Economic Study Details Pequots' Impact on State
A new study by the UConn's Center for Economic Analysis unveiled Tuesday by Gov. John G. Rowland and UConn officials credits the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation with creating 41,000 jobs and adding $1.2 billion to Connecticut's economy. The study also found that state personal income and new tourism dollars increased because of the Tribal Nation's business enterprises.
"The economic impact of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation statewide has been enormous," said Gov. Rowland. "The diverse business operations and investments it has made in the state have benefited thousands of residents, generated new revenue and attracted thousands of new visitors to our state."
The Tribal Nation's business enterprises include Foxwoods Resort Casino, the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center, Pequot Pharmaceutical Nation, Fox Navigation, off-reservation hotels including Hilton Mystic, and a golf course.
Prior to the Tribal Nation's opening of Foxwoods Resort Casino in 1992, a diminishing defense industry and downsizing of general manufacturing had resulted in the loss of 10,000 jobs in southeastern Connecticut. The state Department of Labor reported in 1997 that this number could have reached 32,000 by 1998, if the economic downturn had continued.
Looking at the Connecticut economy through a computer-based model, the UConn Center for Economic Analysis studied the Tribal Nation's business activities: its employment, its procurement, its hotels, its pharmacy network, and its cultural institutions. Regional Economic Models Inc., an Amherst, Mass.-based firm with expertise in regional modeling and a leading supplier and developer of such models, developed the computer model, which is a sophisticated 53-sector replication of the state's economic structure and can project economic impacts out to the year 2035.
"We used the REMI model to determine the direct, indirect and induced economic impacts of the Tribal Nation's operations on the economies of New London County and the state of Connecticut," said Fred Carstensen, professor and director of the Center for Economic Analysis. "The Tribal Nation's efforts created thousands of jobs in southeastern Connecticut at a time when the region was on the verge of economic crisis and has positively impacted the economy statewide."
After launching several ventures aimed toward economic development in the 1970s and 1980s, the Tribal Nation turned to gaming as a revenue producer in 1986 and opened a successful high-stakes bingo hall. The creation of Foxwoods Resort Casino followed shortly thereafter.
Foxwoods Resort Casino alone hosts an average of nearly 41,000 people per day. Seventy-three percent of these customers live out-of-state, thus their spending is net new revenue to the southeastern Connecticut region and the state. In addition, consumer surveys show that other regional tourist attractions benefit from Foxwoods patrons, including Mystic Aquarium and Mystic Seaport.
In addition to its business operations, the Tribal Nation has started a successful welfare-to-work program called Work ETC (Education, Transportation and Childcare), that has hired 150 former welfare recipients.
The study also found that the Tribal Nation's operations have: