Encore Boston Harbor, a Wynn Resorts flagship property that opened last June, considers its sustainability initiatives to be foundational to its corporate mission. Its award-winning efforts involving renewable energy, water conservation and public transportation have established new standards for environmentally friendly operations in urban five-star resorts.
But the green plans for the 33-acre site that features the largest contiguous hotel ballroom in the area literally began from the ground up, when Wynn chose to build the property on a piece of land that, for the previous century, had housed various chemical manufacturing plants. A $68 million, 18-month remediation ensued before the company even broke ground, giving life back to a seven-acre stretch of the Mystic River shoreline and restoring its ecosystem. Now, the 27-story luxury property has redefined Everett, just north of Boston, as a prime destination for groups and leisure travelers.
“The site had great qualities, such as its location, size and ease of access to Boston, but no one wanted to touch it because of its history,” said Chris Gordon, president of Wynn Development. “Our CEO Matt Maddox and City of Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria both saw the potential of what it could be.”
The ambition for the property, located five miles from Logan International Airport, was realized through a campus that emphasizes what Kassi Weist, Executive Director of Hotel Sales and Marketing, calls the “approachable luxury” of Encore Boston Harbor. The 671 rooms and suites feature the largest standard hotel accommodations in New England; the state-of-the-art 50,000-square-foot conference space includes, at 37,000 square feet, the largest single-span ballroom in Boston outside the city’s convention center; and the fully integrated property, boasting the character of Wynn’s five-star service, is an ideal stop for groups seeking style and comfort.
“Clients get the intimacy of a small resort, but then they also get all of the power behind the resources of a full facility hotel, with spa, salon, restaurants and meeting space,” says Weist.
Indoor and Outdoor
The remediation offered the property an additional sales advantage unique to the area: a 21,000-square-foot outdoor event lawn adjacent to the ballroom that is a model location for concerts, weddings and more lavish parties.
“There isn’t a lot of outdoor event space within the New England market,” says Weist. “this has become a crave-able spot—a beautiful outdoor garden that is a perfect match for the function space.”
Beyond the garden stretches the 6.5-acre Harborwalk, a waterfront park surrounding the property that gives attendees a view of Boston that hasn’t been enjoyed in more than a century. But it is the swift route from the banks of Everett to the heart of Beantown that Encore Boston Harbor is already building a reputation for, thanks to a set of 41-foot luxury motor yachts that depart day and night from the dock, each ferrying 35 passengers to one of three stops in Boston. Given that city’s reputation for stifling motor traffic, the yachts allow attendees a convenient, scenic 15- to 20-minute ride into town as part of a meeting’s agenda.
“We can simply put you on the boat and take you across to the harbor and we’re packaging that as an asset for all of our groups,” says Weist.
The sustainability commitment of Encore Boston Harbor extends beyond the riverbank’s newly created 24,000-square-foot natural material shoreline — which has seen a return of native fish, birds, wildlife and climate resilience — and into the property itself. The resort recently received LEED Platinum certification, which is all the more remarkable given the origins of the site.
Also recently switched on is a first-of-its-kind integrated microgrid and resort-scale battery storage program, that supplements core power supply, increases reliability and will fully power the hotel for 72 hours in case of an outage. Other power grid bona fides include 30 percent of the property’s annual electricity being renewable, solar panels that generate 23 percent of the resort’s power and the purchase of 7 percent of the annual electric needs-based consumption from local green power sources.
Chefs at the property’s several eateries also shop locally, sourcing food and products from throughout the New England area.
“They’re really excited, especially those that traveled with us from Las Vegas, just because of all the beautiful products that are available in this region,” says Weist.
Another of the many pluses that come with Encore Boston Harbor’s affiliation with Wynn Las Vegas is the resort’s two-level casino. Tucked away in a wing separate from the meeting section of the campus, and featuring 210,000 square feet of gaming space, 3,000 state-of-the-art slot machines, private gaming rooms with secluded terraces, and a 74-table poker room, it has become a popular post-event option for event-goers.
“We’ve actually had a lot of groups approach us saying they’ve been at other properties and wondered what to do for un-programmed evening entertainment for their guests. And then we walk them through all the options that are already built into our portfolio for guests to be able to continue to enjoy, including the casino, and they often say, ‘Now I don’t have to spend additional money to give people something to do later in the evening,’” says Weist. “It gives them more flexibility to provide budget friendly unique experiences for their attendees.”
Encore Boston Harbor remains committed to making even deeper roots in the area it now calls home, even as attendees get a taste of that community. While the chefs love the local shopping because, as Weist says, “They enjoy having the ability to create a beautiful plate in a sustainable way while supporting local businesses,” the resort itself is tied into supporting the town further.
“We have literally changed the landscape and the horizon for the Boston area, and specifically for Everett, for years to come,” says Weist. “This was once a sad, depressed piece of land and it’s now providing so much life and opportunity for the people that work in the building, the local community and for the guests that come and enjoy. It gives everyone here a tremendous sense of pride to be able to be a small part of something so impactful and to give Everett back its shoreline.”
For more on how Wynn is elevating the meetings experience, click here.