On Thursday, Gun Lake Casino in Michigan hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for a $300 million project that will see the venue transform into "a first-class destination resort." Owned by the Gun Lake Tribe, the new resort is expected to open in March 2025, on the west side of Gun Lake Casino, in Wayland Township.
The new venue aims to add a 15-floor hotel, featuring 252 rooms and a 32,000 square foot Aquadome. According to CEO Sal Semola, the expansion will provide more non-gaming amenities.
Bob Peters, chairmen of the Gun Lake Tribe, said the hotel and Aquadome will be "spectacular" and "nothing like you’ve seen around here," as reported by MLive. He added that "while the process will take 34 months, it will be something to enjoy for many years to come." The new amenity will be kept at 82 degrees year-round and will be able to transform for different events needed.
The hotel will feature 30 suited and two-story suites on the top floor. Additionally, the resort will feature three indoor pools and a new restaurant, Sandhill Café. HBG Design is overseeing the design of the expansion, which officials are calling 'Phase 5'.
Sal Semola, CEO of Gun Lake Casino.
Semola stated that they expect the new venue to attract more visitors from throughout Michigan. He explained that the casino’s biggest competitors are FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, and Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant, but with the new venue, the casino would be offering a lot of the same amenities they offer.
"The addition of the hotel is going to expand our geographic reach and our demographic appeal," Semola stated, as reported by the cited media. "It puts us on a level playing field with our competition".
Looking forward, Semola noted that the hotel and Aquadome would bring a big benefit to the tribe and the West Michigan economy, noting the temporary construction jobs created because of the project.
"Not only does Phase 5 meet current demand, but also it’s going to assure the financial sovereignty long-term of the tribe for not just today but future generations," Semola told MLive.