EVERETT — For the past 40 years, Glenn Reynolds has made a hobby out of attending grand openings, from Boston’s flagship Chik-Fil-A to car dealerships to Red Sox opening days.

“I could write a book,” the 65-year-old Quincy native said. “I go to all the celebrations.”

Sunday’s grand opening of Wynn Resorts’ Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett was no exception. Reynolds secured his place in line by arriving at 5 p.m. on Saturday, a solid 17 hours ahead of Sunday’s opening ceremony.

After speeches from Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chair Cathy Judd-Stein, Wynn CEO Matthew Mattox, and Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria, fireworks blasted pink and green clouds into the morning sky.

“We will no longer be the back door to the city of Boston,” DeMaria said, standing at a podium. “We will be the front door to the city of Everett.”

The crowd cheered and Reynolds gripped his homemade “Encore, Great!” sign in anxious anticipation.

“If people weren’t awake before, that definitely woke them up!” Reynolds shouted over the fanfare, nearing his 17th hour standing in line.

Reynolds is one of tens of thousands of people who waited in line to witness the brand new Encore Boston Harbor facility, the state’s second full-scale casino, open 24/7 on Everett’s Mystic River. The early crowd was mostly residents of surrounding towns, eager to peek inside the long-anticipated mammoth of a building, inspired by rumors of an original Jeff Koons "Popeye" sculpture valued at $28 million, a $68 lobster roll, lavish gambling halls and an enormous jewel-encrusted carousel.

The 3 million square foot property contains a casino with over 3,000 slot machines and nearly 300 table games including poker and blackjack, a hotel with nearly 700 rooms (several priced at more than $1,000 per night), and a collection of new restaurants, shops, and clubs from local nightlife ambassadors like Big Night Entertainment and Frank DePasquale, who came to introduce his new restaurant, Fratelli, with co-owner Nick Varano.

“Boston nightlife will never be any bigger than what’s going to happen here,” DePasquale said. “I’m totally excited about it. I’m going to welcome everyone right until 4 a.m.”

The $2.6 billion project took seven years to get to opening day, between construction, political battles for the location, and a months-long limbo period during an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations levied against Wynn Resorts founder Steve Wynn.

Some Everett residents, like Carlos Frontas, are just hoping the casino becomes a revenue source for the city.

“I think it’s going to bring a lot of business and money for Everett,” Frontas said, “as long as Everett uses it for the right thing, to give more money to the schools and the parks.”

The casino expects to attract about 8 million visitors per year and employs approximately 5,500 staff members throughout the resort.

The state is anticipating to add about $85 million in revenue into its next budget from the casino.

Dawn McSherry and Rick Litif came from Plymouth and got a penthouse room on the 26th floor, overlooking the Mystic River with a Boston skyline view. They spent over $1,000 on one night at the hotel for McSherry’s birthday.

“The bathroom — I can’t believe!” Litif said. “It’s like a big jacuzzi tub in the bathroom, it’s all marble, artwork — laying in the bed, you can see the Zakim bridge. It’s beautiful.”

Clyde and Emma Maloney (along with their two dogs, Chloe and Bradley) traveled three miles from their Somerville home to stay at the resort, just to experience the excitement.

“We’re from Somerville, but seeing it up on the 18th floor, it’s just totally different,” Clyde Maloney said, holding Bradley, a small dog wearing a tuxedo. “It’s once in a lifetime! This will never happen again, so why not take it in?”

Emma Maloney adjusted Chloe, a shih tzu wearing a tutu, on her hip. “When we got to the room, we opened the curtains and we were blown away,” she said. “It’s top-notch.”