In Michigan‘s Upper Peninsula, the Bay Mills Indian Community (BMIC) is investing $65 million in its nearly 30-year-old resort and casino situated on Lakeshore Drive in Brimley. In addition to providing new amenities and space for guests, the project will also generate new employment opportunities.
Years of planning have gone into what will be the first major expansion for Bay Mills Resort & Casino since the federally-recognized tribe opened the facility in November 1995.
Slated to break ground in spring 2023, the planned three-story waterfront resort expansion will nearly double the existing key count, with the addition of 134 rooms with balconies. New amenities will also include a pool with splash pad, hot tubs, spa with massage therapy rooms and fitness center, a nail salon, conference space, arcade, storefront and a deli. And employees will also have an updated break room, where space and amenities will be added for staff to “relax and enjoy themselves.”
Exterior upgrades are also planned, including new outdoor patios and gazebos, gardens and fishing piers, as well as an updated marina.
Commenting on the project, Richard LeBlanc, General Manager for BMRC, said Bay Mills Resort & Casino is “well loved” by its visitors. And the expansion will allow them to “take things one step further” to meet the needs of their guests, while at the same time providing them with a “one-of-a-kind experience” on Lake Superior.
The $65 million expansion project will be bid out by BMIC this winter, and expects to break ground this coming spring, with completion projected for 2024. Minnesota firm DSGW will serve as the project’s architect.
“Bay Mills Indian Community has long been a leader in Indian Country,” said BMIC President Whitney Gravelle, who is also the former tribal attorney for the BMIC and the former chief judge of the Bay Mills Tribal Court.
“Expanding our enterprise operations will allow us to continue to grow and become the number one destination in the Upper Peninsula. I’m so proud of our team and our tribal nation for this achievement,” according to a post on the official Facebook page for the BMIC chairperson.
As mentioned, BMRC opened its doors to the public in 1995 and now employs 200-plus individuals. The casino’s roughly 17,000 square feet of gaming floor features over 600 slots and video poker machines, a variety of table games including poker, two restaurants, an 18-hole championship golf course, a gift shop, a 143-room hotel and a 124-trailer capacity RV Park.
Part of a 2020 market access deal, a temporary DraftKings-branded retail sportsbook opened at BMRC on June 22, with a permanent version expected to open in October. In addition to live sporting events, game-play and sports betting on NFL, Major League Baseball, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, UFC and more, bettors can expect more self-service kiosks and over-the-counter ticket cages and a large video wall and odds board.
Bay Mills Resort & Casino is owned and operated by BMIC and is situated in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan on scenic Lakeshore Drive in Brimley, in Superior Township. The waterfront resort borders the Hiawatha National Forest, and to the delight of locals and visitors alike, is located on miles of well-groomed snowmobile, ATV and hiking trails.