PALMER, Mass. -- The chief executive of Mohegan Sun said Monday the company is adding as much as $175 million in amenities to its proposal to build a casino outside Springfield, citing fierce competition to win western Massachusetts' lone casino license.
Mitchell Etess wouldn't give specifics about the enhancements to the now $775 million project proposed for Palmer, adding he didn't want to tip off rival companies that are already offering similarly costly proposals.
"I think we all need to realize, this is a competition," he told more than 200 residents at a public forum in Palmer.
Connecticut-based Mohegan Sun wants to build a luxury hotel, resort and gambling facility on 152 acres in Palmer. Three casino licenses are being granted in Massachusetts, one each for three geographic regions, and Mohegan Sun's proposal is one of four contenders for the state's lone casino gambling license for western Massachusetts.
Some Palmer residents complained Monday about a lack of disclosure at the forum on issues including how the casino would affect traffic and other services in the town of about 12,000.
"It's very important that we don't get into an eternal gridlock in this town," said resident Paul Wisnewski, 75.
Mary Maloney got into a brief exchange with Mohegan Sun officials after she questioned whether they had a plan for the property if its gambling operations failed.
"I think (the casino) belongs in Springfield," Maloney said after
But Etess said Palmer was a prime location, because it's accessible to customers from around New England and New York.