The Eastern Shoshone Tribe placed the high bid, $1.7 million, for 302 acres of state land in Riverton, Wyoming.
The tribe confirmed it has no intention of using the land to enter the saturated gaming market, and it purchased the property "as part of a long-term strategy to diversify our economy and investments," Shoshone Business Council (SBC) Chairman Darwin St. Clair said.
"We're still looking at our wish list," St. Clair told The Ranger, "hopefully a nice hotel or a convention center."
The tribe plans to maintain the property as fee land. "The property is in a great location and should support a mix of commercial, residential and public uses," St. Clair said. "Ultimately, development of this property will provide jobs, diversify the economy, and keep local dollars from going to places like Casper on Billings."
The property, previously part of the Riverton Honor Farm and located adjacent to the Riverton Wal-Mart, was offered at public auction by the State of Wyoming on April 12, 2016. According to Wyoming's detailed analysis of the property, it was auctioned to meet Riverton's need for additional residential, civic and commercial land development because other development properties "are limited by access issues and other site suitability concerns."
"We have initiated contact with the City of Riverton, the Wyoming Honor Farm and will be meeting with representatives of the Modelers Park. We are exciting to being working on this project and we look forward to a positive and fruitful relationship with the City and other stakeholders," said Clint Wagon, co-chairman of the SBC.
"The Eastern Shoshone Tribe operates a number of enterprises and is currently building a luxury hotel at the Shoshone Rose Casino. We envision great things for the Honor Farm property and know that it will be developed in a professional manner," added Nick Harris, SBC member.