Suffolk Downs Unveils Resort Plans

Resort will employ more than 4,000 workers and make transportation improvements.

Suffolk Downs June 5 announced details about its plans to develop a Caesars-branded resort and casino at the Massachusetts racetrack. The announcement follows years of discussion and community outreach that included meetings with neighbors, community and business leaders, and an ongoing dialogue that incorporated local input.

The $1 billion development plan for the 163-acre site includes plans to improve the track’s racing facilities and provide funding to reduce longstanding transportation concerns and to make improvements on the local road network. Project plans also call for a hotel, restaurants, a casino gaming complex, retail shops, entertainment areas, and luxury spa facilities.

“The process of earning a license requires significant investment and substantial resources and we have worked with our partners at Caesars Entertainment to assemble a best-in-class team as we move toward a second phase of larger public review of our plans to create thousands of jobs and improve the local economy,” said Joe O’Donnell, principal owner of Suffolk Downs and a Cambridge, Mass.-based entrepreneur and philanthropist, in a statement.

In the coming days and weeks, Suffolk Downs will share detailed plans about the development and transportation plans, as well as plans for broader community input on jobs and job training, opportunities for local businesses, public safety programs, regional tourism initiatives, and entertainment partnerships.

“This is an economic development initiative that will set the standard for gaming development in Massachusetts and will create thousands of new jobs with real career paths and room for advancement,” said Richard Fields, principal owner of Suffolk Downs, in a release. "And it is built on a foundation of collaboration and partnership--with local residents and community groups; with local businesses; and with Boston's entertainment, tourism, and convention facilities."

The development concepts were released June 5 at a press conference attended by neighbors, business groups, and community leaders at Suffolk Downs. Suffolk and Caesars provided details on the major economic development initiative that will:
•    Generate $200 million annually in new tax revenue;
•    Generate 2,500 construction and more than 4,000 resort jobs for local residents;
•    Commit $40 million to improve local roads and intersections as part of an aggressive transportation demand management program that relies on public transportation and other alternatives;
•    Spend $150 million annually for goods and services among local and regional businesses
•    Partner with Boston area hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues and tourism organizations to attract visitors and to boost the local economy

The development would include:
•    A hotel (approximately 300 rooms)
•    Entertainment and nightclub venues
•    Up to 10 restaurants, including fine dining concepts, a buffet, food court, and sports bar
•    Approximately 200,000 square feet of gaming space incorporating 4,000-5,000 slot machines, 200 table games and a World Series of Poker room
•    Both garage and surface parking

The architectural renderings also illustrate a potential additional hotel on a future phase of development that may contain up to 150 rooms.

"One of the benefits of this development will be roadway improvements that the local community has deserved for far too long,” said Chip Tuttle, Suffolk Downs’ chief operating officer, in a statement. Suffolk Downs will release detailed plans for proposed transportation and infrastructure improvements in a few days, Tuttle indicated.