Robert DeSalvio, president of Encore Boston Harbor, was the guest speaker at the Jordan Boys and Girls Breakfast
Series at the clubhouse on Willow Street.
DeSalvio presented an update on the $2.6 billion 5-star-hotel and casino that will open in Everett in June, 2019. The project is the single largest, private single-phase development in Massachusetts history.
“It’s amazing how big this is,” said JBGC Breakfast Chair Mark Robinson.
DeSalvio said construction began in August, 2016. “From the very beginning, we said we were going to do this project in 34 months, start to finish. That’s 3.1 million square feet of construction in that building, and then, of course, the landscaping and the work outside of the building.”
“On an average day out there [at the site], there are about 1,500 workers,” said DeSalvio. “We are currently averaging about seven percent of the workforce is female on the job site.”
He noted that the gaming area at Encore will be situated differently than at a typical Las Vegas casino. “When you walk in to a lot of those places, you’re literally smack in the middle of the casino. What we did is put the casino more towards the back of the building, enabling guests to come in, go to the front desk, circulate within the room tower, go to the ballroom space, go to most of the restaurants – all without actually stepping foot in the gaming area,” said DeSalvio.
The rooms in the hotel will be 650 square feet, double the size of a typical hotel room. There will be 671 rooms, of that number 104 will be suites.
DeSalvio called the ballroom event space “amazing.”
“We built one large ballroom that is 37,000 square feet – the second largest ballroom in Greater Boston – the only bigger one is at the BCEC,” said DeSalvio. “There will be 13 restaurants in the building, there’s everything from steakhouse to fine dining Italian to casual Italian, to Chinese, to Asian fusion, to sports bar – we designed a really interesting and fun craft beer outlet to take advantage of so many of the great local breweries.”
DeSalvio added that Encore is working with two Boston restaurateurs, Frank DiPasquale and Nick Varano, and the Midnight Entertainment Group, “which is Ed Kane and Randy Greenstein, and they are wonderful operators who will do the Asian fusion and the nightlife facility in the building.”
DeSalvio said there are currently 200 employees on the Encore team “and we have to get to about 5,000, so we have a little bit of hiring to do after the first of the year.”
He said they are looking for people to work in IT, finance, public relations, marketing, and engineering. “It’s all kinds of jobs, almost any job you can think of is in that building,” he said.
During the question-and-answer session, DeSalvio was asked about the security measures at the building.
“We are thinking long and hard about every aspect of the safety of that building,” said DeSalvio. “We have 3,500 cameras in and around that facility, both inside and outside the building. We have the most sophisticated surveillance technology and we cover literally everything except bedrooms and bathrooms in that building, up to and including all the guest room hallways. I want people to know that when you step foot on that property, do me one favor: have a good time but behave. And that’s what we want people to do. We want them to come in and have a good time, but if there are bad actors, we are going to be all over that.”
DeSalvio, a highly regarded leader in the hospitality and gaming industry, stayed after his remarks to further interact with the local business professionals and officials in attendance.