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MGM Springfield is finally here!

Nick Rivera, Staff Writer

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The long-awaited MGM is finally open in downtown Springfield, and after unveiling this near-billion-dollar casino to the city, there have been nothing but good things to say about it. Although it is small in comparison to other casinos like it, that hasn’t stopped owners from creating a space where you can really feel like you are on vacation.

While Springfield may not seem like the prime location for a casino, MGM came in and shattered that stigma. They took on a huge project in the downtown area and some were skeptical about its opening, fearing it may not be all it was cracked up to be. Once they opened their doors and celebrated with parades and festivities, the entire atmosphere changed.

Residents were in the streets cheering, newspapers everywhere covering the story, and at just 5:05 p.m. opening night, MGM announced their first jackpot winner of over $60,000 on Twitter. By nightfall there was almost a three-hour wait to get in the door, as they were at capacity for much of the night.

This didn’t stop AIC’s own Annie Norton from getting in a bit early to see the casino in all its glory before it was open the public.

“I was so impressed considering our location,” said Norton, a senior majoring in Communication.  “It was so refreshing to see something so grand and high quality. It offers something new to do for everyone of all ages in Springfield and overall, I thought it was a fun and vibrant energy and extremely well thought out and designed. I love it!”

Aside from the gambling floor, there are lots of other places to visit, such as the great plaza that has all the surrounding restaurants and venues, complete with firepits where you and your friends can hang out between sessions. There are also billiards, comedy shows, steakhouses, and a variety of bars scattered all over the grounds.

It’s safe to say MGM has been such a success so far, and this is all in part to its employees who help make the experience go as smooth as possible. When a building like this opens, it creates a lot of jobs for the people in the city.

Justin Leaphart, a graduate student at AIC, believes that the opportunity created by the casino can and will be a great resource for the city.

“I believe the MGM is good for Springfield,” said Leaphart. “It causes more business but, on the flip side, can cause more issues. Crime exists at higher rates when there is more unemployment. So I believe it will help the local economy and small business with the tourists coming to visit the casino and the Basketball Hall of Fame.”

Job opportunity is everywhere, and with MGM reaching out into Springfield, they’ve helped to extend that opportunity to a community where some never thought possible. Not only is this a great location for the city, it is also the perfect spot for college students to get off campus and have some fun.

With schools like AIC, Springfield College, Western New England, and Springfield Technical Community Colleges just minutes up the road, this is a great location for students who want a taste of Vegas but can’t afford to spend Vegas money. Students can head down the road with $20 dollars and have a good night gambling and having a couple of drinks.

“The atmosphere of the casino was what added to the excitement of actually going,” says Lexi Bonavita, a senior at AIC.

“They did a really nice job with the set up where everything was centered around the main gambling floor. Overall it was a really fun time and something different that I hadn’t done before,” she said.

MGM is showing Springfield that anything is possible, and with the new jobs it has created as well as the positivity it has brought with it, I’m excited to see what the future holds for the city’s growth and wellbeing.

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MGM Springfield is finally here!