For those in Foxborough still concerned the Kraft Group has not scrapped gaming development plans for a Route 1 casino, the company’s vice president of business development and external affairs has a message for you.
“We have no desire, no intentions, no plans to bring gaming development to Foxborough,” said Dan Murphy, vice president of Kraft Group’s Business Development and External Affairs. “We have moved on and we are exploring options right now for that parcel.”
The question regarding the potential for a casino proposal resurfacing in future Kraft plans was posed by Foxborough selectman Lynda Walsh Tuesday during a general development discussion of Patriot Place between the board and the Kraft Group.
“There’s an elephant still in the room and it’s still in town,” Walsh said. “Could the [Kraft Group] tell me there’s no casino in the future of Patriot Place? … I’m out there trying to get votes to come back to this table and that’s the first question people are still asking me, ‘did you want a casino?’”
Murphy offered Walsh and the public audience the same answer the Kraft Group has given the town on several occasions since it suspended plans with Wynn Resorts for a casino last May.
“We said it in May, we said it in October, we said it in December,” Murphy said. “Mr. Kraft has said it. We brought a business development opportunity to the town. It had a world-class business partner with it. We said from the beginning if the town didn’t want it, we wouldn’t pursue it.”
And the Kraft Group remained true to its word, releasing this statement following last May’s annual town election that saw two casino opponents – Lorraine Brue and Virginia “Ginny” Coppola – elected.
“We have the greatest respect for Steve Wynn, his team and his business model, and believe this unique opportunity was worthy of a chance to be heard. With [the annual town] election, we believe the citizens of Foxborough have spoken. As we originally committed, we have heard them and respect their collective voice,” The Kraft Group said in the statement. “With that democratic statement, as opposed to the voices of five individuals, we will be suspending our efforts regarding a destination resort development.”
Murphy reminded the board of the Kraft Group’s statement last May and the company’s position regarding its gaming proposal from the “very beginning.”
“The town voted in May, loudly,” Murphy said. “Unilaterally, we stopped in May and I can look you in the eye and tell you that we haven’t had a single meeting about gaming in Foxborough and we haven’t had a single discussion about bringing gaming to Foxborough since May and that’s the truth.”
And with that, perhaps the casino issue will finally be put to rest and the elephant in the room can walk down the road to Plainville.
Kraft Group and Selectmen Discuss Public Safety and Revenue at Patriot Place
Foxborough’s Board of Selectmen invited the Kraft Group to Tuesday’s meeting to hold a general discussion and question and answer period regarding development of Patriot Place. The Kraft Group accepted the invitation and presented the board with an informational Powerpoint presentation detailing revenue the town receives from Patriot Place with a focus on addressing the perception of public safety issues reported at the dining, shopping and entertainment complex through data compiled both independently and through Foxborough police. Log on to Foxborough Patch Thursday morning for a full report from Tuesday’s presentation.
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