Casino construction only slightly delayed

Published: May. 24, 2017 at 6:30 PM EDT
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The Ojibwa Casinos both in Marquette and Baraga are getting an upgrade.

According to staff, the project is running a month behind schedule, changing the opening date of the Baraga property to March 2018, and the new Marquette resort is still expected to be done in late 2018.

The Marquette Ojibwa Casino property on M-28 outside of town is getting over $33,000,000 dollars in renovation. That's expected to be done in September 2018.

"The Marquette property is moving right along. We're running a little behind where we want to be," Ojibwa Casinos General Manager Donald Wren said. "But with every construction project we do, or what everybody does, it's always the site issues that hold you up."

It will soon have twice the games, brand new top of the line restaurants and expanded amenities.

They're expanding the footprint of the Marquette facilities, and building a new 76 room hotel to become a destination experience for everyone visiting the area.

"It moves from this small little gaming facility with a little grill to a full-fledged opportunity for people to come in and be completely entertained and not just on the gaming side," Wren said.

New attractions include a 400 seat convention center, and a 1,200 seat concert venue.

Casino manager Donald Wren said they have plans to bring in a wide variety of entertainment from stand-up comics and variety acts, to musicians from several genres.

"It's going to be exciting opportunity both for the tribe, for the employees, [and] the community," Wren said.

Employees said they're looking forward to these upgrades.

"Infrastructure one was a big thing at the Baraga property,” Baraga Ojibwa Casino Slot Manager Chris Schofield said. “Once we get the infrastructure, the heating and the cooling, that will be a huge success for us here."

The Baraga facility near the intersection of US-41 and M-38 is getting over $5,000,000 in infrastructure updates, which are expected to be done around March 2018.

These include new active smoke eaters and new heating and cooling units to make a visit to the casino even more enjoyable.

The expansion of the casinos brings about another advantage to the area. With more attractions coming, the Marquette casino could be hiring more than 50 people.