The same group of MGM executives gathered in Massachusetts in January for another casino development announcement. Back then the location was Brimfield, the budget was $600 million, and the proposal was for a rustic resort in the woods, so isolated that it would not bother local residents who valued the small-town character of a tiny community best known for its antique fairs.
But MGM had second thoughts about the Brimfield site. The project needed an expensive new interchange off the Massachusetts Turnpike, which would have required a long review by highway officials. MGM also began to doubt that its vision, which at that time included a golf course, would fit on the 150-acre parcel of rolling, wooded hills.
The company said in March that it was abandoning the Brimfield site and would find another location in Western Massachusetts. It searched quietly for a new site, but by early summer appeared to be focusing on Springfield.