After being forced to close by the Michigan Attorney General’s office, the Bay Mills Vanderbilt Casino in Otsego County may be reopening soon, according to village officials.
The Village News reports that Vanderbilt Village president Ed Posgate said he recently met with officials from the Bay Mills Indian Community (BMIC) who are preparing to reopen what was once a casino on Old 27 North in Vanderbilt, Michigan.
Tribal officials said that they are closer to reopening, but that they have yet to receive a date, according to Posgate. “The tribe itself will let me know when they’re going to open because of the position I have with the village,” as reported by the news agency. The village president and other residents reported groundskeeping work being done at the former casino this month.
In August 2010, the BMIC purchased a 45.6-acre parcel of land from Treetops Resort. Included in the purchase was the old Treetops information center, which was used by the tribe to open the casino. After being opened for just four months, the legality of the small casino that housed 36 slot machines was questioned by the state’s Attorney General’s office.
Federal Judge Paul L. Maloney agreed with an injunction that the state attorney general filed against the tribe, resulting in The Bay Mills Casino Vanderbilt Casino being forced to close in March 2011. The motion was then denied by the federal district court just a month later. In an attempt to overturn the injunction the tribe appealed to the federal court of appeals, which ruled that the casino remain closed during the ongoing litigation. The appeals court stated, “If it is not likely that the district court abused its discretion, then the motion to stay should be denied,” according to the news agency.
The legal battle continued and in August 2012, Bay Mills received a favorable ruling when the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit vacated the injunction against the Vanderbilt casino, effectively paving the way for its reopening.
The casino has, however, remained closed until now much to the disappointment of Vanderbilt residents and local businesses. The casino’s closing resulted in a number of the area’s businesses seeing a decrease in sales of about 7 percent, according to the report.
The Bay Mills Indian Community is headquartered in Brimley, Michigan and is one of 12 federally recognized tribes in the state. The tribe owns and operates Bay Mills Resort & Casino in Brimley, Michigan, on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan just west of Sault Ste. Marie. Situated on the waterfront, Bay Mills offers two casinos. The larger of the two offers a 142-room hotel, four restaurants, 124 RV sites, and an 18-hole golf course, along with 17,000 square feet of casino space, which includes 770 slots and 14 table games. Located just a mile up the road, Kings Club offers 280 slots.