Thursday, south of Bagley, Minnesota, gold shovels filled with dirt during the groundbreaking ceremony for the White Earth Nation’s second Shooting Star Casino.
Construction machinery surrounds the site and dirt is already being moved at the location of the new property between Bagley and Ebro on Highway 27, which will include a bar and grill. Representatives from the first Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen as well as White Earth Nation Tribal Council members made comments before the ceremony commenced.
Late in 2014 discussions regarding the possibility of new casino locations began, according to Bill Marsh, the general manager of Shooting Star Casino. Not long after, a feasibility study followed and revealed that the Bagley area had potential.
The Cunningham Group in Minneapolis, renowned for their $650 million re-creation of the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in North Carolina, is designing the 21,400 square-feet building, which construction workers will establish the footing and foundation for in the next several days. Construction of the building’s exterior will follow allowing work inside to continue throughout the winter months. According to Marsh, the parking lots will be poured and paved in the spring with a June 2016 opening scheduled. The casino is expected to create approximately 61 new jobs in the area and provide an economic boost to Ebro and Bagley, while enabling the White Earth Nation to grow and remain self-sufficient, according to The Bemidji Pioneer. Marsh said that in addition to maintaining a gaming edge and offering quality gaming in the area, the bar will also be raised in the area’s dining experience.
Plans for a third casino near Dent, Minnesota were announced in September and will also be designed by The Cunningham Group with construction beginning in 2016 and a scheduled opening date some time in 2017. That location will include gaming tables, slots, a ballroom, bar and grill, buffet, in-house gift shop, deli, as well as a hotel and RV Park.
Gaming operation for the original Shooting Star Casino located in Mahnomen began in temporary facilities in 1991. The following year a new facility was completed and had its grand opening. In 2001 a $30 million, 145,300 square foot expansion of the original casino in Mahnomen was completed.