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Tribe pleased with casino construction progress

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BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – One year after the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi began construction on FireKeepers Casino and before its anticipated opening this summer, the $300 million project is already making an economic impact in Michigan.

FireKeepers is expected to create approximately 2,200 jobs – 700 construction and 1,500 permanent. The casino is also projected to generate additional jobs in southwest Michigan when in full operation. Since construction began May 7, 2008, the tribe has made a concerted effort to use business suppliers and labor in the local community and surrounding areas to build and support the casino.

“The tribe is pleased to see the progress we’re making in the construction of FireKeepers Casino and the local economic activity generated from the project,” said Tribal Chair Laura Spurr. “FireKeepers has become a much needed economic boost to not only our tribe but to the region and the state.”

Construction Status

The project is in the finishing stage. Crews are laying carpet, painting walls, positioning cameras and restaurant equipment, and will soon begin the installation of slot machines and tables for blackjack, craps and other card games. Approximately 235 workers representing various trades are on site daily, including painters, carpet and tile installers and bricklayers.

“It is amazing that one year ago, this site was a cornfield,” said Duane Wixson, senior project manager for Clark Construction. “Our incredible progress is a reflection on the leadership of the tribe and gaming entertainment (Michigan) The hard work and effort from our construction team has also contributed to the exceptional quality of this casino.”

FireKeepers opens in August

The hottest month of the year will mark the opening Michigan’s hottest new gaming and entertainment destination – FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek. The property is scheduled to open in early August.

“Our tribal members, the local community and our new team members have all been looking forward to opening the doors in early August,” Spurr said. “The project is right on schedule and now the countdown has begun as we are just a few months away.”

When open, FireKeepers will have a 107,000-square-foot gaming floor complete with 2,680 slot machines, 78 table games, a live poker room and bingo room. FireKeepers will also offer five distinctive restaurants, multiple lounges and entertainment venues.

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Guests don’t need to wait until August to experience the casino’s excitement. The FireKeepers’ Web site lets them sign up for FireKeepers’ Red Hot Rewards Club (must be 21 years or older), purchase FireKeepers merchandise and preview the dining, gaming and entertainment that will be available.

Red Hot Rewards Club members can start earning points and win cash by playing any of the site’s free online casino games.

“We are thrilled to announce that we are opening in early August. FireKeepers will give the region a variety of first-class dining and entertainment options,” said R. Bruce McKee, FireKeepers Casino general manager. “We encourage future guests to visit our Web site today and get ready for our opening by signing up for our Red Hot Rewards Club.”

FireKeepers is still in the process of filling its 1,500 positions. Individuals interested in applying can visit the casino Web site.

Slot machines arrive

FireKeepers Casino gave its first slot machines the star treatment June 1 with a special red carpet delivery ceremony. These slot machines represent the first of 2,680 machines that will soon fill FireKeepers Casino’s 107,000-square-foot gaming floor.

“The delivery of our slot machines marks a significant milestone for the Tribe and FireKeepers Casino as we move closer to our early August opening,” Spurr said. “These Las Vegas style slot machines are the heart of this economic development project since a portion of the slot revenues will be shared with the community and state.”

When complete, FireKeepers Casino will have all the best in Las Vegas-style gaming, offering the most innovative slot machines available in various denominations. Wheels of Fortune, Star Wars, Wizard of Oz, EBAY, Deal of No Deal and Monopoly are just a few of the popular slots that will be found at FireKeepers.

“FireKeepers will combine great customer service with the latest slot technology to provide guests with a superior gaming experience,” McKee said. “From penny slots to high limit slots, there will be a game for everyone.”

Each machine will be equipped with ticket-in, ticket-out capability and the latest technology, an interactive, multimedia display that personalizes the gaming experience for members of the Red Hot Rewards Club. Players will use the NextGen display to check their club point totals, access customized promotions and download free slot play.