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Western Mass. business group in Mohegan Sun's corner

By Brian Hallenbeck

Publication: theday.com

Published January 24. 2013 10:00AM   Updated January 24. 2013 10:55AM

A western Massachusetts business group has endorsed Mohegan Sun’s plan to develop a destination resort casino in Palmer, one of four projects competing for the one casino license to be awarded in the region.

Mohegan Sun announced the Quaboag Hills Chamber of Commerce’s backing in a news release this morning.

"We are thrilled to announce our endorsement of the Mohegan Sun project in Palmer,” Leonard Weake, the chamber’s president, said in the release. “Palmer’s access to a major highway and proximity to four other states make it a perfect location for a destination resort casino. This development project will contribute to increased economic activity around the Mohegan Sun site in Palmer and throughout the Quaboag Hills region."

The chamber represents businesses in Belchertown, Brimfield, Brookfield, East Brookfield, Hardwick, Holland, Monson, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Palmer, Spencer, Wales, Ware, Warren and West Brookfield.

Mohegan Sun said it hopes to work with the chamber to promote the casino operator’s loyalty program, which encourages patrons to visit locally owned businesses.

Also seeking the western Massachusetts resort casino license are MGM Resorts International of Las Vegas and Penn National Gaming of Wyomissing, Pa., which have proposed projects for Springfield, and Orlando, Fla.-based Hard Rock International, which would develop a site in West Springfield.

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