Attempting to answer questions and gather support from businesses on Route 1, the Wynn Group held a tour of four local business that could be affected by a potential casino destination resort across the street from Gillette Stadium.
With the four stop tour, the group chosed was Rodman Ford, Americas’ Best Value Inn, Motorcycle of Manchester (M.O.M.) South, and Chickie Flynns, a fairly new restaurant located next to the south section of Patriot Place
Only the manager of Americas Best Value Inn lived in Foxborough, while other business owners resided in towns around Foxborough.
Frank Perullo, who is the principal owner of Sage Systems, and helped create the pro-casino group “Jobs for Foxboro,” pointed out that many of the businesses do employ Foxborough residents.
Of all the four businesses visited, Rodman Ford is the one that has seen Route 1 become what it is today. Moving to their current location in 1964 after initially setting up shop in the Foxboro center of town in 1960, the Canton residents were on Route 1 before the old Schaefer Stadium was built.
Originally founded by Don Rodman, his two sons, Curt and Brett, have worked their way to general managers and partners of the car business.
Robert Kraft owns the land where the casino would be built.
The Rodmans showed great confidence in him, despite admitting that they potentially lose a little business because of Patriot home games.
“The Krafts have been very good to the town,” Curt Rodman said.
“He’s done everything he said he’d do,” Brett Rodman added.
With hotel rooms at the Renaissance Inn at Patriot Place going for more than $350 a night during the weekend of the Patriots' first home game, Americas’ Best Value Inn has positioned itself as a more affordable option with rooms going for $175 a night on game day.
For manager Vick Patel, a casino would mean a chance to renovate and less vacancies for the 55 room motel. With room rates more than certain to be higher at the casino’s hotel, the situation is similar to those who go to Disney World, but want to save money by staying out of the park.
“For me, it’s going to be golden overnight,” Patel said of a potential casino.
Patel is a supporter of a potential casino for the business it could help bring to the motel and the lounge inside known as Fusion 5. Patel also expressed frustration over what he feels is the negative tone that exists in the debate over the issue.
“All you hear is negativity and it’s no way its all negativity,” Patel said.
Joe Wheeler, owner of the motorcycle dealer M.O.M. South, had questions about the casino, affecting his business. His concerns about traffic interfering with test drives were addressed and answered with the group’s traffic assessment done by Vavasse & Associates.
According to the assessment, the casino resort would generate traffic consisting of 13,000-15,000 cars a day with a peak period of 1,000-2,000 vehicles per hour. The traffic volume has drawn comparisons to the traffic of a New England Revolution game which averaged 13,222 people per a game in 2011.
The last stop of the tour was also the youngest business they visited. Turning two in May, Chickie Flynns represented the small restaurants in the area. Despite the restaurants that would be at the resort, plus the Patriot Place restaurants, Chickie Flynns will be just fine, according to Perullo.
“When you have a destination resort with convention business people love variety," he said. "People like to leave the resort and try local food. Local restaurants, I think, will do exceedingly well."
During their tour, the group stressed jobs that would be coming to the area with the casino. They brought along a casino manager, Patty Carton, who has moved up the ranks in the gaming and resort industry from being a dealer.
“I was a single parent of three children and able to take care of my children and lifestyle very well and then I just moved up though the ranks,” she said.
While not giving away her salary, Carton did say that she thinks her salary “compares to what people are making here on an average.”