MUSKEGON, MI - Speculation about a new casino grew last week when the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians purchased 93 acres in Fruitport Township less than 10 miles from downtown Muskegon. This follows the tribe's purchase in July of the Great Lakes Downs followed the next day by another purchase of 53 acres across the street from the racetrack.
The new acreage was purchased for $4.074 million. It fronts Sternberg Road and lies southeast of the 53-acre parcel connecting at one corner.
"We are currently going through the steps to explore establishing a casino on the property but are examining a number of development options as well," said tribal Public Affairs Director Glenn Zaring.
The Muskegon Chronicle has reported that tribal officials are talking with Fruitport Township about developing 40-50 acres for a casino and possibly a hotel.
Zaring added, "The actual economic impact would be much larger when you consider our support of local suppliers, contractors and vendors, payroll, services etc. That doesn't even include any development on the property beyond the casino. This could include restaurants, shopping, lodging, etc., all of which would be fee-simple, so they'd be positively contributing to the tax base."
The "fee-simple" reference means the land outside the casino resort area would be held as taxable property instead of tax-exempt tribal land.
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