Since the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi opened the doors to its FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan, in August 2009, the tribe has given the State of Michigan $58 million, and the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board, $21.9 million.
Today the tribe announced that its fifth payment to the state of Michigan is over $16.5 million and its fifth payment to the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board, over $5 million.
The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi presented two checks today: the first one to the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board for $5,266,401; the second check for $16,565,604 was presented to the state of Michigan, with Speaker of the House Jase Bolger in attendance to accept.
The funds distributed are part of a negotiated agreement between the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi and the state for operations at the tribe’s FireKeepers Casino Hotel over the operating year of 2013.
“The success of our business ventures instills not just pride in the members of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, but also allows for shared benefit across the community we have fostered here in southwest Michigan,” announced Homer A. Mandoka, Tribal Council Chairman of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi. “We have come a long way in a relatively short amount of time, and I can attribute that growth to the vast amount of effort and vision set forth by the tribe’s leadership.”
Along with the distribution of $21.8 million, the tribe’s FireKeepers Casino Hotel has contributed significantly to Michigan’s economy in 2013. Just this past December it was announced that FireKeepers Casino Hotel had achieved another major financial milestone of reaching $200 million in cumulative paid labor costs that include total wages, health insurance, 401(k), and incentives to the 1,800 full and part-time team members since opening.
The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi has made a concentrated effort to focus FireKeepers Casino Hotel on supporting local businesses and suppliers and extend contributions to the local economy beyond the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board and the distribution to the state. The Tribe’s commitment to local spending has resulted in awarding contracts in excess of $36.3 million within the state of Michigan in 2013.
•Greater Calhoun County region – $5.8 million (Calhoun, Jackson, Branch)
•West Michigan – $7.9 million (Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Grand Traverse, Kalamazoo, Kent, Ottawa, Van Buren)
•Lansing Area– $9.5 million (Ingham, Eaton, Clinton)
•Metro Detroit – $2.7 million (Wayne)
•Other – $10.3 million (Bay, Genesee, Gratiot, Isabella, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Mecosta, Midland, Monroe, Montcalm, Oakland, Saginaw, St. Clair, Shiawassee, Washtenaw, Wexford)
The check presented to the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board is the fifth distribution since the first distribution in Feb. 2009 when the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi presented a check to the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board for nearly $2 million. For the second, third, and fourth distributions in Feb. 2010, Feb. 2011, and Feb. 2012 a check was presented for nearly $5 million each year of operation. The funds distributed have benefited the following groups:
• Harper Creek Community Schools
• Calhoun County Road Commission
• Emmett Township
• Calhoun County
• Calhoun Intermediate School District
• Kellogg Community College
• Willard Library
• Athens Township
• Marshall Township
• City of Marshall
• City of Battle Creek
• Athens Area Schools
• City of Athens
• Battle Creek Public Schools
• Marshall Public Schools
• Lakeview School District
• Pennfield School
The Tribe has over 1,100 members, with 650 of them living in the service area and is led by Tribal Council members including Homer A. Mandoka, Jamie Stuck, Dorie Rios, Tony Day, and Christine Lanning. Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi's seven county service area covers Allegan, Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Kent, and Ottawa counties.