The Gun Lake Casino and the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians have broken ground on a $300 million construction project to create a brand new hotel adjacent to the casino. The new hotel construction is just the beginning, however, as the tribe has plans to transform an almost 2.75-mile stretch of highway frontage into various retail, health care, housing, and manufacturing businesses.
Massive Land Acquisition
The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, commonly referred to as the Gun Lake Tribe, has been acquiring land near its casino property for several years now, intending for the new land to accommodate more casino and hotel attractions. Since beginning their massive land acquisition, the Gun Lake Tribe has purchased more than 1,200 acres between the Gun Lake Casino and the city of Wayland, Michigan.
According to Monica King, CEO of Gun Lake Investments, the Gun Lake Tribe now owns about a 2.75-mile-long stretch of highway frontage that the tribe is planning on turning into a mixed-use development area.
Development on development
The $300 million hotel project officially broke ground earlier this month. The announcement arrived in April 2021, just before the casino completed a 76,000-square-foot gaming space addition to their property, totaling $100 million. According to Gun Lake Tribal Chairman Bob Peters, these additions have been possible due to the continued growth the casino has experienced, thanks only to the casino’s outstanding team members.
“The Tribe remains steadfastly committed to reinvest in our collective future for the benefit of tribal citizens, team members, and the local community,” said Peters. “This will provide even more employment opportunities and enhance Gun Lake Casino’s position as a tourism driver for western Michigan.”
About the hotel expansion
The new expansion will bring a 15-story, 252-room hotel and a 32,000-square-foot aquadome adjacent to the Gun Lake Casino. The centerpiece of the new expansion project is their fully enclosed glass aquadome space which will feature three separate pools with poolside lounging. The aquadome will be warmed to around 80 degrees during the day to help support live palm trees and tropical flora growing in the space. The new hotel will bring a new restaurant, Sandhill Café, a spa with an indoor pool, a fitness center, and over 221 modern hotel rooms, 30 suites, with one two-story suite.
According to Gun Lake Casino spokesperson Zach Harig, the hotel and aquadome expansion is expected to be completed by March 2025.
“As a vital business in Allegan County, we recognize our ability to invest in our local community. The elevation of our offered amenities drives our economy through tourism and directly impacts the livelihood of local citizens through the development of new job opportunities,” said Sal Semola, president and COO of Gun Lake Casino.
Larger development project
The overarching expansion project across the 2.75 acres will undeniably reshape the town of Wayland. The expansion project is expected to transform the stretch of land along US 131 in Wayland over the next two decades.
According to the tribe, their planning phase has already begun.
“The planning phase will really be about figuring out what are our constraints and opportunities and what we can target first,” said CEO of Gun Lake Investments, Monica King. “Twelve hundred acres is so significant, and it will be its own ecosystem. We do have a couple of projects [in development] that we want to fast track and that we hope to break ground on next year.”
About the Gun Lake Casino
The Gun Lake Casino opened in 2011 at 1123 129th Ave, Wayland, MI, 49348. The casino currently features over 2,500 slot machines and dozens of table games. The casino features four unique restaurants.
Mac Daniel is a Michigan native and freelance writer for PlayOnlineCasino and PlayOnlineSportsBetting. He has experience writing about a wide variety of topics, including healthcare, tourism, non-profit organizations, and most recently casino and sportsbetting news. To check out more of his work, visit: playonlinemichigan.com