On Saturday, September 12, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (“Tribe”) members voted on two casino proposals totaling $40M located in Baraga and Marquette in the Upper Peninsula. Unofficial results have been released approving both casino projects, which are expected to be ratified by the Tribal Council on January 9.

Tribal members were asked whether an estimated $28 million should be spent by the tribe on a new casino and hotel, which would be built next to the current Ojibwa Casino in Baraga. The second proposal voted on was a $12 million investment in new casino facilities in Marquette in addition to renovating the existing casino space.

In January, the Tribe sought two feasibility studies to be performed by Global Market Advisors (“GMA”) regarding the Tribe’s two casinos. The group assisted the Tribe with a casino and hotel market assessment for potential expansion.

According to GMA’s study, the $20M Ojibwa Casino Baraga proposal includes demolishing and rebuilding the current resort with an upgraded casino and the ability to expand the number of gaming devices by 25%, in addition to adding a 75-room hotel and other amenities. The study projects a $3.8M increase in profit in the first full year of operation.

Similarly, GMA’s study of the Ojibwa Casino Marquette includes demolishing and rebuilding the current casino and the ability to expand the number of gaming devices by 25%; however, it does not recommend a hotel. GMA projects an increase in profit in the first full year of operation of $2.5M. Financing for both projects would be secured using the Tribe’s Trust Accounts.

According to Casino City, Ojibwa Casino Marquette’s 13,500 square foot gaming space currently features 293 gaming machines and 11 table games. The Ojibwa Casino Baraga’s 17,000 square foot gaming space includes 316 gaming machines and 9 table games.

Notably, in December of 2014, the Tribe voted against a $31M measure to buy the Baraga lakeside Inn in order to relocate the Ojibwa Casino .

For more information, please visit: www.ojibwacasino.com.

 

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