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Muskegon County Board supports Little River Band casino at Great Lakes Downs

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July 18, 2008

FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP, MI - A day after the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians announced their purchase of the Great Lakes Downs horse track, the Muskegon County Board declared support for the tribe's plan to establish a $100 million casino on the site near the junction of I-96 and U.S. 31.

The board voted unanimously and added a resolution requesting the Fruitport Township board of trustees to pass a similar measure of support in the near future. These are the initial steps the tribe needs to proceed upwards through the state and federal regulatory levels for approval of their plan.

Chief Larry Romanelli said "We're moving along at a very nice clip. We have a 24-month period we're looking at, but that's really hustling, though. This is a major investment and it shows we are very serious about this."

Tribal Director of Commerce Mark Memberto said "The tribe is standing firm on a $100 million investment, in that ball park range. The project will create hundreds of construction jobs, 800-1,000 permanent casino jobs, around $30 million annually in payroll and benefits, and around $8- $10 million local vendor spending."

The purchase price of the track property was not disclosed.

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