Despite a lack of major construction activity, MGM said Wednesday it is making efforts to comply with commitments it made to Springfield as part of its host community agreement.
The casino company, which is building an $800 million resort downtown, said it delivered the first in a series of required compliance reports to Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno on April 1.
The more than 50-page report highlighted information sessions it has been holding for local vendors and suppliers as well as efforts to develop workforce training programs for prospective local employees, the company said. MGM did not, however, immediately provide a copy of the report.
MGM said 206 businesses have signed up for a database of interested vendors and suppliers for the construction project, which has been billed as the largest economic development effort the region has seen in generations. The company said it has also been a regular presence at regional career and job fairs for nearly three years.
MGM said it has even recruited and hired residents and college students in western Massachusetts for internship and management training opportunities at its Las Vegas properties.
The company has already paid Springfield more than $1 million, as well as purchased roughly $30 million in real estate to develop the site.
The city expects to see at least $17.6 million in annual gambling-related payments when the casino actually opens its doors, as well as roughly $700,000 a year in property taxes.
But MGM still has not started major work at the 14.5-acre site despite holding a ceremonial groundbreaking attended by hundreds in March, when they had expected to begin construction in earnest.
MGM is still waiting for approval from the state to demolish a historic school building at the future site of its parking garage — the first major phase of the project. Officials for MGM, the state historic commission and Sarno’s office did not immediately comment on the status of such an approval.
MGM is trying to become Massachusetts’ first resort casino. The company expects to open the casino by 2017, after about 30 months of building.
The proposed casino complex calls for 3,000 slot machines, 75 gambling tables, a 250-room hotel, shops, restaurants, meeting and office space, apartments, a bowling alley and a cinema. The project is expected to create 3,000 permanent jobs and 2,000 temporary construction jobs.