Derby Seniors To Foxwoods: No Dice!
by Eugene Driscoll | Jul 25, 2012 8:09 pm
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Posted to: Derby
A representative from Foxwoods Resort and Casino paid a visit to the Derby Senior on Main Street Wednesday morning in an effort to make amends for remarks published in the Boston Globe attributed to Scott Butera, Foxwoods’ chief executive officer.
The casino employee wanted to see if there was a way Foxwoods and the Derby seniors could “move on” from the controversy.
It didn’t work.
Derby seniors cancelled an upcoming trip there are boycotting the casino after a Boston Globe columnist wrote that Butera “can do without stereotypical busloads of senior citizens who show up with walkers and oxygen tanks” at the casino.
Butera told the Valley Indy earlier this month his words were twisted and he was repeating a statement the writer had made — and disagreeing with her.
The Boston Globe associate editor who wrote the piece stands by it.
Derby Senior Center Director Sarah Muoio, who sent out a mass e-mail calling for Butera’s termination, said Foxwoods marketing-sales manager Mike Orsene came to Derby Tuesday to talk things over.
Orsene and Muoio had a sit down in Muoio’s office off Main Street in Derby at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
“He repeated Butera’s claims that everything was taken out of context. I said that I gave (Butera) the benefit of the doubt, but when I contacted the writer at the newspaper, she said that she was in a room with at least five other people when the comments were made,” Muoio said.
Orsene wondered if having Butera do a tour of senior centers all over Connecticut might help the public relations problem.
Muoio doubted that it would. Other senior centers in the state have contacted Foxwoods, angry at the comments attributed to Butera in the Globe, Muoio said.
The Derby senior director said Orsene was “a very nice guy.”
“He stressed that in his position he deals with the buses that come in from senior centers and that he had a great relationship with group leaders who bring in the seniors,” Muoio said.
But Muoio’s problem is with Butera. She asked Orsene whether she could speak with elders from the Mashantucket (Western) Pequot Tribal Nation about the controversy.
Foxwoods said they would get back to her, Muoio said.
Here’s a WTNH report on the controversy. After it aired, Derby seniors gave Muoio a round of applause when she returned to work.
“My face was red (with embarrassment) for days,” Muoio said.
As a member of the Derby Senior Center—I feel that perhaps Scott Butera should personally make amends for embarrassing the seniors, and invite Susan Muoio and a busload of Derby seniors to Foxwoods, at his expense—and treat them with an honor as “first class citizens” they deserve—and initiate a monthly “Seniors Day” at his facility - with special incentives for the Seniors who attend.
In this way, a positive solution to this impasse to this impasse can be attained.
I spoke to the Foxwoods Public Relations Director Dale Wolbrink this morning and she told me that she has been trying to resolve this impasse with the Derby Senior Center, but none of her calls are being returned. According to Director Sarah Muoio, she told me that she tried to call back Foxwoods last Friday—but when she called back, there was no answer to her call. When I called back Ms. Wolbrink, she told me that she had a conference on this matter with Chairman Scott Butera—who offered to meet with as many members of the Derby Senior Center who would like to talk to him, and he will send a limousine, van or bus to bring them to Foxwoods to meet with him at a brunch. I conveyed this information to the Derby Senior Center this noon. As a member of the Derby Senior Center, I hope this matter is brought to an amiable resolution for all, and direct communication should accomplish that.
Foxwoods had a face-to-face meeting in the Senior Center yesterday, as noted in the story.
Thanks for reading!
Sarah Muoio called me back and told me that she will try to interest as many senior members she can to participate at a brunch with Scott Butera at Foxwoods.
Eugene Driscoll: I only got involved today—because yesterday’s meeting apparently did not resolve the hostility. As a member of the center, I am only looking for a peaceful resolution for all of our members. Hopefully, this will be achieved, once the members meet with Scott Butera.
Have a happy day, Gene.
With all due respect, Mr. Muzyk, I did not say I would try to interest as many seniors as I can to participate in a brunch with Mr. Butera. All I am asking for from Mr. Butera is respect for senior citizens. I appreciate your efforts to resolve the issue. If you wish to go to the meeting at Foxwoods, I am not encouraging you either way. I am just stating that until this is resolved in the correct way (without limos and free meals), I will not be promoting trips there.
Sarah Muoio: When I asked you for a number of members that would be coming to a brunch meeting, I did not ask you to encourage—or discourage our seniors to go. I only asked you for a number, so Scott Butera would know what type of vehicle he should send—to pick up the group. Yes, I plan to accept Mr. Butera’s offer, and since you are a principal in this controversy, I trust you will be participating in the meeting also. As a member, Susan, I only ask you to do—what is best for the membership. In all respect, Susan, at this eve of a worthy resolve—you should not say “I will not be promoting trips there”—unless this the wish of the majority of our senior members. People our age do not seek confrontation. That’s why I encourage our members to meet with Mr. Butera for a mutual resolve of a matter that has unfortunately, been already blown out of proportion, through the news media. As long as Scott Butera is graciously inviting us to talk with him—preliminary thoughts of the meeting will not enhance the conclusion.