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Little River Band's land-buying spree in Fruitport Township

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November 24, 2008

Since July when the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians purchased the former Great Lakes Downs racetrack, the tribe has continued to buy land in Fruitport Township.

According to documents filed in the Fruitport Township assessor's office, the tribe has acquired an additional 10 parcels totaling 233 acres. The total cost was $13.5 million and includes nearly 1.5 miles of I-96 frontage from Sternberg Road to the U.S. 31 interchange.

It has been reported by those who have been in discussions with tribal leaders that the Little River Band is planning what could become the largest Indian casino in Michigan. It would be larger than the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant, which is considered one of the largest in the Midwest.

Little River Public Affairs Director Glenn Zaring issued a prepared statement: "The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians views the lands purchased in Muskegon as an investment in a city and region that will grow in the near future to assume its rightful role as the focal point of western Michigan. Whatever direction the development takes, our tribal leaders see the purchase as a commitment to our lands, our people and the future for all of us who call Western Michigan our home."

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