The long-awaited decision from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has come and Everett is the big winner. What seemed like an incredible long shot when Mayor Carlo DeMaria announced that Steve Wynn was looking at a site in Everett back in December 2012 for a hotel-casino now is just a small step from reality.
Locally, we are disappointed that the Suffolk Downs site was not chosen by the MGC.
The fallout from the loss of a casino at Suffolk Downs is already being felt as Chip Tuttle, COO of Suffolk Downs, has announced that the track will be closing and the local jobs will be lost forever.
On the municipal side, the budget will be a lot leaner without the windfall from Mohegan Sun’s mitigation package, not only for Revere, but also for Boston, Chelsea and Winthrop, as these communities did not have a mitigation package with Wynn Resorts.
Lastly, the closing of Suffolk Downs means that 140 acres in Boston and 50 acres in Revere will become vacant and the remaining acreage at the former Wonderland Dog Track is also in question.
Granted, we have lost a huge, potential development, but Revere is still a city on the move. Look at the Beach area — look at the Northgate area — developments and new buildings are springing up all over our city.
We know that Mayor Dan Rizzo and his Community Development team headed by John Festa will not be complacent, but will be proactive in getting more development into Revere.
Suffolk Downs will close, but this is not the end of the story for Revere. We are a community with an excellent public school system that is the envy of many of the surrounding communities.
We have problems, but we also have the experience and the grit to solve them. Our fundamentals are still in place and we are ready to move on. We are a city of immigrants who came here and made this our home. We have made it better for ourselves and our children, as well as for countless other families.
Let us not forget the proverb that every failure creates a new opportunity. The best days of Revere are still ahead of us.