Is Wynn coming to Fishtown? Don’t blow this for us, Philly!

bellagio

What is better for Fishtown? This or vacant land? Hmmmmm…

Behind the Port Richmond Shopping Center and along the riverfront sits a huge piece of vacant land that used to be a shipyard. Now, it’s a nice piece of land, but it hasn’t been used for anything in decades. Since it was used industrially in the past, the land is a biohazard and needs serious work done to use it for anything. Mind you, this is less than half a mile from my house and my office.

So… what are we supposed to do with a big piece of vacant land, connected to the waterfront, that will take a significant amount of time and money to revitalize?

When I first heard it might be used for another casino I was less than enthusiastic. Here we go again… I guess Fishtown is going to be Philly’s casino district. Ugh.

However, I was happy to learn that’s not the case. Steve Wynn proposes to use that land as a world class resort with a casino attached to it.

A world class freaking resort.

My view? It’s almost too good of an idea, and perhaps it makes too much sense. This isn’t “We can’t use this land for anything good, so let’s use it for something stupid.” This is actually a sensible, pragmatic use of the property.

A resort like this will put local people to work, make the waterfront accessible to Fishtown, and revitalize land that hasn’t been used in decades. It will bring traffic to the neighborhood and patrons to local businesses. Oh, and a world class resort will now be in my back yard. Meaning if I can literally take a “staycation” if I don’t feel like going any further than Fishtown.

Um, yes please…

And the neighborhood agrees, with the community voting overwhelmingly in favor or bringing Wynn to Fishtown.

Seems like a no brainer, right…?

Here is my concern… it’s such a good idea that the City of Philadelphia could blow the opportunity. Other projects are being proposed for Center City, and South Philadelphia. They are also meeting large amounts of opposition from the neighborhoods, because the other locations don’t make any sense. But our government isn’t exactly known for using common sense, either.

So let’s not blow this one Philly, okay? Bring Wynn to Fishtown. If the Wynn is shot down, that land will probably remain undeveloped for decades longer. Philly and Fishtown deserve better.

4 Responses to Is Wynn coming to Fishtown? Don’t blow this for us, Philly!

  1. JoJo C says:

    I’d be curious to see how well these “new” casino’s in Philly (I’ll add Valley Forge to the mix) are doing. I think part of the appeal of AC or Vegas is that everything is in one spot and you can walk from resort to resort. Long term, I don’t know about the sustainability of numerous casino’s spread out throughout the city.

    Either way, i’m of the old school thought that casino’s do more harm than good for those in the immediate area.

    • I am generally anti-casino. And I hate the idea of Fishtown becoming a “casino district” or something.

      But the thing is, Wynn is a different project. It has a casino, but it also has entertainment venues, much needed hotel space that isn’t in Center City, spas, etc. It’s a luxury hotel that has a casino, basically. I’ve been to Sugar House once, and will probably never go there again. But I’d actually go to Wynn, even though I don’t gamble (at casinos).

      And it’s being put on a piece of land that is completely dilapidated. I know some people want a park there or something, but that is just never going to happen. It would be too big an undertaking.

      This is a pragmatic and beneficial solution, in my opinion.

  2. T Patrick Henry says:

    It won’t happen. Steve Wynn isn’t in the back pocket of Philly’s finest. Plus he’s not a Union guy. This project makes too much sense which is actually a hindrance in Philly politics.

  3. […] international reputation as a champion of the hospitality industry would elevate Philadelphia’s status as a tourist destination. After the Five Star Service Forum, I had a chance to speak with Michael […]

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