MGM Springfield makes changes at the top

By Noah Taylor Updated
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MGM Springfield has replaced two key executives in hopes of re-energising the struggling $960 million integrated casino resort.

MGM Springfield president Michael Mathis is leaving the role after six years.

He was named to the position and as chief executive officer in 2014, and oversaw the licencing and construction process of what became a $960 million casino complex in downtown Springfield.

“His leadership was instrumental in the successful opening of the property and the great relationships we have built with the Springfield community and our partners in New England,” MGM Resorts regional portfolio president Jorge Perez said.

Since opening in August 2018, MGM Springfield has struggled to come anywhere near its premarket gross gaming revenue forecasts.

Whether the market is oversaturated, or MGM has failed to attract gamblers to the resort, is a matter of opinion.

Along with Mathis, vice president and chief financial officer Courtney Wenleder is also departing the resort.

Mathis is assuming a new position – senior vice president of business development – in MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas corporate office.

He will report directly to MGM President Bill Hornbuckle.

There was no word on Wenleder’s future with the casino company.

“We are excited to have Chris lead the MGM Springfield team,” Perez said of the change.

“Chris’ experience in Ohio, rebranding and integrating a property and introducing MGM to the community will be an asset for Springfield as we continue to work closely with the community and strive to not only be a world-class entertainment destination, but also a good corporate neighbour.

The last two months have been MGM Springfield’s worst on record.

While the MGM casino floor won $19.9 million and $18.9 million respectively, Encore Boston Harbour grossed $47 million and $54 million.

Before opening MGM Springfield, the casino operator told the state the property would average around $34.8 million each month in gaming win.

The casino has never once hit that mark.

Locals have plenty of opinions as to why. From Springfield allegedly limiting the number of hotel rooms the resort could have, to failing to attract A-list acts to lure out of town guests, there are many critics.

“Pure and simple. There is no reason for anyone outside the greater Springfield market to come here, as it’s just an inner-city casino,” one commenter opined.

“No shows, no shopping. So MGM relies on those who live here. And that’s not enough to make their projections.”

MGM makes Massachusetts casino more environmentally friendly

MGM has installed thousands of solar panels at its resort casino in Springfield.

Banker and Tradesman reported this month that the company said last month that the more than 3,000 panel-solar canopy atop its parking garage would generate more than 1,600 megawatt hours of electricity when it goes online in January.

That’s enough to power nearly 10 per cent of the 2 million-square-foot casino, hotel and entertainment complex, according to MGM.

The panels are also expected to reduce the resort’s annual carbon footprint by about 410 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

They’re part of the casino’s broader energy efficiency strategy, which includes installing low-water fixtures, cisterns that harvest rainwater for irrigation, LED lighting, and electric vehicle charging stations.

The panels have been installed on the roof deck of the eight-floor garage, so no parking spaces were sacrificed.

MGM Springfield opened in 2018 as Massachusetts’ first Las Vegas-style resort casino.

Wynn Resorts followed in 2019 when it opened its new Encore Boston Harbor resort in Everett.

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