Business owners hoping for big things with East Windsor casino

Hartford

North-central Connecticut is hoping for an economic boom from the potential construction and opening of a new casino in East Windsor.

The federal government cleared the way in March for the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegan tribes to build the state’s first commercial casino off tribal land.

Business owners in the area are expecting big things.

“I always pray to the god to make sure something good happens near our exit or nearby my hotel,” said Naresh Patel, a partner in the Comfort Inn across the street from where the Tribal Winds Casino is planned to be built. “Thousands of people will be coming from out of the state.”

Patel said he bought the hotel in 2007 with his brother and another business partner. He said it’s been difficult since the recession hit shortly after they took over control of the hotel, but things are looking up.

Related Content: Mohegan and Mashantucket tribes transfer $1 Million to state for Tribal Winds Casino project

“It’s really great,” said Patel. “Great things are coming to our town.”

Hope is also brewing on the other side of Route 5 at the Baker & the Brew coffee shop. Owner Patricia Alfarone opened for business in July 2018. She said she expects a boost in sales even before the casino opens.

“I do breakfast and lunch, so that’s going to be a big deal for me for the next two years of construction,” Alfarone told News 8’s George Colli. “I’m happy new things are moving along.”

It’s not only the businesses just off Exit 45 that are expecting an economic revitalization from the casino moving into town. First Selectman Robert Maynard said the town stands to take in roughly $8.5 million per year from property taxes and an agreement made with the tribes. He says the money will go to police, fire and education services.

“Our current budget that we put forward to referendum this year is $41 million,” said Maynard. “So $8 million is significant when compared with the size of our budget.”

Related Content: Connecticut tribes receive federal go-head for casino

Maynard said there will be about 2,000 new casino jobs, 2,000 construction jobs and 1,000 ancillary jobs for companies servicing the casino.

Area towns are also going to cash in. Maynard said $750,000 per year will go to six surrounding towns, including Windsor Locks, Enfield, South Windsor, Ellington, Hartford and East Hartford. He said distressed communities from cities like Norwalk, Bridgeport and New Haven also will receive funds.

“Nothing’s happened here in a long period of time and now it’s going to happen,” said Maynard. “So we’re pretty excited about it.”

Maynard added that construction on the casino could start as early as September. He expects it to take 18-24 months to complete.

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