The Montville Division of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut held its annual “State of Montville” breakfast and meeting at Montville Town Hall April 14.
Tribal Council Chairman Kevin Brown “Red Eagle” was an invited guest speaker. Montville’s Mayor Ron McDaniel welcomed Chairman Brown to the event, calling him “my friend, my partner from the Mohegan Tribe.”
Chairman Brown’s remarks began with an observation that he feels at home again in Montville, the town where he grew up before spending three decades living in various locations around the world. He commended the Chamber’s recent selection of retiring Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority CEO and President Mitchell Etess as Citizen of the Year. Speaking of Etess’s successor Bobby Soper, he expressed his confidence that Soper is on board with the vision and goals of the Tribe and ready to “carry the mantle” in the years ahead. Soper was also in attendance at the meeting.
Accenting the integral part that Mohegan Sun plays in the business life of the region, he said improvements coming to the Uncasville casino-resort that would prove that Mohegan is not only in the casino business, but also in the tourism business in partnership with the region at large. He said the Tribe is “moving at full speed…in a lot of directions at the same time,” and proved his point with a rundown on the Tribe’s multiple business diversification efforts, along with the push to allow new casinos that would protect Connecticut jobs and revenue in the face of competition from other states.
After referring back to the rough winter endured by the region, Mayor McDaniel looked to the future with optimism in his address to the Chamber. He focused on several examples of business growth in the town, including expansion and improvements at Rand Whitney, a new fuel cell for the Home Depot store, and the new Uncasville Diner which is slated to open in the coming weeks on Route 32, a short distance from Town Hall (it will occupy the site formerly known as Ed’s Country Kitchen).
As he closed the meeting, an upbeat Mayor McDaniel said “the best is yet to come…stay tuned and stay positive.”