Travelogue: MGM Springfield
Reviewer: Howard Steven Frydman
“Near the village the peaceful village- The lion sleeps tonight – Near the village the quiet village- The lion sleeps tonight”-
Yet soon, very soon watch as it wakes, prowls, and then hear that mighty MGM Lion Roar. The wait is almost over, August 24th is the grand opening of New England’s newest luxury resort and entertainment destination stop, the MGM Springfield. The lion has indeed found its new home – historic Springfield – the East Coast’s newest destination for food, fun and entertainment.
The new MGM Springfield, launching in nine weeks, with an investment cost of $960 Million, will be situated in downtown Springfield, MA, and feature approximately 2 million square feet of development including hotel, retail, casino and a parking garage. “A testament to a decade of collaboration between the City of Springfield and MGM Resorts, MGM Springfield will pay tribute to the city’s legacy and celebrate its bright future, while introducing a stellar array of hospitality and entertainment experiences that will attract guests from New England and beyond,” said Michael Mathis, President of MGM Springfield. Mr. Mathis continues, “We are incredibly proud to debut what we believe will become the region’s premier entertainment destination and play a role in an exciting renaissance for Springfield.”
Harvey Leon Frydman, Director of the Naugatuck Senior Center in Naugatuck, Connecticut states, “though we have several casinos right here in Connecticut, the talk heard from our Senior Center members is about the new MGM casino in Springfield, Mass. In fact, a day does not go by without a member asking when it will open and if we are planning a bus trip there. Of course we are, I plan several trips per year to our local casinos, but that will all change when the MGM opens its doors and I know our seniors want to be in Springfield on MGM’s opening day.” Mr. Frydman continues, “If it was open right now, I know that I could fill up three full buses to the new casino – the MGM Springfield is going to be mighty busy with folks from all over New England”.
“I was brought up across the way in Holyoke, Mass and I proudly state I’m one of those silver haired gals over 60 you’ve heard about who is eagerly awaiting for the new MGM Casino to open its doors” remarks Lillian Greene, “Springfield was always “the” place to be, from visiting the “Big E”- Eastern States Exposition, the gardens at Forest Park, the Basketball Hall of Fame, and how I loved the original A&W and that delicious Root Beer they used to serve. Of course I want to visit the casino, but I’m looking forward to having my own “Lil’s Getaway”, staying at the hotel, shopping and more shopping, trying out the restaurants and they better have “Lobstah” and finally seeing some MGM Stars- I hope they bring in Cher, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and that cutie patootie Keith Urban.”
At this time, music legend, Stevie Wonder – singer, songwriter, and record producer, is currently scheduled for a September 1st concert at the MGM Springfield – part of Wonder’s tour, The Stevie Wonder Song Party: A Celebration of Life, Love & Music. The 8,000-seat MassMutual Center is MGM Springfield’s official entertainment venue, and will be serving as the home for large-scale conventions, concerts and events.
The new MGM Springfield, a wholly owned subsidiary of MGM Resorts International, will offer an expansive 125,000-square-foot gaming floor that will feature approximately 2,550 slot machines, 120 gaming tables, a poker room and a high-limit VIP gaming area. The boutique-style five-story hotel will feature 250 guest rooms inspired by Springfield’s historic significance, iconic architecture and its literary legacy- including Dr. Seuss, poet Emily Dickinson and the Merriam- Webster Dictionary.
Regarding restaurants, “Miss Lil” has nothing to worry about, especially those that have a hankering for authentic New England seafood, as you will totally enjoy “Jack’s Lobster Shack”, offering lobster rolls and New England-style clam chowder. Jack’s is part of the roster of eateries at the “South End Market” which will additionally feature quick-casual dining spots including “Wicked Noodles”, a pan-Asian restaurant, the all- American eatery – “Bill’s Diner” highlighted with homemade pancakes and daily blue-plate specials, and the “Hearth Grill” offering rotisserie chicken, salads, and healthy food options. Upscale Dining at the MGM Springfield will provide an array of new-to-market food and beverage spots, including “Cal Mare” – Italian seafood -by James Beard Award-winning Chef Michael Mina; fine steaks and seafood at “The Chandler Steak House” with Hell’s Kitchen season 14 winner Meghan Gill serving as executive chef and MGM’s signature “TAP Sports Bar” serving burgers and craft beers.
For a wingding of family friendly entertainment, visitors to the new MGM Springfield resort will have a vast assortment of entertainment to indulge in including, an eight-screen movie theater complex, a 10-lane bowling center, an 8,000-square-foot pool situated within a terraced rooftop garden, and for golfers – the MGM Springfield’s Topgolf Swing Suite. A seasonal outdoor ice rink will additionally be situated at the “Open-Air Plaza” – the “plaza” inspired by the classic New England town common, will create a lively outdoor public space, with the iconic Revolutionary-War-era “Springfield Armory” at its center.
The resort’s retail lineup situated at the property’s street level, will currently include the first-ever apparel boutique from Indian Motorcycle – the Springfield-born pioneer of the American Motorcycle industry, regionally known Kringle Candle offering a full line of fragranced candles, including classic apothecary jars, tumblers, wax potpourri, and tea lights, and Hannoush Jewelers, one of the largest family-owned fine jewelry stores in America featuring sought-after designers such as Tacori, Breitling, Alex and Ani, Pandora and more.
The wait is indeed over- from throughout New England, the mighty MGM Lion’s roar has been heard and embraced. For a vast array of the finest in cuisine, exclusive retail shopping, upscale entertainment, hospitality and gaming, it now awaits all at the new MGM Springfield. Enjoy!
Howard Steven Frydman is General Manager and Executive Director of BATV – Channels 5, 95 & 96 and a member of the CCC. Please feel free to contact Mr. Frydman with your thoughts and ideas at Howards2424@gmail.com.