One day after Holyoke pulled out of the casino race, officials have confirmed that Hard Rock International has expressed interest in coming to West Springfield. This information comes with less than a month to go until the state gaming commission's deadline for casino applications.
"Well I've spoken to Hard Rock and they've shown an interest in West Springfield. I haven't seen any specific plans for the Big E," said West Springfield Mayor Greg Neffinger.
And, though Neffinger didn't confirm that they were looking at the Big E, town councilor Brian Griffin tells CBS 3 that he has spoken to officials with the organization who have confirmed their interest at the site.
"I have confirmed that they are one of the companies that have been having discussions with the Eastern States Exposition," said Griffin.
In a statement provided to CBS 3 by a Hard Rock spokesperson, "Hard Rock International remains highly interested in new casino development opportunities in Massachusetts and has evaluated a number of prospective locations. If Hard Rock proceeds with development, further detail will be provided at that time, and we would expect to meet all deadlines and requirements of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission."
And, the Mayor says that Hard Rock isn't the only casino operator to express interest in the town.
"A number of developers or representatives of casinos have spoken to me on the phone from around the country asking about West Springfield," said Neffinger.
Griffin says that since the information about a possible casino on the Big E site has gone public he has received many calls from residents with the most asked questions about how traffic would be handled.
"I was able to give a call to Chairman Donald Chase as well as CEO Cassidy, they assured me that they have already been involved with traffic and engineering studies so as to mitigate any impacts that would be received by any resort style establishment," said Griffin.
Griffin also says that officials have confirmed that the Big E would continue as is if a casino is developed on the site.
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