Four Winds Casino Resort Breaks Ground in Michigan

After six years, proposed casino finally starts moving forward

NEW BUFFALO TWP., Mich., June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- After six years of delay, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians is finally breaking ground today for Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo Township.

Four Winds Casino Resort, managed by Lakes Entertainment, Inc. for the Pokagon Band, will feature 3,000 slot machines, 90 table games, 20 poker tables and six restaurants. Construction will begin later this month and is expected to be completed in approximately 14 months. The project is expected to create approximately 1,000 construction jobs and 2,000 casino jobs.

"We want to celebrate and thank everyone for all of their support through the years at our ground breaking celebration," said Tribal Chairman John Miller of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. "We are excited about this historic event. This has been a long time coming and something we have been working very hard towards for many years now. The ground breaking will be a celebration of progress for the Pokagon Band as we move forward on the road to self-reliance and begin the construction phase on our tribal project," said Chairman Miller.

"We look forward to working with the Pokagon Band to help make their casino project a success," said Tim Cope, President and CFO of Lakes Entertainment, Inc. "Our goal is to offer an exciting and fun gaming experience."

The ground breaking will kick off an entire day of celebration for the tribe and supporters in the community. The ceremony will include a tribal blessing, drum groups and the release of four clusters of balloons to represent Four Winds.

The four balloons will symbolize the tribe's past, present, and future, as well as their partnership with the community. Representing these four hallmarks respectively as they release the balloons will be Elder Council Chair Marge Moody, Tribal Chairman Miller, Pokagon Band Youth Council officers: Chairman Marcus Winchester, Vice-Chairman John Morseau, Secretary Margaret Mersereau, and Treasurer Chuck Mersereau, as well as Agnes Conway, the New Buffalo Township Supervisor.

A special promotional prize will be attached to each cluster, and the lucky finders will be able to redeem them at Four Winds Casino Resort when it opens.

The Pokagon Band will pay two percent of electronic game revenue payment to a designated Local Revenue Sharing and eight percent to the Michigan Strategic Fund as required by the 1998 tribal-state gaming compacts.

The tribe will also provide additional funding over and above what is required under the compact for the Pokagon Fund. The community foundation, made up of both tribal and local community members will distribute revenue sharing funds from Four Winds Casino Resort to local communities surrounding New Buffalo Township, including the local school district.

For more information, please visit our new Four Winds Casino Resort website at .

Four Winds Casino Resort will be built on 51 acres of a 675-acre site near Interstate-94 and M-239 in New Buffalo Township, Michigan. The resort is owned by the Pokagon Band and operated by Lakes Entertainment, Inc. The general contractor for the project is a joint venture, Christman/Kraus-Anderson, and the architect is Urban Design Group, Inc.

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