Nation | Tribe: Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin
122nd Ave and 60th St
The Kenosha Hard Rock casino is proposed by the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin in partnership with Hard Rock International. The casino is approved by both the Kenosha City Council and the Kenosha County Board.
Artist rendering of future Hard Rock Kenosha
The Menominee Indian Tribe announced a new partnership with Hard Rock International on July 20, 2022 to build a Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The location is 60 acres in the Village of Bristol that were purchased by Hard Rock the previous week.
No further datails have been announced at this time.
This is the second attempt by these partners to build a casino in Kenosha. A previous $800-million proposal was rejected by Gov. Scott in 2015. The 2024 casino proposal is scaled down to $360 million and includes a Hard Rock casino, hotel, concert venue, and a Hard Rock Cafe. The proposed building site is 60 acres west of I-94 at 122nd Ave and 60th St.
The Menominee Indian Tribe and Hard Rock International propose building a casino, hotel and entertainment destination in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The future site will be 60 acres west of I-94 at 122nd Ave and 60th St. No other information has been disclosed.
1,500 slot machines
55 live table games
Hard Rock Cafe
Multiple dining options TBA
Hard Rock Live - concert venue
The Hard Rock Hotel will include 150 guestrooms, a spa, and a convention center.
Nation | Tribe: Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin
The Menominee Tribe has wanted to build a casino in Kenosha since the 1990s. In 2013 the tribe partnered with Hard Rock to build a $800 million casino resort branded with the name Hard Rock Casino Kenosha.
After years of legal hurdles to obtain federal and local approvals, the tribe only needed state approval from Gov. Scott Walker to proceed with the project. Gov. Walker rejected the casino plan on Jan. 23, 2015.
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The Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin and Hard Rock developed the following plan for a Kenosha casino:
February 6, 2024
The Kenosha County and the Menominee Indian Tribe signed an agreement today for the tribe to build a Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Both the Kenosha City Council and the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors voted last month to approve the plan.[No Ads]
The Menominee Tribe plans to build a $360 million Hard Rock casino, hotel and concert venue. The casino will feature 1,500 slot machines, 55 table games and a sportsbook. There will also be multiple dining options, including a Hard Rock Cafe, a Hard Rock Live concert hall, and a 150-room hotel.
Under the agreement the Menominee Tribe would own and operate the casino and lease the land from the City of Kenosha. The land is a 60-acre site west of Interstate 94 at 122nd Ave and 60th Street.
Today is a major step forward for the Hard Rock casino project. There is still a long way to go for final approval from the U.S. Department of Interior and from Gov. Tony Evers.
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January 17, 2024
Last night the Kenosha County Board approved the plan of the Menominee Tribe to build a $360 million Hard Rock casino complex in the City of Kenosha. The plan passed by a narrow 10-9 vote.[No Ads]
The Menominee Tribe is seeking federal approval to build the casino on 60 acres of off-reservation land west of Interstate 94. If approved, the land will be transferred into federal trust for the tribe. The tribe will have governmental sovereignty of the casino, which will exclude it from state and local taxes.
The offset the loss of taxes and cost of local services, the Menominee Tribe agreed to pay Kenosha County a share of gaming revenues over the next 20 years. A minimum payment of $500,000 a year will be paid in the first eight years, and $1 million a year thereafter.
The Kenosha City Council approved a deal to support the casino two weeks ago. The casino project now awaits a final decision by the U.S. Department of Interior and approval by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers. The full approval process is expected to be completed sometime this year.
January 5, 2024
The development plan for a $360 million Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Kenosha, Wisconsin was approved Wednesday night by the Kenosha City Council. The final vote was 11-6 marking the first milestone in a long approval process.[No Ads]
The Menominee Tribe will build the Kenosha casino in partnership with Hard Rock. The tribe will finance and own the casino. Hard Rock will develop and manage the operations of the casino.
The Kenosha City Council approval centered on an intergovernmental agreement with the Menominee Tribe's gaming authority with the following financial terms:
The Kenosha Hard Rock Casino will be exempt from local property taxes. Instead, the casino will pay the city 3% of its net gaming revenues. Hard Rock revenues are estimated to reach $250 million to $295 million annually. The minimum annual payments to the city will escalate from $100,000 to $2.5 million. After 20 years the terms will be renegotiated for 10-year periods.
The Menominee Tribe will also pay Kenosha $750,000 toward public schools each year the net gaming revenues exceed $2 million. Beginning in the third year the tribe will also pay $500,000 annually to the Kenosha museums and a home ownership program. A six-year annual payment of $500,000 will build police, fire and public works resources to support the casino area.
On Jan. 16 the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors will meet to review the Hard Rock plan and vote on its proposed intergovernmental agreement with the tribe.
The Hard Rock casino will be built on a 60-acre site purchased from Village of Bristol in 2022. The Menominee Tribe will seek federal authority to use the land for casino gambling under the U.S. Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. If approved, the U.S. Department of the Interior will transfer the casino site into federal trust giving the tribe sovereignty over the land. This process is expected to take two years.
Before the federal government grants its final approval for the Kenosha Hard Rock Casino, the casino must be approved by the Wisconsin governor. This approval will embody a gaming compact defining the number and types of casino games allowed to operated at the Kenosha casino.
December 26, 2023
Menominee tribal leaders disclosed new details this week about plans for a $360 million Hard Rock casino complex in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The proposal includes a casino, a Hard Rock Cafe, restaurants, a Hard Rock Live concert center, and a hotel.
The Hard Rock casino will operate under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which requires approval from the U.S. Department of Interior and the Wisconsin governor. Federal approval is expected in late 2024. The governor will then have up to a year to approve.
Joey Awonohopay, chairman of the Menominee Kenosha Gaming Authority, told Kenosha News:
"You need two approvals. You need the federal approval and the governor's approval. These intergovernmental agreements and local agreements all feed into that. So the goal would be to try to get federal approval by the end of 2024. The governor has a year, (but) he doesn't have to take a year, to determine. Once the governor makes a decision, that's the final approval. Then it's an 18-to-24-month build."
- Joey Awonohopay, Menominee Gaming
Awonohopay explained that the construction plan is to build the entire project within a 12-18 month period, rather than build the casino, concert center, and hotel in separate phases over several years.
Although both the Kenosha City Council and Kenosha County Board of Supervisors have postponed action for approving intergovernmental agreements with the Menominee Tribe for the Hard Rock project, Awonohopay and other tribal leaders expect approvals will be passed in January.
The full news story can be read at Kenosha News.
November 23, 2023
The Kenosha Common Council met Monday night to vote on the Menominee Tribe's plan to build a Hard Rock Casino near I-94 and 60th. The casino would have 1,500 slot machines, 55 tables, a 2,000-seat concert venue, and a Hard Rock Hotel.[No Ads]
The Council must decide whether to approve the plan, which would transfer 60 acres of city-owned farmland to the tribe for the Hard Rock site. In exchange Kenosha would receive 3% of the casino's net wins in lieu of property tax. The land would then be transferred into federal trust to allow the tribe to conduct casino gambling on the property.
On Monday the Kenosha Common Council unanimously to defer its vote until January 2024. The delay will allow time for more talks.
The Hard Rock Casino still requires state and federal approvals. The Menominee Tribe expects the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs will grant federal approval by next summer.
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November 14, 2023
A public hearing for a proposed $350 million Hard Rock Casino in Kenosha was held Thursday night. Local residents gave their opinions about the plan by the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin want to build a Hard Rock casino, hotel and entertainment destination on a 60-acre site on County Highway K off I-94.[No Ads]
After the meeting the Kenosha City Council voted 12 to 3 to give preliminary approval to a revenue agreement with the Menominee Indian Tribe. The Tribe agreed to pay a combined $12 to $15 million per year to the city and county. Final approval is expected in a city council meeting scheduled for Nov. 20. The county board will consider the deal this week.
The Kenosha casino will still need state and federal approvals. The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin is hoping the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs will grant approval by mid-2024.
August 18, 2023
There has been little news regarding the development of the Hard Rock Casino in Kenosha, Wisconsin since the Menominee Indian Tribe unveiled the project about a year ago.
In a recent interview with WGTD, the Menominee tribal chairperson confirmed the casino project is alive and well and proceeding forward.
"We continue to make progress on the project and remain optimistic about its future. As you know, gaining the necessary, multiple approvals for a project like this is more like a marathon rather than a spring, and we continue on that path."
- Gena Kakkak, Menominee Tribal Chairwoman
The approval process is progressing at the local level. An agreement between the city and the tribe is nearly ready for sign-off
At the state level, Gov. Evers needs to sign off on the final plans.
At the federal level the Bureau of Indian Affairs is preparing to review updated information and documents from the tribe.
Chairwoman Kakkak expects the tribe will issue a press release this fall detailing the staus and the progress of the Hard Rock Casino project.
October 30, 2022
In 2015 Gov. Scott Walker rejected plans of the Menominee Tribe to build a Hard Rock casino in Kenosha because the state could incur an unlimited liability to the Forest County Potawatomi Community (FCPC) for lost revenue at the Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee.
A report by the Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) last week found the state's liability is now "significantly reduced" if the Menominee Tribe builds a casino in Kenosha. The reason is due to a 2018 amendment to the gaming compact between the state and the Potawatomi tribe. The Potawatomi tribe can no longer withhold tax payments to the state until it proves actual losses from a Kenosha casino. The lifetime withholdings would be limited to $250 million. The state Department of Administration doubts that limit would be reached when the compact expires in 2031.
The Legislative Reference Bureau is a nonpartisan organization that provides research, information, and other services to the Wisconsin Legislature.
October 21, 2022
A new poll announced this month shows 60% of regional residents favor a proposal by the Menominee Indian Tribe to build a Hard Rock Casino in Kenosha County. The poll was commissioned by the Menominee Tribe's gaming authority.
The survey interviewed 300 residents of Kenosha County and 300 residents in Racine, Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties. In Kenosha County the casino proposal is favored by 60% of the respondents, 15% were undecided and 25% are opposed. In the surrounding counties, the casino proposal is favored 63% in Waukesha County, favored 62% in Racine County and favored 58% in Milwaukee County.
A press release from the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin state:
"The Menominee project in partnership with Hard Rock will generate more revenue for both the City and County of Kenosha, and the community overwhelmingly supports the project."
- Ron Corn Sr., Tribal Chairman
The Kenosha casino survey was conducted in the last week of September by the Tarrance Group, based in Virginia.
July 23, 2022
The Menominee Indian Tribe announced Wednesday it is partnering with Hard Rock again on a new effort to build a casino and entertainment complex in Kenosha County. The project includes a casino, hotel, Hard Rock Live concert center, and a Hard Rock Cafe. The location will be a 60-acre site in the village of Bristol that were purchased last week by Hard Rock for $15 million.[No Ads]
Tribe chairman Ronald J. Corn confirmed the partnership with Hard Rock and added:
"Much has changed since our 2015 effort, but the needs of our tribe and its members have continued and in some cases grown more acute. We need to make greater investments in health care for our children and elders; we need to make more investments in educating our young people; and we need to do more to reduce the high levels of poverty, hunger, and unemployment on our reservation. A casino and entertainment center in the City of Kenosha is the best path for our tribe to obtain the resources to help achieve those important goals."
- Ronald J. Corn, Menominee Tribal Chairman
July 19, 2022
Speculation of a new casino project emerged last week when the Village of Bristol sold 60 acres of land to a company with the same Florida address as the Seminole Tribe of Florida, owners of Hard Rock International. The land is west of I-94 and north of Highway 50.
In 2013 the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin partnered with the Seminole Tribe to build an $800 million Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Kenosha. That plan was rejected by Gov. Scott Walker.
If this is a new casino project emerging in the Kenosha area, Hard Rock may be partnering again with the Menominee Tribe. Wisconsin law requires casinos to be owned by Wisconsin tribes.
More information about the casino plan may be coming soon.
May 30, 2022
Hard Rock is resurrecting plans to build a casino near Kenosha according to a report last week by Empower Wisconsin. The new location would be a 16-acre site west of I-94 in Bristol, Wisconsin.
In 2013 Hard Rock proposed building a $800 million hotel and casino at the Dairyland Greyhound Park. The project was a partnership between Menominee Nation and Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. In 2015 the plan was rejected by then-Gov. Scott Walker.
According to Empower Wisconsin, Capitol sources have confirmed a new casino effort is underway to purchase the 16-acre property located 15 miles west of Kenosha. The size of the project would be substantially smaller than the $800 million casino hotel proposed in 2013. Details are not available.
Bristol officials say they have no information about a casino plan in their area.
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