BOSTON (AP) -- MGM Resorts International is abandoning a plan to build a resort-style casino in Brimfield and will seek an alternative location in western Massachusetts.
The Las Vegas casino company indicated in a statement Tuesday that there were too many complications to pursuing the project in the small, largely rural community.
"The unique nature of MGM's plans for an all-inclusive world-class resort of the Brimfield site, and our growing understanding of the needed scope for its infrastructure, simply do not allow us to pursue the comprehensive MGM resort originally envisioned here," said Bill Hornbuckle, the company's chief marketing officer.
The company, which owns several luxury casinos on the Las Vegas strip, announced in January that it had signed a contract with Rolling Hills Estates Realty Trust to buy 150 acres of undeveloped land in the town about 65 miles west of Boston.
MGM would pursue "other potential development sites" in the western part of the state, Hornbuckle said, but the statement did not identify any of other possible locations. The company said for now it would continue to work out of an office it had established in Brimfield.
The site that had been chosen in the town was adjacent to the Massachusetts Turnpike but had no direct access from the highway, a fact that posed a potentially major obstacle to development of the casino.
Without direct access from the turnpike, traffic leading to the site would have to travel several miles along Route 20, the main thoroughfare through the town which at times narrows down to just one lane in each direction.
MGM had proposed funding construction of a new turnpike interchange and access road in the neighboring town of Warren, between existing Exits 8 and 9 on the highway, and officials had said the project could not proceed without that new road. The new exit, however, could have taken a number of years to be approved and built.
In a recent interview, Alan Feldman, senior vice president for public affairs for MGM Resorts, said residents had expressed reservations about possible traffic congestion if the casino was built as well as concerns about bright lights that might come from a facility that would easily dwarf any other existing structure in the town.
In Tuesday's statement, Hornbuckle thanked Brimfield residents and town officials — including those who opposed the idea — for extending a friendly reception to the company as it debated whether to pursue the project.
"The willingness of residents to listen to our thoughts and openly share their concerns has been of critical importance to MGM in reaching this decision," he said.
The gaming law signed by Gov. Deval Patrick last fall would allow for three resort-style casinos and one slots parlor in Massachusetts. One casino license can be granted in each of three geographical regions of the state.
Other companies hoping to compete for the western Massachusetts license include Mohegan Sun, which operates a casino in neighboring Connecticut, and has proposed a casino for the town of Palmer, with access from Exit 8 on the turnpike.
Ameristar Casinos has bought land for a possible casino off Interstate 291 in Springfield, and Hard Rock International has considered a potential site in Holyoke.