Holyoke Receives Second «Casino Effect» $200,000 Grant From Massachusetts Gaming Mitigation Fund

Holyoke Receives Second «Casino Effect» $200,000 Grant From Massachusetts Gaming Mitigation Fund

Holyoke has received another $200,000 grant from the Massachusetts Gaming Mitigation Fund. This money will be used for raising the city’s economic and tourism profile. Establishing a shuttle service between the MGM Springfield casino and the city is also one of the goals.

Director of the city’s Office of Planning and Economic Development Aaron Vega noted that the new grant derived from casino impact fees would help advance the city’s comprehensive tourism plan. A previous payment (also $200,000) was made in 2019 and used by Holyoke for similar purposes.

According to Vega, the new funding will be directed towards five major areas. It is planned to go on working with the Explore Holyoke website to expand its reach and support its updates. Also, Holyoke is aimed at the implementation of its historic tourism plan with the city’s Historical Commission and Holyoke Public Library being the potential partners. According to Vega, innovative solutions are necessary to enhance the historic tourism offerings of the city. One of the solutions mentioned is cooperation with technology companies that provide augmented reality experiences. Another project to receive financial support is Beyond Walls, which is aimed at creating dozens of new murals across the city.

Vega said that they’re going to capitalize on the fact that more people are coming to Western Massachusetts due to the casino. He also highlighted the importance of cultural diversity for bolstering Holyoke’s image, «especially when it comes to the restaurants».

Vega also noted that companies wanted to see a vibrant community and businesses were looking for places to locate with other activities. He thinks that the initiatives would bring fresh ideas and resources to Holyoke.

In other news, Warhorse Lincoln becomes the first Nebraska casino offering sports betting.

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