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OneSweetWorld

Gun Lake Casino

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I'm not sure if there is an existing thread for this proposed casino, but I couldn't find one so I'm creating a new one. Also not sure exactly where this thread should go, but I thought it would go best in the Grand Rapids forum so it would get more traffic, as it really is a big project for West Michigan.

Basics:

Developer: the Gun Lake band of Pottawatomi Indians (website)

Location: The former Ampro Products Building off US 131's 129th St. exit in Wayland twp, about halfway between Grand Rapids and Kalamzoo

Cost: $200 million

Latest news:

Gun Lake tribe gets approval to develop casino (includes small rendering)

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Yep, the US Court of Appeals basically gave this project a long awaited Green Light today. The last level of appeal for the opposition is the US Supreme Court. Despite comments in the media to the contrary, it is highly unlikely that MichGo and the other opponents will appeal to the Supreme Court. It is also very unlikely that the Supremes would even here the case if an appeal is made. I suspect you will see them breaking ground very, very soon.

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What I love most about this whole affair is threefold. First, it makes it so that a tribe of America's native people who were wiped out by America's newcomers now locally have a mechanism to financially rebuild themselves. Secondly, it underscores to those "ICON NAMES" of Metro Grand Rapids that all of their wealth does not give them the power to speak for all of our tastes and preferences (i.e. - "the people of West Michigan do not want a casino here, blah, blah, blah . . . . ). Thirdly, it will transform yet again the aerial map that convention planners look at when they consider this region (READ: REGION, R - E - G - I - O - N, not just downtown, or the City or Kent County) - now the map they see will now include CASINO along with 52 MILES OF BEACHES, MICHIGAN'S ADVENTURE, DEVOS PLACE, MEIJER GARDENS, HERITAGE LANDING, JW MARRIOTT, MILLENIUM PARK, VAN ANDEL ARENA etc. The more diverse attractions we pack into the Metro Triplex area, the more we will be able to hold our own with the more congested, more expensive bigger boys (regions).

Now hurry up with the buffet and the headdressed dancing girls.

Hey, 20 is Enough - say "CHEESE" !! :camera:

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I agree, I don't think this development is as evil as everyone says it is. It will provide a ton of jobs and will attract millions of people. I only wish it was in a location closer to GR, or perhaps halfway between GR and Holland; I'm sure the people of Hudsonville would love that. If you don't like it, don't go.

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Jobs, sure. But at what expense? I'm not convinced that a casino really provides a net gain. Unlike a factory, which actually producers things of value, a casino just shifts money around. The employees see a piece of that, sure, but it doesn't actually create anything. The only way for it to produce a net positive is if it brings in money from out of the area, but there's no way it's going to compete with Vegas. Maybe it'll keep some people from traveling further to throw away their money, but it will also encourage more locals to piss their money away.

FWIW, I'm also opposed to the state lottery despite how much they try to sell it as great for Michigan schools, etc. I'm not anti-gambling per se, I'd just like to see it confined to a few areas.

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What you guys fail to realize is that these casinos are created to be their own standalone worlds. Take a look at Mt. Pleasant. It started with a casino, then added hotels and concert venues -- all operating at a tax-free advantage that private owned businesses can't compete with. Soaring Eagle gave the same lines about huge economic spinoffs in the city, but more restaurants have closed in Mt. Pleasant than have opened. I know that Van Andel/Deltaplex and other GR venues consistently loses out on acts because Soaring Eagle is much more lucrative. While the Gun Lake Tribe might have no immediate plans for a hotel, concert venue, convention center, etc, they certainly have the room to expand. In fact, their original plans called for all of the above and more. Do you really want downtown GR (or Kzoo and Holland, for that matter) to compete against that?

Secchia, Jandernoa, DeVos, etc didn't just arbitrarily decide to oppose the casino b/c they personally don't want to gamble or they think it's morally wrong. It wasn't until after the GR Chamber commissioned an economic study that the big players got involved.

If anyone is REALLY interested, you can read the economic impact study here: http://www.andersoneconomicgroup.com/modul...&doc_ID=501

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What you guys fail to realize is that these casinos are created to be their own standalone worlds. Take a look at Mt. Pleasant. It started with a casino, then added hotels and concert venues -- all operating at a tax-free advantage that private owned businesses can't compete with. Soaring Eagle gave the same lines about huge economic spinoffs in the city, but more restaurants have closed in Mt. Pleasant than have opened. I know that Van Andel/Deltaplex and other GR venues consistently loses out on acts because Soaring Eagle is much more lucrative. While the Gun Lake Tribe might have no immediate plans for a hotel, concert venue, convention center, etc, they certainly have the room to expand. In fact, their original plans called for all of the above and more. Do you really want downtown GR (or Kzoo and Holland, for that matter) to compete against that?

Secchia, Jandernoa, DeVos, etc didn't just arbitrarily decide to oppose the casino b/c they personally don't want to gamble or they think it's morally wrong. It wasn't until after the GR Chamber commissioned an economic study that the big players got involved.

If anyone is REALLY interested, you can read the economic impact study here: http://www.andersoneconomicgroup.com/modul...&doc_ID=501

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What has K'zoo said about this? According to Anderson, Kalamazoo County is the second county behind Kent to see a net loss.

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You snooze you lose. If they are so concerned with the Gun Lake casino competing with downtown GR..then why didn't they build a casino downtown GR and beat them to the punch? How cool would that be?

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First, it makes it so that a tribe of America's native people who were wiped out by America's newcomers now locally have a mechanism to financially rebuild themselves.

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You snooze you lose. If they are so concerned with the Gun Lake casino competing with downtown GR..then why didn't they build a casino downtown GR and beat them to the punch? How cool would that be?

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What has K'zoo said about this? According to Anderson, Kalamazoo County is the second county behind Kent to see a net loss.

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Kzoo chamber came out in support of the casino before the study was released, and never changed their mind. SouthWest Michigan First, Kzoo's economic development corporation (who in all honesty accomplishes more than the chamber...they were the ones who brokered those 3000 new research jobs), has always been a staunch opponent.

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as opposed to going to college and getting an education, then doing something with it?

I'm just glad it's not in grand rapids. the state has been getting over run with casinos and they have come to represent as act of desperation to me. when every city has a casino they cease to add to to the area because the only people that gamble there are locals.

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What annoys me and I believe many others is that the whole "Native American" thing seems a bit disingenuous....a group of people finally found a use for their Native American ancestry -

<_<

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I wasn't trying to nitpick your comment. I was trying to highlight that Kzoo business leaders also oppose it, not just GR's. Take a look at the board of SW Michigan First. Those are some of the BIGGEST stakeholders in metro Kzoo. If the casino would be so good for Kzoo business, do you really think that all of those guys would actively oppose it just because Mike J asked them to?

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Or the new Ft. Lauderdale... The Hollywood Hard Rock Casino is an awesome development here in S. Florida. You not only have the casino, but many night clubs, hotel, restaurants, sports bars, movie theatre, shops, and comedy theatre. It is not a casino, but a destination. Much better than the soaring eagle because it isn't located in the middle of nowhere like the SE or Hammond. Not taking the legal obstacles into consideration, but to have a destination downtown like the Hollywood Hard Rock would be amazing. They even have an outdoor ampitheatre.

If people were coming to GR for a science meeting at the VAI, or a convention at Devos, they would probably book first at a hotel room at something like the Hard Rock before the JW or Amway. It would be more of a mini vacation than a nice room/lobby/restaurant experience that you get at the other hotels downtown.

A megachurch would probably go over better in GR.

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I have a hunch you also know that Ampro backs up to a protected wetland---the only way they could expand is with some very creative site planning.

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Grand Rapids will never be Ft Lauderdale or Vegas. A casino in downtown Grand Rapids would be more akin to Shreveport, or New Buffalo, or Michigan City. And most of the conventions held at Devos Place are family-oriented, not flashy electronics shows or adult film industry conventions. That's just the way it is. In fact, maybe a mega-church like the one that inhabits the old Compaq stadium in downtown Houston might be better for downtown GR than people think. Mars Hills Church is actually drawing people to move here probably moreso than any company is.

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Your allusion that only attendees of flashy electronic shows or the adult film industry would be interested in a casino is so patently false that I probably don't need to expose any more of it. Suffice to say, lots of folks like going to casinos...they aren't all tech geeks or porn addicts.

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Yes, he left out the blue-haired old ladies with oxygen tanks.

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