Tribe Diversifies with Water Park and Hotel

The ground breaking of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe’s new water park and hotel in Mount Pleasant, Michigan attracted 100 people on April 4, reported

Plans call for a 45,000-square-foot water park and a 243-room hotel, stated The Morning Sun. Spanning an acre, the water park will cover 6,000 square feet more than the state’s current largest water park, the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, Michigan.

Jennifer Turner, CEO of the tribe’s non-gaming business development arm Migizi Economic Development Co. expects construction of the new hotel to create 200 temporary jobs and eventually generate more than 120 permanent jobs. “It’s going to be a 12 to 14 month construction period,” she told

The water park bolsters the tribe’s economic diversification and will hopefully increase tourism. “…[T]his is going to allow the tribe to have a family destination element as well,” Turner told

The park and hotel were designed by Thalden Boyd Emery Architects, a Native-owned firm out of St. Louis, Missouri.  Water designs, earth tones, Native regalia and a “botanical” feel to the guest rooms set the rustic contemporary scene, according to The Morning Sun.

Hotel plans also feature a native-themed restaurant including 134 seats indoor and 72 outdoor, in addition to a meeting space and a courtyard, reported The Morning Sun.

“The Saginaw Chippewas are way ahead in their fore thinking for how to diversify economic development for their tribe,” Nick Schoenfeldt, senior project manager for Thalden Boyd Emery, told


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Tribe Diversifies with Water Park and Hotel