Cowdell: Time to update downtown traffic plan

May 1, 2013
By Thor Jourgensen/The Daily Item

Casino boat operator James Walsh said equipment upgrades and employee training have delayed his first sailing out of Lynn Harbor by a month to six weeks.

"If I can hit June 1, I'd be really happy," Walsh said Monday.

Walsh said a crew will help sail the 225-foot Aquasino from Florida to Lynn beginning next Tuesday. He anticipates the trip will take six days even as he works to get his waterborne gambling operation up and running.

Walsh's plans call for sailing Aquasino Wednesday through Sunday from the Economic Development and Industrial Corporation pier off Marine Boulevard out to international waters where passengers will be able to play table games, slot machines in the ship's casino or eat and enjoy entertainment on the four-deck ship.

The EDIC board of directors approved a $200,000 loan for Walsh at its April 23 meeting to pay for improvements to the ship and a pier walkway. EDIC Director James Cowdell said agency loans typically do not exceed $250,000.

"It's going toward operational needs; what we're trying to do is create jobs," said Cowdell.

Walsh has previously said he is relying on his experience operating water tours and fishing excursions out of Lynn Harbor to make his casino business a success. He said the gambling ship will employ 220 people directly and indirectly, including job creation opportunities available to vendors providing services to the ship.

Fifty-person crews will operate the ship Wednesday through Saturday on 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. cruises as well as an 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday cruise. He said he has hired a security team, and said casino workers and restaurant workers and bartenders are being hired and trained.

"We've got to get everybody up and running," he said.

Walsh's website - - lists electronic mail addresses where job seekers can file applications.

"The interest in us, even without advertising, is amazing," Walsh said.

Cowdell said Walsh has obtained a state alcoholic beverage permit and local food service permits for his ship, and is working to obtain lease agreements for about 400 parking spaces owned by National Grid and Elevator Interior Design on Marine Boulevard.

Thor Jourgensen can be reached at


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