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Encore Boston Harbor rolls out plans ahead of $2.6B resort’s opening

Updated June 6, 2019 - 12:02 pm

Encore Boston Harbor is on track for its June 23 opening and company officials on Thursday gave details about marketing and transportation plans to bring thousands of people to the $2.6 billion resort in Everett, Massachusetts.

An hour-long presentation outlined how the property will position itself as a global attraction that also will attract people to Boston’s historic places, cultural resources and sports teams.

“The plan is phenomenal,” Massachusetts Gaming Commissioner Bruce Stebbins said.

The 671-room resort, which sports a similar design, shape and color of the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Las Vegas hotel towers, has had its share of controversy since before ground was broken on the project in the summer of 2016.

Several lawsuits delayed work, but the biggest issue occurred when the commission investigated the company after accusations of sexual harassment by former Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn surfaced in January 2018. Steve Wynn has denied all harassment accusations.

The allegations led to the company changing the name of the property from Wynn Boston Harbor to Encore Boston Harbor.

The investigation included a probe into what current CEO Matt Maddox and other high-level executives knew about the harassment claims and whether the company remained suitable for licensure.

In April, the commission allowed Wynn to keep its license, but fined the company $35 million and Maddox $500,000 and ordered the company to pay for an independent monitor for Maddox selected by commissioners.

In late May, the company agreed to those terms, but added it believed it would win an appeal, but didn’t want to further delay the opening.

Encore Boston Harbor President Robert DeSalvio told commissioners Thursday that the company would market the resort through its worldwide database of 10 million people.

Joan Esneault, executive director of hotel sales and catering for Encore since January 2017, said marketing presentations about the property are being made around the world and the company also is welcoming travel professionals and journalists for familiarization tours of the property and Boston.

“Our grand opening campaign shares the best of Massachusetts with our global guests, creating a memorable experience for them as we become part of the local culture and community,” Esneault said in the presentation.

A broad multimillion-dollar advertising campaign with print, broadcast, social media, and outdoor displays is scheduled to begin Monday.

Encore has joined or partnered with dozens of chambers of commerce, tourism boards and associations to spread the word about the resort regionally.

The company has built relationships with the Boston Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox, and New England Patriots to secure box seats for VIPs and to market the resort to sports fans.

Esneault indicated that a small convention of meeting planners that has met at Wynn Las Vegas for several years will gather instead at Encore Boston Harbor in September.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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