to outfit with automobiles, fire apparatus and rescue ambulances. It should also be equipped with a cell block as well as a triage and training area.

The package needs to include a great part of the funding to cover the cost of manning of the facility.

It is easy to see the need for as many as 40-60 new firefighters and police officers, ambulance drivers and administrative personnel.

There might very well be billions more in new development and tens of thousands of men and women working in the high tech and medical research industries working and living here on new streets in thousands of new units in dozens of new buildings.

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Is An Encore Performance Facility Across The Street From The Casino Allowed

Encore has filed plans for a large expansion using its current parking lots. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Questions Raised About Proposed Performance Venue

By Josh Resnek

During the first week of December when Encore announced it is going to build an 1,800 seat performance venue for concerts, and sporting events across from the casino on land it owns, the proposal was met with wows by Everett officials.

It will cost many millions to build such a facility and with the added parking garage in the development package, such a facility was perceived as an adjunct to the casino property across the street.

With such a facility, Encore’s client base could be expanded geometrically, and especially on the nights of performances attracting thousands of people who would ultimately saunter across the street, over the proposed bridge, and finish off the night gaming at the casino. The only problem?

State gaming laws blocks performance venues at casinos.

Why?

Because local theater owners and such facilities in Greater Boston might be negatively affected.

The state law prevents entertainment venues ranging in size from 1,000 to 3,500 seats from being built in casinos. But Wynn plans to build the venue across the street from the Encore property and bring in a separate business, most likely Big Night Entertainment Group, to operate it. And Wynn says the venue will operate without a subsidy from the casino, according to a recent report in the Boston Globe.

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Wynn Resorts Jolted by Lowered Credit Rating and Rumors of Takeover

Encore Boston Harbor casino. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Company is Sound but Things are Changing

By Josh Resnek

Last week, Encore reported significantly lower gaming revenues for November.

That news was preceded by several weeks with the announcement that Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox is resigning his $25 million a year position to seek other interests.

Now comes the lowering of Wynn’s credit rating by a major credit company.

The lowering of the company’s credit rating is apparently connected to income difficulties Wynn Resorts is having at its main generating revenue machine, its sprawling and luxurious casino and hotel in Macau – about 35 miles from Hong Kong.

“Moody’s Investors downgraded the firm’s credit rating citing ongoing weakness in Macau,” according to Casino.org.

The Macau investment is worth about 75% of Wynn Resorts annual combined revenues. The rating agency took the credit grade on the gaming company’s finance unit to B1 from Ba3, and the probability of default to B1-PD from Ba3- PD. Moody’s also lowered the rating on Wynn Macau’s and the US-based parent company’s senior notes to B2 from B1.

The rating downgrade reflects Moody’s expectation that Wynn’s credit metrics will remain weaker than pre-pandemic levels, because of the slow recovery in earnings amid lingering travel restrictions affecting Wynn’s Macau operations given the still heightened social risk due to the negative effect the coronavirus continues to have on visitation and travel in the region,” said the research firm.

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Encore November figures tank

DECEMBER 10: The sun sets near the Encore Boston Harbor resort. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Steep drop follows dramatic rise

By Josh Resnek

Gaming revenues fell by more than 12% or $7.6 million at Encore Boston Harbor Casino and Hotel last month.

Total gaming revenues came in at $55.6 million for November, sinking to $55.6 million in revenues, according to official figures released by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission late last week.

Gaming table revenues slumped rather dramatically, falling by more than $5.4 million. Slot machine revenues dropped but not as significantly as gaming table revenues.

Slot machine revenues declined by $2.1 million.

“It is impossible to know what exactly caused such a downturn in revenues. Encore is hard to get to. There have been a number of higher profile incidents reported by police. This could factor into it. Also, it is hard to know just who stayed away. Who didn’t comer to the casino who had been coming to the casino and caused its numbers to spike during the past three months?” said a casino analyst who wished to remain unnamed.

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