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Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Michigan

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The Christmas Kewadin Casino will nearly double the number of people it employs when its expansion begins full operations in December, the manager says. The new building is being constructed beside the original casino in Alger County. A "soft opening" was scheduled Sept. 16 with additional slot machines and gaming tables available, said Steve Sprecker, who manages the casino for the tribe. When the overhauled casino is fully operational in December, it will provide 149 jobs, he said. There will be 22,000 square feet of space, up from 4,900 feet in the original casino, built in 1994. The number of slot machines has increased from 134 to 221. The number of gaming tables has doubled, from three to six. "Hopefully it's going to bring in a lot of tourists," Sprecker said. "Tourism is big up there and it doesn't slow down in the winter as much as it does at other casinos." The two-story, 48-unit Pair-a-Dice Inn is scheduled to open next spring on the west side of the casino. The motel will feature a hot tub, spa and meeting rooms

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