Boston Tourism Bureau

Caesars exec's new seat on Greater Boston visitors bureau could help its casino plans here  May 30, 2015 – 09:54 pm
Boston Attractions, The New and Old Faces of Boston - The Toonari

Caesars Entertainment hasn’t landed the casino license for the Boston region yet, but that hasn’t stopped one of the company’s top executives from joining the region’s tourism board.

John Payne, Caesars’ president for central markets and partnership development, has been elected to a three-year term on the board of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. Pat Moscaritolo, the bureau’s CEO, tells me Payne’s first meeting will be in November.

It will probably take much longer than that before we learn which resort casino proposal wins the license for the Greater Boston region. Wynn Resorts already has a referendum victory in Everett for its casino proposal there. Foxwoods in Connecticut is also trying to expand with a resort casino in Milford. So the Massachusetts Gaming Commission could have three applicants to pick from when decision time arrives next year for the sole Greater Boston license. (The Caesars casino, which would be built at Suffolk Downs, also needs a referendum approval.)

Moscaritolo says he initially approached Caesars to learn more about the referral partnerships that the company has with hotels and restaurants in several other cities where Caesars has casinos. Eventually, Moscaritolo extended an invite for a rep from Caesars to join the tourism bureau’s board.

“It all happened as a result of my trying to get more information about this partnership program that they operate, ” Moscaritolo says.

Moscaritolo says Payne has served on a similar board in New Orleans, and he fully expects the board members of his agency will benefit from Payne’s experience and expertise. He says Payne didn’t discuss what would happen to his role if Caesars didn’t end up winning the bid for the Boston area casino license.

“As long as he’s willing to serve, and we get the benefit of his knowledge and experience, we can use that to benefit the broader (hospitality) industry, ” Moscaritolo says.

Moscaritolo’s group has not taken a formal stance on which casino proposal it prefers. But Payne’s appointment could help galvanize support among the city’s hotel industry for the Caesars/Suffolk plan by helping him build stronger ties with local hoteliers. They could be important allies in the proponents’ quest to persuade East Boston voters — and ultimately members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.


Estimates of private employment in Massachusetts directly generated by tourist vacation travel in 1968 and 1969
Book (Boston Region, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Labor)

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That would be Chirac actually.

But -- more importantly for Chirac -- it would also have been a desperately needed economic leg-up.
According to an association of 20 big French companies behind the Paris bid and a study by the Boston Consulting Group, the Games would have added $35 billion (29 billion euros) to France's gross domestic product over the seven years following. They would also have created 60,000 jobs, most of them in the building, sport, tourism and service sectors.

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