July 20, 2010
It was announced on Tuesday that the Gun Lake Casino project will continue. A loan was arranged by Goldman Sachs for $165 million. Construction had to slow previously since the Gun Lake Band of Pottawatomi and their backers could not secure a loan in time. The original plan was to open the 83,000 square foot gaming facility in Allegan County later this fall.
The loan is at 12 percent and for five years. It is expected to be paid off in three years. The tribe is hopeful to open the new casino early in 2011. However an official opening date has not been announced. A chief executive for the Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Authority, John Shagonaby, stated that they are hopeful to open in January. However they will need to wait a few months more into the construction to have a clearer idea of the actual opening date.
The loan is to help pay off existing debt, pay fees, create a reserve, and pay for ongoing construction. The tribe’s management company, Station Casinos, advanced over $53 million at the end of 2009 for casino development.
The tribe is confident that the loan will help them build a competitive state of the art facility in the western part of the state. It has taken 10 years for the tribe to get approval to build the casino. Then the economy turned downwards. This forced the Pottawatomi to scale back their plans. That announcement came last year.
Tuesday crews went back to work on the casino. Internal infrastructure and ducts for heating and air conditioning were being installed.
When the casino does open, it will have 1,400 slot machines and 28 gaming tables. 600 people will also be employed.
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