CHOCOLAY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) -- After three decades, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community is making a major investment: $40 million in renovations and improvements to the Ojibwa Casinos.
After three decades, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community is making a major investment: $40 million in renovations and improvements to the Ojibwa Casinos.
"The tribe actually hasn't done any real reinvestment into their casinos going back to 1985," KBIC Chief Executive Officer Larry Denomie III said. "We started here in Baraga, actually, in a little bar that we have here attached to the casino called the Press Box."
The Baraga casino gets $6.5 million in infrastructure renovations and an expanded casino floor. The Marquette casino is using $33.5 million to build an 80-room hotel, a 400-seat convention center, a 1,200-seat entertainment venue and three new restaurants.
"I think it's a great opportunity for both communities, both here at Baraga and Marquette," Ojibwa Casinos General Manager Don Wren said. "The employees are excited. Everybody's on Cloud Nine about the project."
The Marquette casino will also expand its casino floor from 289 slot machines to 500. Management said they're helping fill a local shortage of hotel and conference rooms.
"In the groups that I've talked to—the Chamber of Commerce, the Visitors Bureau, and all the groups that we spoke with prior to putting everything together—that's one of the things they speak of in depth, and one of the things that particularly Marquette needs, is additional conference space," Wren said.
Construction will start soon for both casinos. The Baraga location breaks ground Dec. 7, and the Marquette location breaks ground Dec. 6.
The Baraga renovations are expected to be done by March 2017. The Marquette expansion is scheduled to open by October 2017.