Sault Tribe & Partners

Many parties are involved in the Kewadin Lansing project.  Below offers a deeper look into the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians and Lansing Future, LLC, the developer on the project.

Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians is a modern expression of the Anishinabeg who have lived in Northern Michigan  millennia.  With 38,000 members, the Tribe is the largest federally recognized Indian tribe east of the Mississippi.

The roots of the Tribe’s modern government extend back to the 1940s, when a group of Sugar Island residents gathered to talk about their common history. These people were descendants of the Anishinaabeg who for hundreds of years had made their homes near the rapids of the St. Mary’s River that flows between Canada and what is now Michigan’sUpper Peninsula. This area would later become the City of Sault Ste. Marie,Michigan.

Over the next several decades, the descendants worked to gain federal recognition of their tribe, which was a difficult task that required extensive ancestral and legal research.  Finally in the early 1970s, tribal leaders traveled to Washington and successfully submitted their historical findings and legal argument to the Secretary of Interior, who granted federal status in 1972 as the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Land was taken into trust in March 1974, and the Sault Tribe’s Constitution — the final step in this long process — was adopted in fall 1975.

Member Services

As a sovereign government under federal law, the Sault Tribe provides many of the services the State of Michigan and federal government provide to their citizens. Tribal member programs and services offered in its seven county service area, the original lands of the tribe, include health care, education, elder care, courts and law enforcement, sanitation, numerous human services, group homes, housing, recreational services, child care, head start, conservation and educational opportunities.

The Tribe uses revenues from casino gaming for no other purpose than to support programs and services for its members.  Kewadin Casino revenues accounted for 55% of the tribe’s revenue in 2009.  The monies also help to maintain and expand these services as well as employ hundreds to ensure the effectiveness of the programs. 

Gaming

The Sault Tribe successfully operates five northern Michigan casino properties.  Kewadin Casinos celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2010.  With locations in Sault Ste. Marie, St. Ignace, Hessel, Manistique and Christmas, Kewadin employs 1,000 people with an annual payroll of more than $25 million.  In 2009, the  five Upper Peninsula casinos drew 3.5 million customers from around the state and country to their facilities.

When Kewadin Casinos opened in November 1985, it was a one-room blackjack house with 80 employees.  Now, the casinos have 86,000 square feet of gaming space with 2,000 slot machines and 50 table games. The casinos have more than 500,000 square feet of facility space with seven restaurants and delis, two on-site hotels, a 25,000-square-foot convention facility, eight lounges, and four gift shops.

The casinos’ success has provided funds to expand the tribe’s business holdings from one casino to five and take ownership of multiple non-gaming enterprises. The casinos have brought year-round tourism to an area of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that was once only a summer destination, contributed millions Michigan’s economy and donated millions more.

Kewadin Casino revenues accounted for 55% of the tribe’s revenue in 2009.  The monies also help to maintain and expand these services as well as employ hundreds to ensure the effectiveness of the programs.

Statewide Economic Impact

The Tribe is one of the largest private employers in  northern Michigan with more than 1,700 employees. The Tribe employs Tribal members and non-members.

Since 1986, the businesses and government services of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, including Kewadin Casinos, have pumped more than $4.4 billion into the State of Michigan, according to a 2002 study by KPMG, one of the world’s most respected accounting and business consulting companies.

The Tribe also has provided more than $31 million to local governments across the eastern U.P. through 2-percent funds since 1993. The funds, generated by slot machines at the Tribe’s five northern Michigan casinos, have been used by local governments to buy police and fire equipment, pave roads, create and maintain recreation areas, and more.

2-percent funds pay for road construction, schools, law enforcement, fire departments, emergency response teams and recreation services, and a wide range of special events and projects, from the Soo Locks 150th Anniversary Celebration of the I-500 race.

Lansing Future, LLC

The developer of the Kewadin Lansing project is Lansing Future, LLC.

Lansing Future LLC is an entity that has been formed for the sole purpose of serving as “developer” to the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe.  Lansing Future LLC was founded and is led by Jerry Campbell.

Campbell is also Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of HomeBancorp Inc., the bank holding company of HomeBanc N.A., headquartered in Tampa, Florida. He previously served as Chairman of the Board of Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc. and Chairman of the Board of Citizens Wealth Management.  Campbell also previously held the position of Chairman of the Board of Republic Bancorp Inc. since it was organized, in addition to serving as the company’s Chief Executive Officer from April 1986 to January 2000. From April 1986 to January 1996, he also served as President of Republic.

Campbell’s background includes extensive involvement in higher education. He taught at Wayne State University, serving as an instructor of finance, banking and investment courses.  Campbell also held a position on the Board of Trustees of Central Michigan University for 12 years, serving as Chairman of the Board for a four-year term. He has also contributed to the University of Michigan by serving on the Dean’s Visiting Committee for the Business School.

Campbell’s track record in business and in various local communities, in addition to the jobs created as a result of Campbell’s entrepreneurial efforts, is a track record that is a tremendous asset to this project as he assists the Sault Tribe in their efforts to grow and provide for its members. Campbell received the Michigan Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Inc. Magazine in 1993.

Bill Martines has been named Lansing Future’s Managing Director. Bill has a proven track record of creating asset value through both business and real estate development.  He has extensive experience in several critical areas including finance, marketing and day-t0-day operations.  Bill has been an entrepreneur and has also served as President for organizations other than his own.  Bill is also President of All Day Interactive LLC and Founding Member of Union Circle LLC.

 Besides Martines and Campbell, the other investors in the group are Robert Liggett, Jr., owner of the Big Boy Restaurant chain; John Krasula of Decision Consultants; Winfield Cooper, a Flint-based commercial mortgage broker; Mike Garavaglia, a special counsel to Mortgage Investors Corp., and The Sovereignty Group, comprised of Lansing-based lawyer Richard McLellan and Bill Cross Jr.

8 responses to “Sault Tribe & Partners

  1. Robert Bellant

    Sounds good Hope our tribe looks this over with A fine tooth comb

  2. Gus

    Beware of greeks bearing gifts wearing sneekers. Looks like “Lansing Partners LLC “is made up of bankers,lawyers and a Hamburger joint ?? This could very well be Lansing’s ‘ENRON” at the exspense of the tribe again. Is Big Boy going to get the concession contract when all is said and done?? Nothing is said about how many jobs are created for our tribal members,construction or otherwise. The only job I heard mentioned was our tribal security. Sounds like political grandstanding to give special interest big paybacks and the board of directors larger pay increases after all is said and done again. Lansing and our BOD”s , Are they registered as lobyist for lansing partners ?? Boy I love Freedom of Speech.

    • We are not entirely certain what your question(s) is/are. However, you mention “Greeks,” which we assume is a reference to Greektown Casino and the involvement of the two Greektown developers. The Lansing casino is not another Greektown Casino. Like the vast majority of Sault Tribe members, the Sault Tribe Board of Directors is not interested in — and would strongly oppose —another Greektown Casino . And no, Big Boy is not getting the concession contract. As the website notes, interested and qualified Sault Tribe members and Lansing residents who want to work at the casino will be given a preference for the jobs. That is part of the contract with the City.

  3. William Baker

    Campbell’s track record in business and in various local communities, in addition to the jobs created as a result of Campbell’s entrepreneurial efforts, is a track record that is a tremendous asset to this project as he assists the Sault Tribe in their efforts to grow and provide for its members.
    Is this the same person that headed up the racetrack in Wayne county that is closed after losing 35 million dollars? Then he suck the Tribe into buying land next to the racetrack. Land that was purchased for $1.00 and sold to the tribe for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    • Elder Patricia Baseleon

      To the BOD”S , Hidden agendas soon or later will catch up with you if in fact this true. Elder Patricia

    • William,

      Lansing Future LLC – the developer – is an entity that has been formed for the sole purpose of serving as “developer” to the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe. Lansing Future LLC was founded by Jerry Campbell.
      Campbell is also Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of HomeBancorp Inc., the bank holding company of HomeBanc N.A., headquartered in Tampa, Florida. He previously served as Chairman of the Board of Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc. and Chairman of the Board of Citizens Wealth Management. Campbell also previously held the position of Chairman of the Board of Republic Bancorp Inc. since it was organized, in addition to serving as the company’s Chief Executive Officer from April 1986 to January 2000. From April 1986 to January 1996, he also served as President of Republic.

      Campbell’s background includes extensive involvement in higher education. He taught at Wayne State University, serving as an instructor of finance, banking and investment courses. Campbell also held a position on the Board of Trustees of Central Michigan University for 12 years, serving as Chairman of the Board for a four-year term. He has also contributed to the University of Michigan by serving on the Dean’s Visiting Committee for the Business School.

      Campbell’s track record in business and in various local communities, in addition to the jobs created as a result of Campbell’s entrepreneurial efforts, is a track record that is a tremendous asset to this project as he assists the Sault Tribe in their efforts to grow and provide for its members. Campbell received the Michigan Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Inc. Magazine in 1993.

      You can find other information on the developers on this blog. Thank you.

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