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May 5, 2013

Millennium ups the ante with hotel, entertainment

Millennium adds hotel, entertainment venue to casino plan


He said the venue’s small size “shouldn’t be seen as a threat to anyone.”

There also would be restaurants at the complex, Wortman said, but plans aren’t complete and continue to evolve.

Wortman said he is not concerned by the development of casinos in Massachusetts.

“From our perspective, the project we build will be absolutely competitive,” he said.

The revised plans come as the New Hampshire House considers Senate Bill 152, which would allow the state to license a single casino by bid with local community approval.

Local support strong

At a two-hour forum in early February, Wortman heard from local residents and business owners.

Then, Salem residents, by a 4-1 margin, approved a nonbinding referendum supporting a casino at Town Meeting in March.

“Eighty-one percent is a big statement,” Killion said of the vote in March. “The entire town level of executive government is behind it and the chief of police. Factor all those things in, and we think Salem is the best location. We have a community that understands what it takes to have a facility like this.”

The Senate passed the bill, which has Gov. Maggie Hassan’s support, 16-8.

The bill calls for an $80 million licensing fee and would require at least a $425 million investment by the developer.

The casino could have up to 150 table games and 5,000 slot machines.

Proponents have said a New Hampshire casino could bring in $100 million in revenue each year for the state to pay for highways, colleges and economic development.

Wortman said when the casino opens would depend on actions of the Legislature. But, he said, under the parameters of the Senate-passed bill, Millennium could have it up and operating by 2015.

The company is ready to pursue licensing if the state authorizes the casino, he said.

“We’re going to be ready,” he said.

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