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Connecticut Casinos Asserting Their Regional Dominance With Zip Lines, Go Karts

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Go kart on track
When it comes to resort casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun had the New England market all to themselves for over 20 years. But the two Connecticut tribes will soon have some company on that front.

The $1 billion MGM Springfield is slated to open in September 2018. The $2.4 billion Wynn Boston Harbor expects to open its doors the following year.

This is in addition to smaller scale, but still significant gaming expansion in the region:

  • The opening of Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, Massachusetts in June 2015.
  • Multiple expansions (table games and a forthcoming hotel) at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
  • The authorization to transfer the Newport Grand’s casino license (owned by Twin River’s parent company) to a yet-to-be-built casino in Tiverton, Rhode Island.

Even though the current competition negatively impacts their bottom line, and the future competition will further erode revenues, the two Connecticut casinos have no intention of rolling over and ceding the empire they’ve reigned over since the 1990’s.

In addition to a joint satellite casino that will sit right on the Connecticut-Massachusetts border, both casinos are putting the finishing touches on new amenities. These new features seem to be geared towards making both properties less reliant on gaming revenue, and more of an entertainment destination.

New entertainment at Foxwoods

After unveiling the sky drop ride Thrill Tower in August Foxwoods Resort Casino is introducing even more attractions.

The next ride to come online will be the HighFlyer Zipline, which will complement the Thrill Tower quite nicely. But there’s more.

Foxwoods has partnered with On Track Karting to open a high-performance indoor karting center in early 2018.

The casino announced the plans an event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. There, Foxwoods President and CEO Felix Rappaport said the karting center will boast a multi-level track and nine-horsepower karts.

The rides are just one facet of the Foxwoods experience. The attractions join multiple high-end dining options, two separate theaters for shows and concerts, night clubs, two spas, and the Tangier Outlets.

Conference space at Mohegan Sun

While Foxwoods is adding activities and thrill rides,  Mohegan Sun is readying a 240,000 square foot, $80 million Exposition Center which shoul wrap construction in the summer.

The new Expo Center features:

  • 132,000 square-foot Expo Center
  • 8,000 square feet of pre-function space
  • 22,000 square-foot ballroom that accommodates 1,600 people
  • 18 meeting rooms, including a 1,200 square-foot boardroom

That’s in addition to Mohegan Sun’s Convention Center. The existing meeting space includes the Uncas Ballroom and 30 meeting rooms, capable of accommodating 5,300 people.

Mohegan still has a ways to go before it can compete with Foxwoods’ shopping and entertainment options. Its focus on meetings, events, and expos is certainly a great way to increased foot traffic though.

Steve Ruddock

About

Steve Ruddock is a veteran of the poker media, contributing to offline and online publications centered on the regulated US online gambling industry. These include OnlinePokerReport.com, PlayNJ.com, USPoker.com as well as USA Today. Steve is based in Massachusetts and is also a poker player.

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