Business owners react to potential MGM Springfield sale – Western Massachusetts News

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) – The report of a potential sale of MGM Springfield has many people talking, and one local restaurant owner told Western Mass News that it’s a touchy subject for himself and fellow downtown business owners.

People started talking around the western Mass community on Wednesday afternoon after a report that MGM Resorts International may have plans to sell their casino in Springfield after just over 5 years in the heart of downtown.

Western Mass News spoke with Nadim Kashouh, owner of Nadim’s Downtown Mediterranean Grill located near MGM-Springfield. He told us what he thought when he first heard about a possible sale.

Kashouh recalled how he felt upon learning the news, saying he was, “A little taken back you know, it’s a big item to put up for sale so to be honest with you, I don’t know how quickly the turnaround is going to be to be able to sell a property or operation of such, but if that goes through a hole, it’s going to be replaced by another operator.”

Kashouh told us in that short amount of time the casino has had both a dramatic and positive impact on businesses surrounding MGM Springfield, explaining, “There’s definitely more foot traffic that’s for sure. From day one. When they utilize the city and MassMutual center or they utilize Symphony Hall and brings in, a lot of people for entertainment, not only for gambling.”

And entertainment is a huge money driver here in western Mass.

The most recent study by the Greater Springfield Conventions and Visitors Bureau shared with Western Mass News shows that in 2022, visitors to western Mass contributed $1.3 billion to the economy through both direct and indirect business impacts.

The number one thing that tourists spent their money on was attractions and entertainment, raking in a whopping $282 million which is over 30% of the total visitor spending from 2022′s $872 million.

In 2022, overnight spending in western Mass reached 113% of what it was in 2019, a year after MGM opened up in Downtown Springfield.

Kashouh told us that if MGM does sell, then whoever takes over has some big shoes to fill. He added that if another big player doesn’t take the wheel, it could be devastating for businesses surrounding the casino.

To be honest with you, I don’t think that there’s anything that they can do above beyond what MGM is doing,” he said. “I can’t think of anybody as strong or as powerful as MGM that can come and take over the property and do what they do right now, so, it’s gonna be a little bit of a challenge. I hope it’s just a rumor and it’s not for sale.”

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