The Mohegan Sun resort to face new competiton from MGM, Wynn

Updated September 1, 2018 - 4:34 pm

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Developers of the Mohegan Sun hotel-casino in southeastern Connecticut seem to have hit the sweet spot between paying homage to the past while looking toward future opportunity.

The property is intricately adorned with tributes to the Mohegan Indian Tribe — “the Wolf People” — while building on conventions and meetings and the popularity of sports.

And the public has taken notice. The 1,600 hotel rooms operate at about 96 percent occupancy — and that is down from previous years, according to President and General Manager Ray Pineault.

Competing with the larger Foxwoods hotel-casino operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe about 20 minutes away,

Mohegan Sun will face new competitive pressures with last month’s opening of MGM Springfield in Massachusetts and next June’s planned opening of Encore Boston Harbor.

But Pineault believes his resort will compete well because of all the amenities it has.

“We have 1,600 hotel rooms, we have shopping, we have dining, we have a spa, we obviously have a full casino floor,” Pineault said during a tour of the property.

“We have our Expo Center, which recently has been opened. We have brand names ranging from Bobby Flay to Chick-fil-A,” he said. “We have close to 5,000 slot machines, over 280 table games, a poker room, a nightclub. Virtually anything that you want to do for a weekend away and just relaxation.”

Pineault says he would put his staff up against anyone in the industry.

“Our team is the best team in the business and we focus on it every day,” Pineault said. “When they’re leaving here, we want them telling a story and it’s got to be a good story. We never pretend that we’re perfect, but it’s how we make up for our mistakes. A lot of times, our guests want to hear us apologize and our team is fantastic at delivering that A service.

Located on the banks of the Thames River on the forested 240-acre reservation, Mohegan Sun’s best suites, including the 4,200-square-foot Royal Suite, have beautiful views of southern Connecticut’s foothill landscape. Every hotel room is equipped with an iPad.

When guests are indoors — just about every amenity is connected with climate-controlled corridors — there are reminders about the tribal heritage and its connection with the land.

A centerpiece attraction off the main hotel lobby is “River Blue,” a 10,000-pound glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly, the artist who created the multicolored glass ceiling piece at the front desk of Bellagio in Las Vegas. The 2,500 blown-glass pieces were assembled at the base of Taughannick Falls, a 55-foot indoor waterfall representing a treacherous crossing of converging waters during the tribe’s migration.

A corridor connecting the lobby with property’s new 400-room Earth Tower and the Event Center has displays about Mohegan culture.

The 240,000-square-foot Event Center, which opened in June, has 15 conventions or meetings on its calendar and is expected to bolster Mohegan Sun as a convention facility. The center already has hosted a Barrett Jackson car event and TerrifiCon, a ComiCon spinoff.

Mohegan Sun has borrowed some attributes out of the Las Vegas playbook and was even a little ahead of Las Vegas on tie-ins with professional sports.

The 12,000-seat Mohegan Sun Arena at the resort is home to the WNBA Connecticut Sun basketball team and the National Lacrosse League New England Black Wolves. It’s also a venue for big entertainment performances.

NBA basketball legend Michael Jordan has a sports bar and two restaurants among the more than 40 retail outlets that include Victoria’s Secret, Coach and Tommy Bahama within the casino complex.

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

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Forum Meeting Center
Caesars broke ground Monday on its $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center (convention center) just east of the High Roller observation wheel. (Caesars Entertainment)
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like