Posted on: April 20, 2021, 08:57h.
Last updated on: April 20, 2021, 09:18h.
The Gun Lake Casino is inching towards completing a $100 million expansion that adds 76,000 square feet to the property, located in Wayland, Mi. When that’s finished sometime this summer, the tribal casino will begin another expansion phase, this time a much larger one at a total investment cost of $300 million.
The $300 million expansion will be the largest for the Gun Lake Casino. Owned and operated by the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians — more commonly referred to as the Gun Lake Tribe — tribal officials say the next development phase will result in the casino becoming a full-fledged resort destination.
Project details include 250 four-star hotel rooms and suites, new restaurants, spa, and oasis pool enclosed in a glass dome to allow year-round use. The tribe did not reveal a time line for when the expansion might be completed.
Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to maintaining the reputation as a leading entertainment and gaming destination in Michigan,” said Sal Semola, president and chief operating officer of Gun Lake Casino. “The elevation of our offered amenities drives our economy through tourism and directly impacts the livelihood of local citizens through the development of new job opportunities.”
The Gun Lake Casino floor offers guests more than 2,000 slot machines and nearly 50 table games. The $100 million expansion of the casino includes a new sportsbook and high-limit gaming area.
The casino is located approximately 20 miles south of Grand Rapids.
Casino Becoming Integrated Resort
The Gun Lake Tribe received federal recognition in 1998, and had its land taken into trust in 2005. After reaching a Class III gaming compact with the state of Michigan to operate slot machines and table games, the Gun Lake Casino opened in 2011.
During the tribe’s 10th anniversary party celebrating the casino’s success, the Gun Lake Tribe said it has paid direct wages of more than half a billion dollars to its workers since 2011, and generated $2.8 billion in regional economic activity.
The Gun Lake Tribe added that, to date, it has invested $415 million into the casino. That number will balloon to $715 million in the coming years.
“The Tribe remains steadfastly committed to reinvest in our collective future, for the benefit of tribal citizens, team members, and the local community,” said Gun Lake Chairman Bob Peters. “This will provide even more employment opportunities and enhance Gun Lake Casino’s position as a tourism driver for western Michigan.”
The Gun Lake Casino is touting the economic assets it provides the area. Along with jobs and regional business activity, the tribe additionally supports the local community through its charitable giving.
Last year, as the pandemic worsened, the Gun Lake Tribe donated more than two tons of food to those in need. In October, it donated $500,000 to local charities, and just last month, the tribe gave $45,000 to a homeless nonprofit in Grand Rapids. The money was used to purchase a year’s supply of hygiene kits.
“Gun Lake Casino is committed to giving back by seeking opportunities to improve the quality of life in the community in which it serves. We believe it is a privilege and responsibility,” the tribe explained of its recent charitable acts.
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