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Firekeepers Officials Announce Additional Workers for Casino Construction

On September 6th, 2008, Firekeepers casino officials said that more workers will be hired to the construction of the Firekeepers casino in October and they will work on the casino until winter. The senior project manager for the casino construction, Duane Wixson, said that a second shift of construction will be placed on October. The building will be enclosed by Thanksgiving so that the crews can continue working on the interior of the casino even on winter. The FireKeepers casino is set to debut in the summer of 2009.

About two hundred local and state government officials and local business leaders were gathered at the brand new FireKeepers Administrative Office on Old U.S. 27 North for the presentation. Wixson commented that $27 million in contracts were given to three Battle Creek and two Kalamazoo companies. With 290,000 man hours totaling $8 million in payroll, about ninety percent of the casino construction crew lives within sixty miles of the Emmett Township casino facility. About 20% of the workers are American Indians. Wixson said that about one hundred people are now working on the casino. The construction of the casino will produce around seven hundred jobs.

The FireKeepers general manager, Bruce McKee, gave a virtual tour of the casino's interior with an artists' rendering. McKee said that in the 236,000 square foot facility, 107,000 square will be for gaming. The FireKeepers will also have a VIP room, restaurants, bars and small-scale entertainment. McKee said that the new administrative office in Marshall is where some three hundred dealers will be trained over 8 to 12 weeks after a January job fair. FireKeepers is expected to produce around 1,500 jobs.

The tribal council chairwoman of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians, which owns the FireKeepers casino, Laura Spurr, said that it took 168 years from the tribe's founding to the construction of the casino and they are hopeful about the future of the casino. The tribe will utilize the casino revenue-estimated at $100 million annually for economic development to give jobs to tribal members and the community.


15 September 2008
News Submitted by:
Jack Silverman

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