Wynn Everett—a big piece of Vegas in Boston—could provide a branding boost

Wynn Boston Harbor President Robert DeSalvio, left, and Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria, right, sound horns to signal an official start of construction as workers look on, left, at the site of the Wynn Boston Harbor resort casino complex, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016, in Everett, Mass. Wynn Resorts is starting construction on its $2 billion Boston-area casino after years of legal fights.
Photo: Steven Senne / AP

Last week Wynn Resorts broke ground on its long-awaited East Coast casino resort, the 33-acre Wynn Boston Harbor in Everett, Massachusetts. Situated along the Mystic River, the $2.1 billion undertaking is Steve Wynn’s first domestic resort outside Las Vegas.

Designed in the same golden aesthetic of Wynn Las Vegas and Wynn Macau, Wynn Boston Harbor plans to “open the Everett shoreline to the public for the first time in more than a century” by restoring a site that was “home to several chemical plants for decades,” according to the project’s website.

The resort, slated for 2019, could also have a significant impact on the tourist economy here in Las Vegas, says David G. Schwartz, director at UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research. “I think [once] you get that kind of experience, people will want to come to Vegas where there’s a bigger concentration of it.”

Jeremy Handel, Senior Director of Communications for the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, agrees. “Gaming has been expanding throughout the nation and the world for a few decades now, [and] at the center of that has been Las Vegas. The spread ... introduced gaming to other audiences that then inspired [people] to visit Las Vegas.”

Handel cites Vegas’ entertainment and dining scenes, along with the growing convention industry, as premiere attractions for tourists across the world. The addition of the iconic Wynn brand on the East Coast could also act “as a catalyst to bring people back to Las Vegas,” he says.

Beyond table games and slot machines, Wynn Everett will feature the brand’s flagship Asian restaurant, Andrea’s, and the Eastern-influenced Red 8, Italian restaurant Sinatra and SW Steakhouse. It will also be home to shopping, a spa, a sports bar, a meeting and wedding space and hotel rooms that average 700 square feet.

“With the expansion of some brands that are already here, such as Wynn, [it] takes a little part of Las Vegas, and introduces some of the elements that they can find here,” Handel says.

Along the same lines, MGM Resorts is set to open MGM National Harbor just outside Washington, D.C., in Maryland later this year. Among other amenities, that property will house new restaurants from celebrity chefs José Andrés and Marcus Samuelsson.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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