Valet parking, vaping discussed at casino oversight meeting - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Valet parking, vaping discussed at casino oversight meeting

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

We're a little more than two months away from the opening of MGM Springfield.  

Final plans are getting ironed out as to what you can expect on opening day.

One of those being: will there be specific rules on vaping?

Also, what are the options for you and your family when you arrive at the casino site? 

Springfield's casino oversight committee - which is made up of city councilors - met again Friday afternoon.

They've been meeting ever since the plans were announced for MGM Springfield to open, but they have their work carved out for them as they hash out many important topics as August 24 inches closer. 

The committee, along with representatives from MGM, met today at city hall, hoping to discuss many things still up in the air.

First up on the agenda was valet parking.  MGM said that they're looking to add four valet spots on Main Street, near Howard Street, which is next to Red Rose Pizzeria. 

Two spots will be for ride-sharing companies like Uber and two for cars.

"With the casino opening, it's such an exciting thing for the city and you know the traffic around here is going to be insane, but with valet and Uber and taxi's, I think it will put some people at ease to say 'Oh, I can take an Uber to the casino,'" said Rita Caputo-Capua with Red Rose.

MGM said that they are still working on how much the added valet parking would cost and hope to have it rolled out by August 24.

Western Mass News spoke with business owners about the possible impact.

"We have plenty of parking in the back, across the street.  Howard Street is going to be a little hairy for awhile, but I think we'll be fine," Caputo-Capua said.

Vaping was up next and whether people should have to vape inside designated areas outside the casino, just like smoking tobacco.

Right now in Massachusetts and in Springfield, there is no law against vaping indoors, according to the health commission. 

Michael Fenton, the committee's chair, is against vaping inside the casino.  He would like to see people vape in the designated areas outside. 

"Smoking is a both a state and municipal issue. There is no smoking of tobacco and similar products allowed in the casino and there designated smoking areas which are outside and within the legal distance required from work spaces, so the question is should people that are vaping be required to do so in those same areas?" Fenton said.

MGM Springfield said that right now, they don't have any intention of having a rule prohibiting, but they said that could change if the law around vaping indoors changes. 

The oversight committee will be meeting again on July 16.

They also discussed opening day and what that will be like around the casino.  There is some talk that Main Street could be closed for some street festivities welcoming MGM to the city, but that has not been finalized.

The city said that a plan will be announced once one is in place.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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