A tribe is boosting the Michigan economy through its successful casino in Battle Creek.
The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi new annual record is $21.9 million in payments to the State of Michigan and the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board (FLRSB).
The payment to Michigan totals more than $16.6 million, an increase of 7.8 percent over the 2014 payment. Meanwhile the payment to the FLRSB reaches of over $5.3 million, which 5.3 percent higher than one year ago. This brings the total monies the tribe has contributed to the State of Michigan to $90 million and $32.2 million to the FLRSB, and creates a combined contribution that exceeds $122 million since FireKeepers Casino Hotel opened in August 2009.
Two checks were presented from the NHBP today, the first to the newly-appointed FLRSB Chairman and Mayor of Marshall, Jack Reed for $5,270,916. The second check for $16,583,665 was presented to the state of Michigan, with Representative David Maturen (R), whose 63rd District encompasses parts of Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties, in attendance to accept the check.
The funds distributed are part of a negotiated agreement between the NHBP and the state for 2015 operations at the NHBP’s FireKeepers Casino Hotel.
“Today, the sovereign nation of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi and its principal economic engine, FireKeepers Casino Hotel, announce its single largest compact contribution of $22 million dollars to the State of Michigan and the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board. We take great honor fulfilling a promise of our original intentions before the first brick was laid,” states Homer A. Mandoka, Tribal Council Chair of the NHBP. “Exceeding $122 million in compact contributions is a clear sign of our dedication to revitalize our sovereignty and impact the lives of many in Calhoun County and Pure Michigan. The leadership of the Tribal Council and its partners strive to respond and improve the quality of life with local contributions to S.A.F.E. Place Women’s Shelter, the Food Bank of South Central Michigan, Willard Library, Marshall Public Schools and Native American causes. Brian Decorah, CEO and President of FireKeepers, and his over-the-wall team deliver amazing guest service every day, matching the excitement of the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan Speedway and the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship at Battle Creek Country Club.”
In addition to the distribution of $21.9 million, the NHBPs FireKeepers Casino Hotel has contributed significantly to Michigan’s economy in 2015. Just this past December it was announced that FireKeepers Casino Hotel had achieved another major financial milestone of reaching $300 million in cumulative paid labor costs that include total wages, health insurance, 401(k), and incentives to the 1,650 full and part-time team members since opening.
The NHBP has made a concentrated effort to focus FireKeepers Casino Hotel on supporting local businesses and suppliers and extend contributions to the local economy beyond the FLRSB and the distribution to the state. The Tribe’s commitment to local spending has resulted in awarding contracts in excess of $28.5 million within the state of Michigan in 2015.
•Greater Calhoun County region – $6.4 million (Calhoun, Jackson, Branch)
•West Michigan – $7.4 million (Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Grand Traverse, Kalamazoo, Kent, Ottawa, Van Buren)
•Lansing Area– $4.3 million (Ingham, Eaton, Clinton)
•Metro Detroit – $2.5 million (Wayne)
•Other – $7.9 million (Bay, Genesee, Gratiot, Isabella, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Mecosta, Midland, Monroe, Montcalm, Oakland, Saginaw, St. Clair, Shiawassee, Washtenaw, Wexford)
The check presented to the FLRSB is the seventh distribution since the first distribution in Feb. 2010, when the NHBP presented a check to the FLRSB for nearly $2 million. From 2011 to 2013, each annual payment was nearly $5 million, while payments for 2014 to the present are each above $5 million. The funds distributed have benefited the following groups:
• Harper Creek Community Schools
• Calhoun County Road Commission
• Emmett Township
• Calhoun County
• Calhoun Intermediate School District
• Kellogg Community College
• Willard Library
• Athens Township
• Marshall Township
• City of Marshall
• City of Battle Creek
• Athens Area Schools
• Village of Athens
• Battle Creek Public Schools
• Marshall Public Schools
• Lakeview School District
• Pennfield Schools
There are more than 1,100 Tribal members. Tribal Council members include Homer A. Mandoka, Jamie Stuck, Dorie Rios, Tony Day, and Christine Lanning. The Huron Potawatomi primary Indian Health and Bureau of Indian Affairs Service Area covers Allegan, Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Kent and Ottawa counties. The Tribe’s administrative office is located at the Pine Creek Reservation in Athens Township with a satellite office in Wyoming, Mich. to better serve members.
FireKeepers Casino Hotel is located just off Interstate 94 at Exit 104 in Battle Creek, Mich. The property features a 111,700-square foot gaming floor with 2,900 slot machines, 70 table games, a live poker room and bingo room. FireKeepers offers a AAA-rated Four Diamond resort-style hotel with 243 rooms, a functional multi-purpose event center capable of seating up to 2,000 guests, six distinctive dining destinations, multiple lounges and entertainment venues. FireKeepers is the title sponsor of the June Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway, the FireKeepers Casino 400. For more information visit www.FireKeepersCasinoHotel.com.