Monthly Archives: April 2012

Kewadin Lansing: What has the tribe spent so far; why is the developer doing this?

The Sault Tribe Board of Directors is committed to providing tribal members with complete and accurate information about the Tribe’s proposed Kewadin Lansing casino.

Facts:

The Tribe has spent virtually no money on the Lansing casino 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. The developer is using those funds to cover all upfront costs. The specific details are contained in a Turnkey Development Agreement between the Sault Tribe and the developer.  This agreement can be found on this blog.  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 costs associated with establishing our legal right to conduct gaming and building and opening the temporary casino (travel, meetings with membership etc). Assuming we are successful in establishing our legal right to conduct gaming, the developer will assist the Tribe in obtaining financing for the permanent casino.

Why is the developer covering all upfront costs? Because the Tribe will pay the developer a fee equal to 14% of operating profits (after payment of expenses) for the first seven years the casino is open. After seven years, the developer will no longer be involved in the casino.  We are estimating our operating profit to be $115 million a year, based on total revenues of $275 million.  In addition, the Tribe would be responsible for repaying the developer up to $10 million to cover the initial legal and start-up costs, but only if the casino opens. Bottom line: The Tribe would have no chance to open a casino in Lansing without the developer covering all upfront costs. 

The Tribe needs the additional revenue Lansing will provide!

Please get the facts before you vote – visit our website at saultribe.com and click on the red “Lansing Facts” button or talk with your unit representative.  Vote YES on the Lansing Casino Referendum!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Fast Facts: This is not Greektown

The Sault Tribe Board of Directors is committed to providing tribal members with complete and accurate information about the Tribe’s proposed Kewadin Lansing casino.

Facts:

Kewadin Lansing will be a Native American casino, not another Greektown. It will be owned and operated by the Tribe, exactly like our Kewadin Casinos in the U.P. It will not be like Greektown Casino-Hotel, which was regulated by the State of Michigan and taxed at a very high rate of nearly 30% at times.

Greektown Casino was a disaster. The Lansing casino project is not another Greektown Casino. Like the vast majority of tribal members, the Sault Tribe Board of Directors is not interested in, and would strongly oppose, another Greektown Casino. The entire board realizes mistakes were made with Greektown Casino and they have all worked hard to ensure thatLansingis not and will never be another Greektown.

  • Kewadin Lansing will be regulated by the National Indian Gaming Commission, not the Michigan Gaming Control Board like Greektown was.
  • Kewadin Lansing will not pay the high taxes the Detroit casinos pay.  Greektown at times paid nearly 30% in taxes to the city and state.
  • Kewadin Lansing will not pay an annual $8 million regulatory fee to the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
  • In Detroit, the Tribe was forced to build an unprofitable 400-room hotel. InLansing, we are not building a hotel.
  • In Detroit, the Tribe paid all costs related to the project, including paying all expenses related to getting the casino approved. In Lansing, the only cost we are responsible for during the approval process is buying the land. The developer is paying the $10 million it will cost to get the project approved. The Tribe will only incur additional costs for theLansingcasino if it is approved by the federal government and we move into construction. At that point, the Tribe and the developer will secure financing for the project. Bottom line: Kewadin Lansing will have FAR less debt than Greektown did. 

We NEED the additional revenueLansingwill provide.

Please get the facts before you vote – visit our website at saultribe.com and click on the red “Lansing Facts” button or talk with your unit representative.  Vote YES on the Lansing Casino Referendum!

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Fast Facts: Trust Land & Elder Checks

The Sault Tribe Board of Directors is committed to providing tribal members with complete and accurate information about the Tribe’s proposed Kewadin Lansing casino.

Facts:

If trust status is not granted for the land inLansingwhere the casino would be built, the City of Lansinghas agreed to purchase the land back from the Tribe for the amount the Tribe paid to buy it. To legally qualify for trust status for gaming, the Tribe must purchase the land in Lansing where the proposed casino would be built. In fact, to secure trust status, the Tribe specifically must use interest from the Self Sufficiency Fund to buy the land, as stated in our federal Land Claim Settlement Act. If the Tribe’s application to place the land into trust does not succeed, the City of Lansing has agreed to buy the land back from the Tribe for the original purchase price. Bottom line: the Tribe will not lose money on the land purchase. The first parcel of land in Lansing will cost $280,000. The second and final parcel will cost $960,000.

Elder checks from the Self Sufficiency Fund will continue without interruption and will not be affected by the purchase of the land inLansing. Before we close on the purchase of the land, funds will be secured and deposited into the Self Sufficiency Fund to protect the elder checks.

The Tribe needs the additional revenueLansingwill provide!

Please get the facts before you vote – visit our website at saulttribe.com and click on the red “Lansing Facts” button or talk with your unit representative. Vote YES on the Lansing Casino Referendum!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Did you know…..facts about Kewadin Lansing

The Sault Tribe Board of Directors is committed to providing tribal members with complete and accurate information about the Tribe’s proposed Kewadin Lansing casino.

Facts:

Wage parity for all Kewadin Casinos. In the resolution the Board of Directors passed allowing the tribe to move forward on the Lansing project, the Board required parity in wages for all Kewadin employees if theLansing casino opens.  What does this mean?  It means wages for all Kewadin jobs will be comparable. Wages for job positions at all Kewadin Casinos in the U.P andLansing will be similar.

All Lansing casino revenues will go to tribal member programs and services, and to pay down debt. It is estimated that the proposed Lansing casino will generate an operating profit of about $150 million per year, based on revenues of $275 million. The Board has specified that:

• 10 percent of the annual income the Tribe receives from the project will go directly into the Tribe’s Self Sufficiency Fund, also known as the Lands Claim Settlement. These funds will enhance elder tribal checks at the end of the year. 

•  3 percent 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.

•  2 percent 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.

•  Remaining revenues will be used to pay off debt, to restore and improve employee benefits (401K), for other members programs and services, and to strengthen the Tribe’s bank accounts and overall financial position.

We NEED the additional revenueLansingwill provide.

Please get the facts before you vote – visit our website at saultribe.com and click on the red “Lansing Facts” button or talk with your unit representative.  Vote YES on the Lansing Casino Referendum!

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Joe Eitrem interview: part 2

Here is the second part of our sit-down interview with Tribal Chairman Joe Eitrem. If you missed it, here is part 1 of the interview.

Will tribal members be able to work at the casino?

How would you like to see tribal members vote on the casino?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Joe Eitrem interview: Part 1

We recently sat down with Chairman Joe Eitrem to discuss the Lansing casino project. Here is part 1 of our interview — check back in the coming days for the rest!

How will the Lansing casino benefit tribal members?

How will the Lansing project differ from Greektown?

How will the tribe use revenues from the Lansing casino?

How have you provided accurate information to tribal members about the casino project?

Leave a comment

Filed under questions and answers, Uncategorized