STURGIS, MI - The Burt Lake Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians met with Sturgis
commissioners Wednesday to present their proposal for a casino. About 650 people
attended the meeting to hear the plan and express their opinions.
The project includes a casino, a 400-room hotel, restaurants, a truck stop, and
a retail center. The proposed site is 200 vacant acres at the southeast quadrant
of Bogen Road and M-66, south of Sturgis' city limits. Total cost would be $125
million to $150 million.
The audience applauded the tribal chairman of the Burt Lake Band when he
finished the presentation, and hopes for employment opportunities become the
primary topic of conversation afterwards. It was estimated that 2,000 permanent
jobs would be created.
The timeline for starting construction is years away. The Burt Lake Band are a
state-recognized tribe, but they must gain federal recognition as the first
step. Then they can submit an application to the U.S. Department of Interior to
take the land into federal trust for the purpose of building the casino. If
granted, the land will have the sovereignty rights needed to proceed. The final
step is to negotiate a gaming compact with the state and have it ratified by the
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