- 129-year-old church retained within casino complex
- Partnership with Springfield Museums also announced
MGM has announced two key partnerships which will ensure the local community is part of its new MGM Springfield site, including a pledge to keep the 129-year-old First Spiritualist Church open by leasing it to Kringle Candle, part of the Yankee Candle scented candle empire.
Part of the development was an astonishing engineering project which has seen the ageing building relocated.
Watch: Time lapse video of the church being relocated.
Details of MGM’s plans revealed ahead of 2018 opening
The much-discussed MGM Springfield project is finally taking shape, and the operator hopes to open by September 2018.
The ambitious project covers 14.5 acres of downtown Springfield, and has a working budget of $960 million.
On Thursday, project leaders met with the state’s Gaming Commission to present their vision for the site: a presentation that has 95% of necessary approvals already and is said to “meet or exceed requirements”.
Along with the casino and hotel complex originally planned for the site, MGM Springfield is a community-themed project which will include plenty of attractions for residents and visitors alike: including open green spaces and historic landmarks. Though final plans for the State Armory are yet to be revealed, MGM called it a “key building” and assured the city that the tornado-damaged structure will be restored with respect for its history.
Church to become Kringle Candle showroom and outlet
Part of the casino site includes the First Spiritualist Church, Springfield’s first French Protestant house of worship, and MGM pledged to keep the historic building intact during development of the site. The contract to operate in that church space has been awarded to Kringle Candle, reports Mass Live, and the Bernardston company will sell its high end gift products and candles within the church building.
A cafe and candy stand will also feature.
The partnership between Kringle Candle and MGM shows that the casino company is committed to sourcing local brands and giving them an opportunity within the casino market.
Retaining the church required finding the right partner to take on the space and look after it – and MGM may have found that with artisan candle brand Kringle. “We knew immediately we wanted them with us here in Springfield,” MGM’s marketing and retail head told reporters.
Museum link shows local heritage theme
It is not just the retail sector who will benefit from the new MGM casino next year: local culture and heritage is also getting a boost.
In addition to the promise to keep First Spiritual open, MGM has signed a partnership deal with Springfield Museums.
This collaboration will ensure that local artworks and artifacts are seen by more people, putting exhibition items in prominent places throughout the casino complex.
Museum board president Kay Simpson also suggested that MGM’s plans for a visitor trolley system will increase museum footfall by creating a faster, easier access route.
“We see this as an outstanding opportunity for us to share our holdings with the eight million visitors that are expected to come to Springfield every year to visit the resort,” Simpson told reporters this week.
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