A representative for the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin has reportedly declared that the tribe can ‘see the finish line’ regarding federal approval for its plan to build a large 300-room casino resort on the outskirts of the city of Beloit.
According to a Wednesday report from the Beloit Daily News newspaper, Ryan Greendeer serves as Public Information Officer for the federally-recognized tribe and detailed that the group is still waiting for a definitive land-into-trust decision from the Bureau of Indian Affairs regarding a 33-acre plot located some two miles east of the Wisconsin city.
Formerly known as the Wisconsin Winnebago Tribe, the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin already operates Ho-Chunk Gaming-branded casinos in the Wisconsin cities of Black River Falls, Baraboo, Madison, Nekoosa, Tomah and Wittenberg. The tribe announced plans in 2016 that could see it spend upwards of $405 million so as to bring a seventh such venue to the aforementioned parcel situated alongside Interstate 90 less than a mile from the state’s border with Illinois.
However, before it can start digging, the tribe must first persuade the federal government to place the site for the proposed casino into trust, which is a move that would take any such gambling-friendly enterprise beyond the reach of most state interference. Although the plan from the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin has reportedly cleared a number of major hurdles, no official update has been relayed since May of last year when the Bureau of Indian Affairs published the final draft of a required environmental impact statement.
Far from being disheartened or fearful, Greendeer reportedly told the Beloit Daily News that the envisioned casino project was ‘at the very last stages of concurrence and approval’ and that the tribe was soon to select an architectural firm to ‘shore up what we have’ regarding final designs.
Greendeer reportedly told the newspaper…
“We haven’t heard anything but all signs point that it’s going to be something that’s good for the community. Yes, we had some anticipations and we had good things coming back to us. It’s right there. You can see the finish line.”
Should the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin receive the projected land-into-trust grant, Greendeer reportedly told the Beloit Daily News that it has already obtained city support to construct a development that would feature a 139,700 sq ft casino alongside a 40,000 sq ft water park with adjacent restaurants and a convention center. He purportedly explained that the envisioned venue is set to moreover offer a 175,000 sq ft retail outlet and would create full-time employment for approximately 1,985 people.
Greendeer reportedly proclaimed…
“We are working on reviewing the market analysis and we haven’t quite finalized all the plans quite yet. We’re also looking at partnership opportunities. We know how difficult it is to continue to build up business and we want to help build a community in every place that we are in.”