Mohegan Sun Plans $50M Retail Expansion
Mohegan Sun, facing the prospect of a planned retail mall at neighboring?Foxwoods Resort Casino?and new gaming options elsewhere in the Northeast, announced plans Tuesday for a $50 million retail complex with a 14-screen movie theater, a bowling alley, a barn-style artisan-food pavilion and high-end shops.
In all, the “Downtown District” development is expected to add 50 retailers and 200,000 square feet to the Mohegan Sun casino, entertainment and retail complex. Construction is to begin later this year and be completed in 2015.
The Mohegans said they are finishing an expansion that was interrupted in 2008 by the economic downturn.
“This is not like, ‘Oh my God, Foxwoods is doing something, let’s hurry up,'” said Mitchell Etess, CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority. “We need to eventually get back to finishing what we started.”
Foxwoods, in Mashantucket, announced in February 2012 that it is in a partnership with developers who plan to spend $120 million to build an 85-store outlet mall that will sprawl over 312,000 square feet. Construction has yet to start, although the primary developer,?Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, said recently that work will begin later this year.
Owners of Mohegan Sun knew before the recession that gambling resorts were sprouting up in Massachusetts, the Catskills of New York and elsewhere, Etess said.
In Massachusetts, voters agreed to allow three gaming facilities ? one in the western part of the state, one in the Boston area and a third in the southeast corner.
“It’s been our strategy all along to enhance the destination experience and have more of an attraction factor, to give people a reason to drive a little further,” Etess said.
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