Although plans for a new $180 million casino near Muskegon, Michigan (pictured) are still in the approval process, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians is breaking ground Monday on an expansion and renovation project at their Little River Casino Resort in Manistee.

The casino originally opened in 1999 and has seen several property improvements over the years including a major renovation in 2007.

A ground breaking ceremony will occur on June 15th with construction beginning in earnest within the next couple of weeks. The project is expected to be completed by Spring 2016. Once opened, visitors can expect to find an improved gaming floor, new and renovated restaurants, renewed public spaces, a new pool area and full-service spa.

Earlier this year the tribe announced they are moving forward with a new casino, seven years in the planning, in Fruitport Township near Muskegon. The $180 million casino, hotel and retail development will be located on Ellis Road, near the Lakes Mall.

The tribe submitted their application to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs in late February.

Upon approval and build-out the casino will offer 1,700 slot machines, and 35 gaming tables, dining and entertainment options, plus a 220-room hotel with conference and meeting room space.

About 1,200 jobs are expected to be created from wait staff to legal and accounting positions when the casino opens.

Civic leaders are supportive of the plan which includes a 2% commitment of electronic games proceeds going into a fund that would be used for various civic projects.

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