The Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett, Massachusetts, is not scheduled to open until later this month, but the casino is already causing controversy in another city when it comes to parking.
Encore leased a total of 700 spots for its employees at the Station Landing garage, which is located right next to the Wellington MBTA station in Medford.
Commuters say in order to make room, the company that manages the garage is forcing them out. Pilgrim Parking recently posted signs at the entrance of the garage stating that all monthly passes would be cancelled, effective June 30. Daily rates will still be available, but many said they are concerned with the garage already being crowded.
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Michelle Pateras works nearby and uses the garage. She said everyone was caught off guard.
"I just found out 15 minutes ago, thanks to an email from my office," Pateras said. "We can't find spots now. If there's an influx of 700, where are we going to park?"
Michael Weaver, a spokesman for Wynn Resorts, which owns Encore, said offsite parking is a requirement for the casino and they had already leased 400 spots at the garage in Medford. Weaver said the casino is in talks with another location to lease an additional 100 spaces.
"That will bring us to the 800 total offsite employee parking spaces we are required to have," Weaver said in an email.
Medford Mayor Stephanie Burke and State Representative Paul Donato released a joint statement.
"We are very disheartened that Pilgrim, a private entity, decided to inform their monthly parking pass holders less than 30 days in advance that they will no longer offer monthly passes," the statement said.
Officials said they do not want residents to be alarmed until all of the data has been obtained from the owner of the garage on usage statistics, but they will continue to advocate for them.
NBC10 Boston reached out to Pilgrim Parking, but did not hear back. Commuters said they know the casino workers have to park somewhere, but they just wish it was somewhere else.
"I just think there has to be a better solution," Pateras said.