In a significant development for electric vehicle enthusiasts, Tesla, the trailblazing automaker, has announced the opening of a new showroom later this year at Mohegan Sun, a popular casino-resort in Connecticut. The showroom, which will be nestled within The Shops at Mohegan Sun, will present guests with a unique opportunity to buy their dream Tesla vehicle without traveling to another state to pick it up.
The Tesla showroom at Mohegan Sun will provide access to various Tesla models, including Model Y, Model 3, and Model S, among others. This new initiative is the first of its kind in Connecticut and signifies a pioneering Sales & Delivery center on Sovereign Tribal land, thereby opening up new avenues for Tesla’s expansion and customer reach.
Jeff Hamilton, the President and General Manager of Mohegan Sun, expressed his excitement over the opening of the Tesla EV Showroom. The venture represents a landmark achievement in the casino’s ongoing commitment to creating influential partnerships, promoting environmental sustainability, and delivering groundbreaking experiences to its visitors.
Five Tesla charging stations currently exist at Mohegan Sun, further enhancing the convenience for potential Tesla owners. The Tesla showroom at Mohegan Sun will be strategically located near Todd English’s Tuscany, and deliveries will take place at the Sky Tower valet. With this facility, the wait time for car delivery is expected to be significantly shorter than out-of-state purchases. The Sky Valet will also host Tesla test drives, with a garage accommodating up to 150 Teslas.
The initiative is likely to encourage more people to buy electric cars and contribute to environmental sustainability, a sentiment echoed by Governor Ned Lamont. Tesla, which has struggled with legislative hurdles in Connecticut and beyond, has ingeniously bypassed state laws requiring vehicle sales through dealerships by choosing to open the showroom on the Mohegan Tribe’s sovereign land.
This workaround has raised some concerns among traditional auto dealers like Hoffman Auto Group, who worry about Tesla bypassing state laws. However, they don’t anticipate any significant impact on the dealerships in the state that already sell over 65 types of electric vehicles. Their main concern revolves around the lack of dealership support for Tesla consumers.
Tesla’s presence at Mohegan Sun represents only a part of its expansion plans. The company is also looking to open another location near Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Oneida, NY, in 2025, addressing the need for potential Tesla owners to travel out of state for purchases.
The new Tesla facility at Mohegan Sun will be housed in a former Victoria’s Secret outlet, with renovations set to begin shortly. The facility is expected to be operational by Fall 2023, and the deliveries will start even before the completion of the facility. The strategic location of Mohegan Sun will make Tesla vehicles more accessible for residents in the eastern part of Connecticut.
Tesla’s move to open a showroom on tribal land is seen as a smart strategy, despite the location’s distance from major population centers. The company’s ongoing efforts to win the right for direct sales in Connecticut continue alongside this development. However, the opening of the new Tesla facility is expected to demonstrate that direct sales won’t necessarily destabilize the traditional auto dealership model.
As part of the partnership, Tesla will also offer technician training to tribal members and some casino workers, although servicing or repairing won’t be conducted at the casino. The possibility of other EV manufacturers like Rivian and Lucid following Tesla’s lead and opening showrooms at tribal casinos is a question that remains to be seen.
This promising partnership will potentially usher in a new era of EV sales, opening up new avenues for both Tesla and Mohegan Sun, while also fueling a greener future. The grand opening of the new Tesla sales center this fall is eagerly awaited, marking a new milestone in the EV industry.
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