A consultant for Mohegan Sun recently released a socioeconomic analysis for their proposed casino in Palmer, which would be located across the street from the Mass Pike’s Exit 8, which states that it would not have a significant impact on the regional housing market and property. These findings differ from a recent study that found that property values around the casinos in Springfield and West Springfield would decrease.
“The proposed casino resort is expected to have little to no impact on regional real estate values,” stated the report by Community Opportunities Group, Inc.
Due to the location along the Mass Pike, the study found that those who will be employed by Mohegan Sun will be able to travel no more than 30 minutes to get there.
“The presence of the Massachusetts Turnpike will allow employees as far west as Chicopee and Springfield, and as far east as Worcester and Auburn to make the commute in under 30 minutes,” the report stated. “The 30-minute commuting distance from the north includes Belchertown and Ware, while the commuting range from the south includes several Connecticut communities.”
Because of the short commuting times, the analysis explained that a Palmer casino will not have a significant impact on population or household growth. However, the skills required for the higher level employees may result in some moving to the area, but the number of unemployed currently in the area reduces the need for more housing.
“The development plan indicates the possibility of 4,079 direct, indirect and induced jobs as a result of the project,” the study stated. “To put this number into context, there are more than 12,600 persons unemployed in the casino study area, including almost 500 in the Town of Palmer.”
A reduced unemployment rate for the region―from 8.3% to 5.6%―would result if Mohegan Sun only hired people already living in the area, the analysis found.
The study area of the report included Palmer, Brimfield, Chicopee, Ludlow, Monson, Springfield, Wilbraham, Belchertown, Ware, Southbridge, Sturbridge, and Warren.
According to a news article published on Masslive.com, the town of Palmer’s consultant, RKG Associates, agreed with the report’s findings.
Mohegan Sun’s impact analysis differed from the findings of a research paper released by the REALTOR® Association of Pioneer Valley, which claimed that property values would decrease with a casino. However, that study focused on casino proposals for Springfield and West Springfield. The RAPV study, which was put together by the National Association of REALTORS®, also found that casinos in rural areas are better for the local economy than they are in urban areas.
The Mohegan Sun’s $1 billion proposal will include a casino, hotel, retail shops, and a water park and is competing against MGM Resorts International and Hard Rock International for proposals in Springfield and West Springfield, respectively, for one casino license in western Massachusetts.
If you are planning on buying or selling a home in the Pioneer Valley, make your first call to Michael Seward at 413-531-7129.