MGM, Six Flags sign multi-year partnership deal
By Carley Dangonacarley@thereminder.com
SPRINGFIELD – MGM Springfield and Six Flags New England (SFNE) have joined forces to work together for the success of both venues.
On Nov. 4, MGM announced that it had signed a multi-year agreement to become the “official casino-resort partner of SFNE.” At this time, explicit details regarding the length of the agreement and the ways the two businesses would collaborate were not available.
MGM seeks the sole gaming license for a development in Western Massachusetts and anticipates that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will announce its selection in April 2014.
If chosen, MGM would build a 14.5-acre, $800 million resort between Union and State streets, and Columbus Avenue and Main Street.
MGM’s opponent in the race was Mohegan Sun and its proposed $775 million resort casino for Palmer, but voters rejected that project in the Nov. 5 election.
“This is a co-branding opportunity with SFNE,” Kelli Tucky, vice president of Communication and Public Affairs for the Eastern Division of MGM, said. “We aren’t going to be cannibalizing Six Flags and other businesses – MGM is a partner. The agreement demonstrates how we’re committed to building the local economy.”
She stated that the partnership distinguished MGM from Mohegan Sun that announced its proposed resort for Palmer would include a waterpark, a feature already established at SFNE.
Tucky said that MGM feels that creating such competition is in direct contrast to the guidelines the gaming commission set forth to ensure local businesses are supported.
Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts president, Chief Marketing Officer and MGM Springfield President, said, “Today’s deal is a point of extreme pride as we have worked hard to connect with existing regional amenities that have deep roots in Western Massachusetts and not cannibalize these anchor attractions. This agreement proves it can be done.”
John Winkler, SFNE president, said, “MGM Resorts is a valued client of SFNE in Western Massachusetts. We are proud of our ongoing relationship with MGM Springfield and have enjoyed working with them on a variety of business initiatives.”
Winkler added, “We welcome MGM Resorts into Springfield and look forward to building our marketing relationship as they seek expansion into the Western Massachusetts area.”
Tucky said that benefits of the SFNE partnership would offer package deals and discounts through the “M life” program, MGM’s proprietary loyalty program that offers specially priced tickets, discount packages and other exclusive offers to members.
She explained that MGM would also coordinate with CityStage and Symphony Hall to bring events to the area as well as promote local attraction such as the Basketball Hall of Fame and the Springfield Museums.