$2.6B Encore Boston Harbor to Open in June

Believed to be Massachusetts’ largest project ever completed in a single phase, Wynn Resorts’ development will feature a 671-key hotel and a casino with 3,000 gaming positions.

Wynn Resorts will be opening its $2.6 billion, 3 million-square-foot Encore Boston Harbor Resort in Everett, Mass., on June 23. The project is reportedly both the largest single-phase private development in Massachusetts’ history and the nation’s most expensive resort development of 2019.   

Encore Boston Harbor is along Mystic River, less than five miles of Logan International Airport. In addition to the usual shuttle service, plans call for custom-built water shuttles to transport guests from Boston directly to the resort. The property encompasses a 27-story hotel with 671 keys, including 104 luxury suites, a 210,000-square-foot casino, 15 dining and lounge venues, 50,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, an ultra-premium spa with 17 treatment rooms and a four-season, 6-acre harborwalk.

The resort’s luxury guestrooms and suites range in size up to signature suites of 1,350 square feet, two-bedroom residences of 3,350 square feet and two limited-availability villas of 5,800 square feet each. The two-level casino features more than 3,000 slot machines, 143 table games and a casino bar on the first floor and an 88-table poker room on the second floor. Furthermore, Encore Boston Harbor includes terraces overlooking the gaming floor and is set to offer high-end poker, VIP and private-gaming experiences.

The resort supplements its more than 50,000 square feet of lobby-level conference space with 21,000 square feet of seasonal outdoor space overlooking the Boston Harbor and skyline. The event space includes a 37,000-square-foot grand ballroom. The park and harborwalk features pedestrian and bike paths, picnic park, gazebo, viewing decks and waterfront dining.

Wynn anticipates the resort will attract roughly eight million visitors a year from across the globe—more than the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins and Patriots combined.

Sometimes a dirty business

The road to this imminent grand opening has been long, arduous and expensive for Wynn Resorts, which purchased the site of a former Monsanto chemical plant for $35 million in January 2015. It took the developer till April 2017 to finish removing more than 630,00 tons of contaminated soil from the 33-acre site, completing a $30 million remediation.

Along the way, the start of construction was delayed in February 2016 because of legal action by a neighboring municipality, which alleged that the resort would unreasonably increase local traffic congestion. Legal action of a different kind came to a head in 2018, after Wynn Resorts founder Steve Wynn had been accused of multiple incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Wynn resigned from the company in late January of that year and later sold his ownership stake. The situation appears not to have delayed the opening of the resort, which originally was to have been the Wynn Boston Harbor.

The size and opulence of Encore Boston Harbor notwithstanding, gaming is not a major industry in Massachusetts, having been legalized in the state only in 2011. In 2017, with just one casino then operating, Massachusetts’ tallied gross gaming revenue of $164.7 million, ranking ahead of only Maine, Oklahoma and South Dakota among the 24 states with legalized gambling, according to a 2018 report by the American Gaming Association.

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