Update on Gun Lake Casino Construction

From K’zoo Gazette via Pechanga:

Gun Lake Casino construction 1View full sizeShawano Cleary | Special to the Kalamazoo GazetteBob Ely, of Ace Steel and his partner, Riley Beight, work on the Gun Lake Casino in Wayland Township last week.
WAYLAND TOWNSHIP — Cooperative weather up until mid-December allowed work crews constructing the Gun Lake Casino in Wayland Township to get a bit ahead of schedule on the 83,000-square-foot facility.

Gun Lake Casino Artist renderingView full sizeHandout photo.Artist rendering of the exterior of the planned Gun Lake CasinoThe foundation has been laid and steel beams are being installed on the $157 million casino — less than half the size originally planned— off Exit 61 on U.S. 131, halfway between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo on the former Ampro Products factory site. It is scheduled to open at the end of this summer.

“It depends on the weather for the next few months, but we’re moving forward as planned,” said James Nye, spokesman for the Gun Lake Tribe of Pottawatomi Indians, also known as the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band.

Citing the sour economy and a desire not to accumulate massive amounts of debt, the tribe scaled-back its original plans last year for a 198,000-square-foot facility.

Construction of the casino is being managed by Skanska USA’s Portage office and will employ 750 workers. It will have 1,200 slot machines and 36 gaming tables, plus restaurants and other amenities. The tribe estimates it will create 600 direct jobs at the facility and 1,000 spin-off jobs.
It will be operated by the tribe’s management partner, MPM Enterprises, which is owned by an affiliate of Las Vegas-based Station Casinos, Inc. and private investors in Michigan.

Gun Lake Casino construction 2View full sizeShawano Cleary | Special to the Kalamazoo GazetteConstruction workers of Ace Steel, Shelbyville, work setting steel beams in place during the construction of Gun Lake Casino, Wayland Township.After years of setbacks, the federal government in August declared the 147-acre casino site a reservation and a federal judge dismissed the final lawsuit to stop it.

The tribe does see creating a larger casino when the economy improves, Nye said. The current project, known as Phase 1, will be the foundation upon  which additional space could be added.
“Expanding in the future will depend on the economy and paying off the debt,” Nye said. The tribe used financing to pay for construction.

After the first year of operation, the tribe estimates the casino will annually generate $9.1 million in tax revenue to the state and $2.3 million to local municipalities, he said. In addition, $30 million will be spent in the first year on goods and services needed to operate the facility, of which “a vast majority will be spent in the area,” Nye said.

4 thoughts on “Update on Gun Lake Casino Construction

  1. Paul,Sue Haywood February 24, 2010 / 9:37 pm

    We can’t wait for the casino,to open. This is great for Bradley, Mi.

  2. Donna Wenger March 14, 2010 / 2:41 pm

    I’ve been waiting many, many years. I was at the ground breaking. And I can’t wait to be one of the first ones thru the door. I dream about it!!

  3. kim demmink June 25, 2010 / 1:20 pm

    when is the casino opening

  4. Elta Orman July 10, 2010 / 12:19 pm

    I heard the casino ran out of money is this true.

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