Unanimous Decision : Encore Delivers a Knockout With First Boxing Show

It didn’t take long for Encore Boston Harbor to establish itself as a major player in the New England boxing scene.

A sell-out crowd of 2,300 fans enjoyed an action-packed show Friday night at the recently opened $2.6 billion resort casino located in Everett. The show, promoted by Murphy’s Boxing, drew what is believed to the largest crowd in years for a Boston-area boxing event.

Fans were awed by the ornate, spacious ballroom that was transformed in to a major-league, Las Vegas-style boxing venue. Fans had an unimpeded view of the ring from their seats.

The public address announcing system, lighting, special effects, and four huge, high-definition televisions made it a spectacular sight and sound experience.

The extra touches, like the free photo booth in which fans could pose in different boxing gear and instantly receive a free photo, was welcomed by all who participated in the experience.

Each fighter walked to the ring to the accompaniment of his own personal entry music. Former world champions Tony DeMarco of the North End and Mickey Ward of Lowell were honored with special awards during the show.

Press Conference, Weigh-In Kick off the Show

The press conference and weigh-in for the fighters was held one day before the show and that, too, was a special experience as everyone knew that they were part of something historic – the first ticketed event at Encore Boston Harbor.

Robert DeSalvio, president of Encore Boston Harbor, personally welcomed the boxing community and Murphy’s Boxing to the five-star resort.

“Good afternoon, everyone, welcome to Encore Boston Harbor,” began DeSalvio. “On behalf of the over 5,000 team members that have joined us here, as you know, we are a new facility and one of our main goals is that we could present a very diverse lineup of entertainment options and a sporting events for our guests that visit the property.

“I can’t tell you how pleased we are to have Ken Casey and Murphy’s Boxing here for our first championship boxing event,” continued DeSalvio. “We feel this is a great way to kick off this new venue.”

DeSalvio’s appearance and welcoming remarks were much appreciated by the boxers.

“This is awesome,” said main event fighter Greg Vendetti of Stoneham. “I’m honored to be part of the first show [at Encore]. Everyone has been really nice.”

Vendetti would go on to win a unanimous decision over Michael Anderson and capture the IBA Junior Middleweight World Championship. Interestingly, Vendetti was a linebacker for the Northeast Regional Vocational High School (Wakefield) football team.

Ken Casey, frontman for the Dropkick Murphys and promoter, also spoke at the press conference.

“This [Encore] is amazing and we’re honored to the first ticketed event, that is exciting stuff, that’s history right there,” said Casey. “We have big plans to bring amazing fights to this casino and hopefully some more world title fights.”

Casey also thanked Encore for its hospitality.

“I can’t say enough about how great Bob [DeSalvio] and his staff have treated us – it’s a first-class venue all around. The set-up [in the boxing venue] is pretty awesome.”

Everett Fans Join Large Crowd at the Show

Boxing fans from Everett joined fans across New England at the show.

City Councillor Michael Marchese, a three-sport athlete at Everett High School who played football for Moody Sarno, said it was exciting to see Everett residents past and present, at the show.

“This is a fantastic venue and there’s life back in Everett,” said Marchese. “It’s good to see people from Everett here and plenty of faces coming back to Everett. The boxing has been outstanding and I look forward to being back here in August for the next event.”

Former cruiserweight champion Richie “The Mountain” LaMontagne of Everett drew a warm reception when he was introduced in the ring.

“I’m so proud of Everett – I love this venue for boxing,” said LaMontagne. “It’s beautiful here. Encore has done a great job. This is great for our city and New England boxing.”

Also seen in the crowd was former Everett High tennis star Eric Glassoff, who is now a successful real estate agent.

“I can’t believe we’re in Everett, it feels like we’re in Las Vegas,” said Glassoff.

Winthrop School Committee member Tino Capobianco was also on hand for Encore’s first-ever show.

“The show has been great,” said Capobianco. “There was no traffic getting here. I took the ferry from downtown. Everyone here is having a great time. New England has a great history with boxing with Rocky Marciano, Mickey Ward, Marvin Hagler, and Johnny Ruiz and it’s great to see Encore carrying on that tradition.”

Murphy’s Boxing will hold its next boxing show at Encore on Aug. 23.

Read More

Front Door to Luxury: Encore Boston Harbor to Continue Transformation of Lower Mystic Region

The opening ceremonies on Sunday morning, June 23, quickly became a spotlight for the transformation of the Lower Mystic area of Charlestown, Chelsea, Everett and Somerville from a forgotten, polluted, industrial center to a thriving and environmentally sound area of booming economic activity.

Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox led off his comments by saying that the goals of the state expanded gaming laws had been met in Greater Boston by Encore.

Thousands of anxious guests packed onto the HarborWalk Sunday to get inside and see the new Casino. By noon, Encore estimated that 5000 were in line, and they were moved safely into the property by 2:30 p.m.
The South Lawn featured an outdoor BBQ party to celebrate the opening on Sunday

“What an amazing day it is today,” he said. “Eight years ago the people of Massachusetts and the lawmakers had the foresight to understand that with the passage of gaming regulation there could be the possibility of urban renewal, economic development and for the finest integrated resorts in the world. Those were the goals and I’m here to tell you that Encore Boston Harbor has achieved those goals.”

Like others, he also emphasized the environmental transformation of the site from desolate to decadent – with a big ‘thank you’ to the trades for transforming it during construction, having many workers from Charlestown on the job.

“Seven years ago I was standing here on this site with the mayor (of Everett), just us two, and there wasn’t a blade of grass on the site,” he said. “Now there are 1,000 mature trees, 50,000 flowering plants, tens of thousands of shrubs and a living shoreline for the first time in 100 years…The building trades, the men and women who built this under the leadership of John Fish and Suffolk Construction, are the best our company has ever seen.”

Cathy Judd-Stein, chair of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), said the opening of Encore was the opening of prosperity to all residents of the state.

“Encore Boston Harbor’s opening not only marks the arrival of an international entertainment destination on Everett’s spectacular shoreline, but also symbolizes a new opportunity for economic growth for all the citizens of Massachusetts,” she said. “This state has one of the most stringent gaming laws in the country and its standards are high. Encore Boston Harbor has met those requirements and, indeed, in many instances exceeded those commitments…Encore has demonstrated a relentless dedication to diversity and local spending and hiring…and provided substantial mitigation funding to host and surrounding communities.”

Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria also emphasized the environmental clean-up that has resulted from the casino project.

“For those of you who suffered through Monsanto and other big industries that polluted our properties and got us all very sick, I want to thank you for all you did; people like (the late) Mary Bagarella and others,” he said. “No longer when you drive through Everett will you smell gas and Sulphur and oils, but you’ll smell flowers and trees. We will no longer be the back door to the City of Boston. We will now be the front door to the City of Everett.”

And it was true for all of those who commented as such.

As they spoke on what was an extraordinary summer morning, the new trees on the Porte Cochere rustled in the wind, and songbirds flew in and out of the crowd assembled for the opening from tree to tree.

There were no songbirds on the site five years ago, quite certainly.

And beyond the Encore site, there still exist areas up and down Lower Broadway that look more like the past than the present at 1 Broadway (the Encore address).

Maddox and the Everett mayor used the opening to discuss more in-depth their plans for the corridor in what they believe will be the premier entertainment district in the northeast.

Maddox told reporters on June 21 at the Encore media day that they don’t intend to stop at the boundaries of the casino site, and they believe others will follow them.

Maddox said they own 11 acres of property across from Encore that amounts to 82 parcels they’ve purchases over the last four years. That property is now a temporary parking lot, but there are much bigger plans in store.

“We want to work with the City to create an entertainment district,” said Maddox. “It’s not all going to be our company, but we want to work side by side with local developers. Our idea is to continue to re-design this area so it’s known as ‘the’ entertainment district in the northeast. You build this anchor and others look and say, ‘Look at the opportunity.’ We’ve acquired a lot of land here – others have too. We’re really excited for the next decade in Everett.”

Gov. Charlie Baker’s staff and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito’s staff said they could not attend the opening due to scheduling conflicts. Baker did visit for a tour Friday morning and issued the following statement.

“Governor Baker was pleased to spend time with some of the more than 5,000 new Encore staffers and take a short tour of the facility where he wished everyone a safe and successful opening weekend,” read a statement from his office.

The ceremony concluded with a ribbon cutting, featuring several employees and public officials.

After all of the speeches and discussion of future plans, there was a countdown from 10, and a surprise day-time fireworks show erupted over the Encore cove and the Mystic River.

In the background, Frank Sinatra’s ‘Nothing but the best’ played over a loudspeaker as those on the Porte Cochere erupted into loud applause.

And then the doors opened, or rather, were opened for everyone by Everett resident – and Encore doorman – Gasper Ambrose.

The casino is open 24-hours a day.

Read More

Encore Facts and Fun: Tidbits to Know About Encore on Opening Day

By Seth Daniel and Lauren Bennett

Carousel at Front

•The carousel in the front atrium is a jaw-dropping centerpiece to the front door of the building, framed in glass on three sides and having the waterfront in the background. The carousel feature is fully made out of flowers and is the largest such design attempted by any Wynn resort.

Communications Director Michael Weaver said it is larger than a similar flower carousel that exists on a Wynn property in Las Vegas. The majestic, colorful flower sculpture is punctuated in the back with sweeping curved escalators – specially made for Encore Boston Harbor and at an incredible expense compared to the traditional escalators.

Selfie Spot: Popeye Vs. Carousel

•There is still a great debate within the Encore staff as to where guests will most likely take the majority of their selfies on the resort.

Certainly the Popeye statue in the corridor headed to the function facilities is a good guess, but many believe that in Boston the hit will be the central flower carousel.

“In Las Vegas it was certainly Popeye because Las Vegas has a tremendous amount of international visitors and Popeye is such a classic American icon,” said Michael Weaver of Wynn Resorts. “I am sure there are many picture albums in England, Spain and France with a family member in a picture flexing with Popeye…Here, I think Popeye will have a lot of competition for selfies with the carousel. The carousel at Encore Boston Harbor is larger and more elaborate than the one in Las Vegas. So Popeye has his work cut out for him in Boston.”

Comfort From Bed

•The in-room controls for Encore Boston Harbor are some of the most technologically advanced systems in any Wynn property on Earth. The rooms use voice activation commands and also allow one to control virtually everything by an iPad stationed at the side of the bed.

With the iPad, one can control the temperature, the drapes in every room, the do not disturb sign on the door and even order room service. And all that without having to leave the comfort of the famous 507-thread-count sheets.

Red Card Specials

•Red Card holders will be treated to several different specials throughout the weekend. Already, those selected Red Card members were able to attend the pre-opening “Play Days” this week. However, other specials like parking onsite will be available.

Services On Site

• A sampling of the services offered at The Salon at Encore:

Women’s Design & Style—from $75

Men’s Design & Style—from $55

Updo or Formal Styling—from $125

Signature Color Service—from $150

Classic Manicure – 40 minutes, $45

Classic Pedicure – 55 minutes, $75

•A sampling of the services offered at The Spa at Encore Boston Harbor

Custom Massage – 80/95 minutes, $210/$250 Monday-Thursday; $230/275 Friday-Sunday & Holidays

Custom Made Facial – 50 minutes, $235 Monday-Thursday; $260 Friday-Sunday & Holidays.

•Body Treatments:

Espresso Mud Detoxifying Body Treatment, Moisture Drench Skin Conditioning Treatment – 50 minutes, $195 Monday-Thursday; $215 Friday-Sunday & Holidays.

•Fitness:

Personal Training

30/60 Minutes, $85/$125

60 Minute Duo, $200

Shops on Site

•The Drugstore: selling items like snacks, sandwiches, refreshments, sundries, toiletries, wine, beer, and cigars.

•The Wynn Collection: Selection of women’s designer clothing from desires like Victoria Beckkham, Jason Wu, Yigal Azourel, Jimmy Choo, and Monolo Blahnik.

•Wynn Beauty: Selection of fragrance, cosmetics, haircare, and skincare products.

•Watches of Switzerland: Selection of men’s and women’s watches from Hublot, IWX Shaffhausen, Omega, and Panerai.

•Wynn Men’s: Selection of high end clothing and accessories from designers like Bugatchu, own Varvatos, Jimmy Choo, and Bally.

Read More

MGC still Deliberating in Encore Boston Harbor Decision

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is still deliberating amongst its members more than two weeks after closing hearings into the Wynn Resorts/Encore Boston Harbor suitability determination.

The hearings attracted hundreds of eyes and a great deal of media as well, but since that time, not much has happened outside of closed doors.

A spokesman told the paper that deliberations continue and a very public unveiling of the decision would take place after that.

There is no timeline right now as to when that decision would be made public. That decision includes whether or not Encore keeps its casino license, who in the Wynn organization will remain a qualifier, and what new members will be deemed qualified by the MGC.

Read More

Chelsea Collaborative Creating Pathways to Rewarding Encore Boston Harbor Careers

Chelsea Collaborative Creating Pathways  to Rewarding Encore Boston Harbor Careers

Chelsea Collaborative staff members are busy helping residents prepare for rewarding career opportunities at Encore Boston Harbor, slated to open in Everett this June. Encore Boston Harbor, the first five-star urban gaming resort in the U.S, plans to hire over 5,000 workers for a range of rewarding hospitality careers. For more information, visit encorebostonjobs.com.

More than 175 career-seekers participated in workshops in recent weeks alone on resume writing and how to create a Skillsmart profile. Skillsmart is a portal that helps match peoples’ interests with positions at Encore Boston Harbor. “We are proud to create pathways to better paying positions, so our residents can achieve better economic mobility, and don’t have to work two jobs just to make ends meet for them and their families,” said Sylvia Ramirez, Workforce Development Manager at Chelsea Collaborative.

Chelsea Collaborative is part of Encore Boston Harbor’s community action network. Encore Boston Harbor is committing $10 million over the next four years to support a wide range of social programs and civic institutions that will help those in need and improve the lives of residents in local communities.

Chelsea Collaborative is leading the Chelsea 500 coalition, which mission is to engage the City, businesses, and local non-profits to create a workforce pipeline so that 500+ residents can gain the skills and support necessary to apply for positions at Encore Boston Harbor. While Chelsea 500 capitalizes on the casino opening, its longer- term ambition is to build local workforce development capacity to improve Chelsea residents’ odds of securing employment in the near term, and to work with industry leaders to help diversify the employment options. Members of the coalition include City of Chelsea, Chelsea Collaborative, TND/Connect, Chelsea Housing Authority, Chelsea Recreation and Cultural Affairs Division, Bunker Hill Community College, Casino Action Network.

Read More

Job Fair

Job Fair

James Ashe of Encore Boston Harbor spoke to a Chelsea resident about upcoming job opportunities at the casino in Everett. Thousands of jobs are coming up to be filled at the casino before it opens in June 2019. Chelsea residents do have a hiring preference for the jobs.

Read More

Encore Boston Harbor Commits $10 Million to Greater Boston Social, Civic Institutions

Encore Boston Harbor Commits $10 Million to Greater Boston Social, Civic Institutions

Encore Boston Harbor is committing $10 million over the next four years to support a wide range of social programs and civic institutions that will help those in need and improve the lives of residents in local communities, the company announced on Tuesday – also known as Giving Tuesday.

To assist in managing funds and identifying the most meaningful philanthropic efforts, the company is partnering with the Connors Family Office, led by Boston civic leader Jack Connors Jr.

“Giving back to the communities where our employees and guests live and work has always been a part of who we are as a company,” said Matt Maddox, CEO of Wynn Resorts. “It’s not in our corporate DNA to just write a check for a donation or buy a table at a charity event. We want to make an impactful difference in the lives of people and effect real and positive changes in our communities. We believe committing $10 million and teaming with the Connors Family Office will go a long way towards realizing our goal.”

Together, the Connors Family Office and Encore Boston Harbor will develop an Advisory Committee to advise on and assist in the disbursement of funds from Encore Boston Harbor. The committee will provide recommendations to Encore Boston Harbor for the distribution of funds, targeting programs that support at-risk-youth education, cultural enrichment and vibrant communities.

“It is impressive to see a new business come into town and make such a concerted effort to positively impact the surrounding community,” said Jack Connors Jr. “Encore Boston Harbor is poised to make a real difference for some very worthy organizations.”

Encore Boston Harbor has been active in local philanthropy prior to Tuesday’s announced commitment of $10 million. Long-standing recipients of Encore’s corporate giving include the Boston Pops, Wang Theater, New England Center for Arts and Technology, Disabled American Veterans, and Latino 30 Under 30, among others. Recently, Encore Boston Harbor donated $100,000 in support of The Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund.

Encore Boston Harbor announced last week that it was the lead sponsor and supporter of a unique partnership between the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Boston Public Library that is bringing a major exhibit by renowned French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec to the MFA.

The $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor resort is scheduled to open in June 2019.

Read More

Chelsea 500 Committee to Host Career Fair on Dec 14 at City Hall

Chelsea 500 Committee to Host Career Fair on Dec 14 at City Hall

The Chelsea 500 Committee, consisting of local organizations such as the Chelsea Collaborative, TND, the Chelsea Housing Authority, the Chelsea Recreation and Cultural Affairs Division, and Bunker Hill Community College, will hold a Career Fair on Dec. 14 at Chelsea City Hall.

The newly formed committee is working collectively to create a jobs pathway for Chelsea residents with Encore Boston Harbor, the $2.6 billion casino and resort that will open in June, 2019, in Everett.

The committee is working on holding jobs pipeline information sessions, career readiness workshops, case management, interview skills workshops, ESL, computer classes and much more. All members of the community interested in working at Encore Boston Harbor are encouraged to participate in the various workshops and classes.

The “500” portion of the Chelsea 500 Committee’s name represents the committee’s hopes to create a workforce pipeline so that 500 or more residents can gain the skills and support necessary to apply for positions at Encore Boston Harbor.

While Chelsea 500 focuses on the opening of the casino, its longer-term ambition is to build a local workforce development capacity, along with advocacy and job readiness services, to improve Chelsea residents’ chances of securing employment in the near term. Building relationships with businesses in other hospitality-related industries is another goal for the committee.

Chelsea 500 will collaborate with the Casino Action Network, One Everett, Somerville, Boston, and the MassHire Metro North Workforce Board.

(Chelsea 500, MassHire and Encore Boston Harbor will host an information session on Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Mary C. Burke Complex. For more information, please call Sylvia Ramirez at 617-889-6080).

Read More