Wynn touts $1.6B Everett casino in first public appearance in state since winning license

Casino mogul Steve Wynn, in his first public appearance in Massachusetts since winning the lucrative Boston-area gambling license, promised on Thursday that his $1.6 billion resort for the Everett waterfront will echo the "grand hotels" of the past, offering the largest hotel rooms outside of Las Vegas and other luxury amenities.

"It's the non-casino things that people get on airplanes and put up with body searches and stuff like that for," he said at a real estate industry seminar at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. "That's what gets them."

In his roughly 25-minute remarks, Wynn reflected mostly on his family's origins in Revere, a city just north of Boston near his proposed casino.

Wynn said his parents were both born there and that he often spent summers visiting relatives and going to Revere Beach.

He also acknowledged his company's ongoing dispute with Boston Mayor Martin Walsh's administration, which has filed suit to block the development across the Mystic River from Boston.

"The mayor is suing because it's not enough," he said, referring to the compensation payments state regulators have ordered the casino to give Boston. "Hopefully the mayor doesn't slow us down. It's a $100 million a month benefit to everybody the day we open."

The neighboring cities of Somerville and Revere have also sued to block Wynn's casino.

Wynn, who developed the Mirage, Bellagio and his namesake resort on the Las Vegas strip, declined to take questions from reporters afterward.

Wynn Resorts won the sole gambling license for the Boston region in September, one of up to three regional resort casino licenses authorized by state lawmakers.

The company, which hopes to open the resort by 2017, recently finalized the $35 million purchase of its 33-acre casino site.

The former chemical plant land requires about $30 million in environmental remediation. Wynn hopes to begin that cleanup in spring 2015.

MGM Resorts International is developing a $800 million resort casino in Springfield while Penn National Gaming is investing $225 million to expand the harness racing track in Plainville into a slot parlor.