by Matt Alderton | June 20, 2019
Visitors to Boston already can enjoy wicked-good clam chowder, catch a Red Sox game at Fenway and immerse themselves in American history along the Freedom Trail. As of this weekend, however, they'll be able to do something people have never been able to do in Boston before: gamble at a legal casino.
That's because Boston's first destination gaming resort, Encore Boston Harbor in suburban Everett, Mass., will open its doors on Sunday, June 23.

According to local TV news station WCVB, the $2.6 billion property -- owned by Las Vegas gaming giant Wynn Resorts -- is expecting upward of 50,000 people for the Sunday event, which will commence a new chapter in Boston tourism history.

Located on the banks of the Mystic River, opposite from Boston and Somerville, Encore Boston Harbor features 671 guest rooms and suites, including 650-square-foot "Premier King" and "Double" rooms that it claims are the largest hotel accommodations in New England.

Along with the 210,000-square-foot casino, which has more than 3,000 slot machines and 143 table games, offerings include: 15 restaurants, bars and lounges; a spa with 17 treatment rooms and a salon; a 6-acre "Harborwalk" with pedestrian and bike paths, park space and waterfront viewing decks; a luxury retail esplanade; 21,000 square feet of seasonal outdoor event space; and 50,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, including 10 breakout rooms and a 37,000-square-foot ballroom that, according to the resort, is Boston's largest ballroom outside the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Also notable at the resort is transportation: The property will carry guests to and from Boston aboard European-style water shuttles.

"The Encore Water Shuttle could revolutionize the use of Boston Harbor as a preferred and popular commuter pathway," Encore Boston Harbor President Robert DeSalvio said when he announced the water shuttles last year. "Imagine boarding a shuttle at the Seaport and Financial Districts in Boston and docking at our resort in Everett in 20 minutes, rain or shine, with a guarantee of no traffic or parking issues. We're turning a normally stressful and frustrating commute into a luxurious and relaxing experience."