Owning a casino these days is a big responsibility. With the competition, city regulations, and the constant desire to boost revenues, casino owners are continuously looking for ways to stand out and appeal to customers. Casino developer Steve Wynn is working hard to meet those goals by incorporating a fleet of custom built catamarans to ferry tourists to the riverfront casino in Everett.
With this ferry service many hopes are being hinged. However, with past attempts at casino ferry services falling short, one seriously needs to question whether this one will draw the same fate or succeed well above its counterparts.
The ferry service being built will be a unique attraction in the area. Casino goers will be able to travel from downtown Boston and the Seaport to the proposed gambling casino in Everett. Currently, casino owners estimate that anywhere from 3%-6% of casino patrons will use the waterfront service. To ferry casino patrons across to their gambling destination, Wyatt has designed custom made catamarans that will be able to carry 49 passengers each. To make the service more popular, the catamarans are heated or cooled depending on the season and they’ll even be a very low-cost or free feature to the casino. With such incentives, the proposed casino in Everett has a lot to gain.
Better for the Casino
The beauty of the ferry system is that it works to effectively link a proposed $1.6 billion hotel and casino downtown Boston and the waterfront. With such a lofty connection, not only do residents of Boston have easy access to the casino, but those that are residing in the hotel will gain more tourist options outside of the gambling area. This effectively works to increase casino patrons and revenues. Moreover, not only is the ferry connection a stark advantage, but the ferry system will also work to reduce traffic surrounding the casino. Most casino goers abhor traffic and thus may be less inclined to visit. However, with the ferry system, the proposed casino expects traffic to reduce so that more patrons can easily attend the casino.
The casino and ferry developers expect a major decline in traffic, citing that at least 2,700 one-way passenger trips to the casino will occur per day. On Saturdays, this figure is expected to increase significantly to 3,600 passengers. With such high figures, it is certain that traffic to the casino will see a reduction, unless that is – more patrons decide to attend.
Casinos are no strangers to competition, and the proposed casino and ferry system do have their competitors. Mohegan Sun, another popular and currently existing casino in the area is already working hard to dispute the ferry and its passenger claims. As Mohegan Sun states, “Most people like to take their cars to the casino.” If this is indeed true, then the proposed casino and ferry system certainly does have its issues. Wyatt and the proposed casino are certainly not pleased with this claim, explaining that the ferry system will not only provide easy access to the casino, but also a high level of service that will attract ridership. To further buffer his claims, Wyatt also plans to launch an aggressive marketing campaign to target casino goers and potential ferry riders in order to meet ridership estimates.
Wyatt and the casino developers certainly are ambitious, especially when one looks at past attempts to incorporate ferry transportation into casino services. Recently, a ferry service connecting Nova Scotia and Maine failed to meet the projected estimates. The ferry service itself is also a casino system that boasts slot machines, five-star restaurants, and absolute luxury. Despite the brilliance, the ferry is having difficulty meeting its estimates due to bad weather, low bookings, and unexpected costs. With such difficulties in the way, it becomes questionable whether Wyatt and his casino ferry system will truly succeed. If the same issues such as bad weather and little interest do occur, then the fate may be already sealed.
The chance for success cannot be dismissed though. Unlike past ferry attempts, this new ferry system is unlike others. The proposed system is built on heavy market research of the area, an analysis of what patrons are looking for when attending the casino, and a truly custom built and unique ferry to boost attraction. With this type of effort, it is very well possible that the proposed casino will see success with its ferry system at the end of the day. Which means, not only does the casino win, but so does the surrounding city. With more tourists visiting because of the ferry system, revenues go both to the casino and the city.