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A Water Park Could Go Where Mohegan Sun Wanted A Western Mass. Casino

Boston Hotel
Main Street in Palmer, Mass.

Water slides and youth soccer fields could rise on Western Massachusetts property originally envisioned as a casino. 

A $650M water park and youth sports complex has been proposed on land in Palmer that was previously where the owners of Mohegan Sun had considered building a casino. Palmer residents voted down the casino plan in 2013, and Mohegan leaders moved their idea east in an attempt to secure a license to operate a casino in Greater Boston at Suffolk Downs. The license later went to Wynn Resorts for its $2.5B casino under construction in Everett, and Suffolk Downs is now Boston’s preferred site for Amazon HQ2

Palmer could still get a resort hotel and spa, but it would be accompanied by two water parks and different sports venues spread out across 250 acres, the Boston Globe reports.

The Western Massachusetts casino license eventually went to MGM Resorts, which opened the nearly $1B MGM Springfield in August. Palmer Sports Group’s Michael D’Amato thinks his organization’s proposed water park and sports complex could work with MGM Springfield to make the entire region more appealing to tourists. 

“With the recent opening of the MGM Springfield casino, this represents a synergistic project that will draw even more visitors to the Valley, making Palmer the true gateway to all of Western Massachusetts,” he said to the Globe. 

The Palmer Sports Group plans to have the capacity to host sports like hockey, baseball, soccer, basketball and volleyball. Townhouses are also being considered, and the project could get state funds for infrastructure improvements. Similar to the Mohegan plan in 2013, the water and sports complex would still need to get approval from the Palmer Planning Board.