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by Matt Alderton | January 24, 2013
Hard Rock International has submitted to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission its vision for a proposed hotel and casino in West Springfield, MA, it announced this month.

Submitted on Jan. 11, the proposal follows similar applications by Ameristar Casinos Inc., MGM Resorts International and Penn National Gaming, all of who submitted their proposals last fall. Its version calls for a 38-acre, single-phased resort property on property belonging to Eastern States Exposition (ESE), a 178-acre exposition venue that's home to The Big E — the eighth largest fair in North America — as well as 120 consumer and trade shows every year.

"We're thrilled to be working with ESE, who brings years of experience in the entertainment business and the most desired location to our company and brand. With 38 acres to develop, the project allows us to build today and grow tomorrow,"Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen said in a statement. "We're proud to announce this project and concurrently submit our application. We are confident that together, with ESE, the Town of West Springfield and neighboring Western Massachusetts communities, the new resort will positively impact the state's economy and redefine the entertainment experience in Massachusetts."

If built, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino New England will include a hotel with 400 to 500 guest rooms, a Rock Spa and a tropical, indoor pool deck; an approximately 200,000-square-foot state-of-the-art casino with 100 to 125 table games and 2,500 to 3,000 slot machines; and a Hard Rock Cafe. The resort also would include a live music venue, a permanent music memorabilia exhibition, a facility with meeting space and a destination retail/dining galleria of approximately 150,000 square feet.

"Eastern States Exposition is proud to welcome Hard Rock as a neighbor and partner to the Western Massachusetts community and we're confident the brand will complement our core values, offering exceptional entertainment and a commitment to philanthropic efforts," added ESE CEO Eugene Cassidy. "For nearly 100 years, our special property along Memorial Avenue has offered entertainment to millions, business and employment opportunities to thousands, and a wonderful experience for all of New England. This new evolution of entertainment with Hard Rock will help drive new energy and multiply the economic impact of our organization on our regional community for the next generation and beyond."


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