Monthly Archives: February 2012

Meeting Rescheduled

Due to inclement weather, the membership meeting scheduled for tonight in Naubinway has been canceled.  The meeting has been rescheduled for Thursday Mar. 8 at 6 p.m. in the same location.

Thank you to everyone who has attended our meetings throughout the month of February to learn more about Kewadin Lansing!


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Comprehensive Development Agreement & Resolution

Many people are asking for a more detailed look at the Comprehensive Development Agreement (CDA) between the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe, the City of Lansing, the Lansing Economic Development Corporation & Lansing Future LLC.

Click below to read the document:

Comprehensive Development Agreement

Resolution 2012-11, titled Approval of Comprehensive Development Agreement with the City of Lansing, Michigan; Authorization to purchase land in Lansing, Michigan using income from the Land Settlement Trust Settlement Trust Fund; Approval of Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Lansing, Michigan was passed by the Sault Tribe Board of Directors on January 24, 2012.

Click below to read the document:

Resolution 2012-11, Sault Tribe Board of Directors

An intergovernmental agreement between the Sault Tribe and the City of Lansing must also be entered into. 

Click below to read the document:

Sault Tribe – City of Lansing Intergovernmental Agreement

Kewadin Casinos Gaming Authority passed resolution 2012-01, Approval of Comprehensive Development Agreement with the City of Lansing, Michigan.

Click below to read the document:

Kewadin Gaming Authority Resolution 2012-01: Approval of CDA with City of Lansing

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Expert: casinos don’t cause increase in crime

David Holecek, a Michigan State University professor emeritus and expert on tourism and entertainment industries, was interviewed by WKAR in East Lansing on the Sault Tribe’s plan to build a new casino in Lansing. Holecek conducted a study on the three Detroit casinos when they opened, and was surprised to find that crime actually decreased.

Listen to the entire interview here. 

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Kewadin Lansing: Meetings scheduled in lower Michigan

Feb. 19-26, Tribal Board members are traveling to five locations in lower Michigan to meet with Tribal members:



Feb. 19, 1-3 p.m., Inverness Township Hall, 734 VFW Rd., Cheboygan


Feb. 23, 6-8 p.m., Grace Dow Memorial Library, W. St. 1710 Andrews, Midland

Grand Rapids

Feb. 25, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., CrossRoads Conference Ctr, 6569 Clay Ave. SW


Feb. 25, 4-6 p.m., Nokomis Learning Ctr., 5153 Marsh Rd., Okemos


Feb. 26, 12-2 p.m., Hyatt Regency Dearborn, 600 Town Center Dr.


Tribal members! Please join us at a meeting near you.




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Potential Cash Flow

Potential profits from Kewadin Lansing

10% of the annual income the Tribe receives from the project will go directly into the Tribe’s Self Sufficiency Fund. This fund supports programs and services that benefit elders and provides resources to explore future economic development opportunities. Another 3% of the annual revenues will be distributed among and deposited in the following funds: the Elder Health Self-Sufficiency Fund, the Elder Employment Self-Sufficiency Fund, the Funeral Assistance Self-Sufficiency fund, and the Education Assistance Self-Sufficiency Fund. Another 2% of the annual income to the Tribe from this project will be deposited into a fund to establish a college scholarship program for tribal members regardless of blood quantum, similar to what the City of Lansing is doing with their 2%.

Potential cash flow to the Sault Tribe for the first seven years the Lansing Casino will be in operation are projected as follows:

Year 1:  $41 million

Year 2:  $44 million

Year 3:  $47 million

Year 4:  $50 million

Year 5:  $53 million

Year 6:  $58.5 million

Year 7:  $61.5 million

After year seven, $115 million

**These are projected numbers**

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Community Meetings

Members of the Sault Tribe Board of Directors will be hosting meetings throughout Michigan to answer any questions for tribal members and the community.  We’ll also have a hand out available:  Kewadin Lansing Casino: More Information For You

The schedule is as follows:

Feb. 1: 11:30 a.m. & 6 p.m. at Nokomis/Mishomis Place, Sault Ste. Marie

Feb. 2: 2 p.m. at Munising Tribal Center, Munising

Feb. 2: 5 p.m. at Marquette Holiday Inn, Marquette

Feb. 3: 6 p.m. at Kewadin Casinos, Sault Ste. Marie

Feb. 7: 6 p.m. at the school, Kincheloe/Kinross

Feb. 9: 7 p.m. at the community center, Sugar Island

Feb. 10: 6 p.m. at Willabees restaurant, Brimley

Feb 8: 6 p.m. at Manistique Tribal Center, Manistique

Feb. 13: 6 p.m. at McCann School, St. Ignace

Feb. 16: 7 p.m. at the Willow Creek Building, Escanaba

Feb. 17: 1 p.m. at Tribal Community Center immediately after the monthly Elder committee, Newberry

Feb. 20: 1 p.m. at Tribal Center immediately after the noon meal, Hessel

Feb. 29: 7:30 p.m. at community center after elder meal, Naubinway


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Question & Answers

When did the Tribe begin talks with Lansing for a casino?
This project has been in the works for over a year. When we began talking with the City of Lansing about this opportunity, both of us signed a confidentiality agreement. This was in the best interest of the Tribe and the City in order to protect the project.

How much money does the Tribe currently have into the project?
Right now, the Sault Tribe does not have any money into the project. The developer, Lansing Future, has a pre-development budget of $5 million and a temporary casino budget of $5 million, none of which is the Tribe’s money.

How much will the Sault Tribe spend on the project?
The developer will cover all upfront costs. The specific details are contained in a Turnkey Development Agreement entered into by the Sault Tribe and the developer. In general, the developer has agreed to provide funds for all costs and predevelopment expenses. This includes any legal fees incurred by the Tribe, as well as the costs associated with establishing our legal right to conduct gaming and constructing and opening the temporary casino. Assuming we are successful in establishing our legal right to conduct gaming, the developer will then assist the Tribe in obtaining the necessary financing for the permanent casino.

So, the Tribe will never put any money into this project?
No. In order to put the land into trust which will qualify it for gaming, the Tribe must purchase the land with interest out of the Self Sufficiency Fund as stated in the Lands Claim Settlement Act. The first parcel of land we need to purchase will be $280,000. Prior to signing on the transfer of land, funds will be secured in order to provide our elders with their annual check in the amount that it would be if that money had not been used. There is a second parcel of land that will need to be purchased after the land is taken into trust, and that purchase price will be $960,000.

How is this project different that Greektown Casino?
This project is far different. This casino, unlike Greektown, will be operated just like our five Kewadin Casinos up North. We will be regulated by the National Indian Gaming Commission, not the Michigan Gaming Control Board. We will not pay the high taxes the Detroit casinos pay. Greektown at times paid nearly 30% in taxes to the city and state. Now they pay 20.2%. Greektown casino also had to pay an annual $8 million regulatory fee to the Michigan Gaming Control Board. We will not have these payments in Lansing and we will have far less debt than Greektown did. The situation is different, the partners are different, and the regulation is different.

What will the Tribe pay to this developer?
The Tribe will pay a developer fee of 14% of operating profit (after payment of expenses, but before debt) for seven years. After seven years of operation, we will not owe the developer anything. We are estimating our operating profit to be $150 million per year, based on revenues of $275 million. In addition, the Tribe would be responsible to repay the developer up to $10 million in initial legal and start-up costs but only if the project is successful. We would not be where we are today with out the developer putting his money into this project.

When do you expect to break ground on construction?
By early summer, we expect to complete our purchase of the initial parcel and submit our application to the federal government (U.S. Department of the Interior) to place the land into trust. Because the Tribe’s Land Claim Settlement Act gives us the absolute right to this process, we expect a prompt and favorable determination. We recognize, however, that legal challenges are likely to occur that may slow the approval process. Groundbreaking will occur, and construction will commence, once we have those approvals.

Who else is helping to fund the project, what is their financial contribution, and what do they own?
Other than Lansing Future, no party is providing funding for the project. The casino will be 100% owned by the Sault Tribe. Lansing Future will not own any portion of the casino. Under its agreement with the Tribe, Lansing Future will recover its initial costs only if the project is successful. Assuming the project is successful, Lansing Future will then also receive a fee paid for a limited period of time as a percentage of operating profits and paid only after expenses of the casino have been satisfied. When the Tribe is ready to construct the permanent casino the developer will help the tribe to secure financing, probably through an investment bank or similar investor that specializes in funding these types of large projects. This institutional investor will serve strictly as a lender and will not be an owner.


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