HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveNewslettersVolume 22Issue 26KBIC MEMBERS APPROVE NEW PLANS FOR CASINO PROJECTS IN U.P.

On August 13, 2016 the members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (“Tribe”) approved a ballot proposal supporting new casino development projects in Baraga and Marquette (at the Tribe’s current casino locations) not to exceed $40 million. The approval allocates the estimated cost of the Baraga project at $6.5 million and the estimated cost of the Marquette project at $33.5 million.

Previously, in 2015, the Tribe had voted and approved two casino ballot proposals totaling $40 million for construction and renovation projects at the Tribe’s existing casino facilities, which included a majority of the funds to be allocated to the Baraga facility. Since the 2015 approvals, revisions to the projects have been made based upon several developments including Gov. Rick Snyder’s refusal to concur with the Tribe’s request to relocate its Marquette gaming facility to an airport facility purchased by the Tribe in 1999. This was the second time that the Governor chose not to concur with the Tribe’s plans after it had received its initial determination from the Department of the Interior (“DOI”). Under federal law, the land must be taken into trust by the DOI, and this process requires that the Governor concur with the DOI’s determination in order to move forward.

According to the Tribe, the $33.5 million revised Marquette casino project “would create a resort, an “Entertainment Mecca”, that will include a 100 room branded hotel, 1,200 seat entertainment venue, a full service restaurant as well as a grill, a 400 seat conference center, and gaming space to accommodate up to 600 slot machines.”

According to the Tribe, the $6.5 million revised Baragaproject plan includes “the construction of a new gaming facility added onto the existing facility. Renovations of current spaces would provide additional gaming areas for slots and table games and non-public space for staff and public access to the existing hotel, restaurant, and Pressbox Lanes and Lounge. The face of the facility will be redone to provide a cohesive appearance as well.”

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

Both projects will be financed using trust funds held by the Tribe as well as casino cash flow. In addition, construction of both projects will begin as soon as possible with a targeted completion to occur in late 2017 or early 2018.

For renderings and floorplans for both projects, please visit the Tribe’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/KBICTribe/.


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