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Black Bear Casino expansion is ahead of schedule

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January 25, 2008

DULUTH, MN - The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is expanding its Black Bear Casino-Hotel-Golf complex in Carlton, MN.  The project includes a new, larger casino and a new hotel.

The grand opening for the new casino is scheduled for this summer during the July 4th weekend, however, Rocky Wilkinson, the marketing manager, said the project is about four weeks ahead of plans. The casino may open as early as mid-May.  The new hotel will open sooner.  It opening is is planned for February 11th.


  • $119.6 million expansion project
  • Casino - doubled gaming floor, 2,000 new slot machines
  • Bingo hall - 400 seats
  • Hotel - 12-story building, 240-rooms
  • Steakhouse restuarant
  • 4-level parking structure
  • Convention Center

When the project was proposed in 2004, the projected cost was $30 million.  When plans were finalized and a loan was arranged in 2006, the cost had grown to $120 million.  Now they find they under budgeted for fixtures, furniture and equipment.  To keep the project on schedule, Tribal Chairwoman Karen Diver said the $13 million of new slot machines will be purchased on a lease program to spread their cost over one year.  Cost-cutting in other areas will save an additional $5 million. Diver believes they will be able to cover the remaining start-up costs.

Black Bear Casino opened in June 1993 at a cost of $8 million.
The  hotel opened in 1995.
The 18-hole Black Bear Golf Course opened in July 2003.

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