Wynn duplicates Everett, Philadelphia casino plans

A rendering of the Mystic River gambling resort to be called Wynn Harbor Park.
Wynn Resorts
A rendering of the Mystic River gambling resort to be called Wynn Harbor Park.

In Philadelphia, Las Vegas developer Steve Wynn is proposing to build a waterfront ­gambling resort with a distinctive hotel tower of bronze glass.

Any similarities between that project and Wynn’s proposal for the Mystic River waterfront in Everett are purely intentional, the billionaire casino builder said in a globe interview Friday; he just really likes that design.

“It is the same hotel tower; I make no bones about it,” said Wynn, who modeled the Philadelphia and Everett proposals after a hotel he built in Macau, China. “I love that look. It’s a signature tower. And I don’t apologize for it.”


Wynn also disclosed Friday that he has completed negotiations with Mayor Carlo DeMaria of Everett on a deal spelling out the payments the developer would make to the city to offset the possible negative effects of the resort development, such as traffic. Wynn is apparently the first casino developer in Massachusetts to complete a host-community agreement, a key milestone required by state law before any company can win casino development rights.

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“It’s a lot of money and it’s done,” Wynn said of the deal. He did not disclose the terms.

Wynn intends to explain the terms of the agreement to ­Everett residents in a letter ­expected to go out next week.

Wynn Resorts
This is a website image of the proposed Wynn Philadelphia.

City residents will vote as soon as mid-June on whether to allow the project. No casino project can win a license unless it first wins the endorsement of residents of the host community in a referendum.

The similarities between the Philadelphia and Everett projects have brought some carping from Wynn opponents, who say the twin towers belie Wynn’s boast that each of his projects are custom-designed for their sites. The casino builder, who has designed some of the best known hotels along the Las ­Vegas Strip — such as Bellagio, The Mirage, and the Wynn and Encore resorts — has said he tailored the Everett proposal specifically to the odd-shaped property, extending a long promenade for shops and restaurants down a narrow peninsula that juts into the river.


Wynn has repeatedly used a similar bronze “glass curtain wall,” such as in the Wynn and Encore in Las Vegas. He said he has become convinced that a curtain wall design gives hotel guests “the best experience” by maximizing views and natural light, even though the style limits a designer’s ability to add decorative features to the building.

“I have always looked for a glass curtain wall that suited our purpose,” he said. “One of the things that happens with glass is that the wavelength of the light affects the color palette on the inside of the room.” Adding common gray and blue tints to the glass tends to flatten the warm colors in the interior, he said.

“Whereas when I pick bronze, a glass color that I favor a lot, it heightens the richness of the warmer tones that I use in our interiors. And it makes people’s skin look prettier; people look more attractive in rooms that have warmer light. So that affects my decision on the glass curtain wall.”

Wynn is competing for the sole Greater Boston casino ­resort license with Suffolk Downs, in East Boston, and Foxwoods, which has joined a casino venture in Milford.

Wynn is nearly finished building a scale model of the full Mystic River development, which he will present in Everett in coming weeks, he said.


A spokesman for DeMaria could not be reached Friday evening.

Mark Arsenault can be reached at marsenault@globe.com. ­Follow him on Twitter ­@bostonglobemark.