The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP), owners of FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, Mich., joined casino leadership and announced payments related to its 2018 business performance, establishing its fourth consecutive new annual record, with combined payments of over $24.2 million to the State of Michigan and the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board (FLRSB).
The payment to the State of Michigan totals more than $18.4 million, an increase of 2.03 percent over the 2018 payment, while the payment to the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board (FLRSB) of over $5.7 million is 1.63 percent higher than one year ago. This brings the total monies NHBP has contributed to the State of Michigan to over $143.7 million and $48.9 million to the FLRSB and creates a combined contribution which totals $192,717,102 since FireKeepers Casino Hotel opened in August 2009.
Two checks were presented from NHBP today; the first for $18,494,687 presented to Wenona Singel, Tribal Liaison and Deputy Legal Counsel for Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The second check for $5,748,672 was presented to FLRSB Chairman Derek King, who is also a member of the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners.
The funds distributed are part of a negotiated agreement between NHBP and the state for 2018 operations at NHBP’s FireKeepers Casino Hotel.
“The leadership and tribal members of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi are proud to continue a pattern of impactful contributions to the State of Michigan and our Local community through the growth of our leading regional gaming destination at FireKeepers Casino Hotel,” said Jamie Stuck, tribal council chairperson of the NHBP. “Four years of consistently outstanding performance is a substantial accomplishment in the hospitality industry and reflects the unified focus on delivering the best guest service. The blending of a great team, focused on guest service, with an outstanding facility attracts guests from across Michigan plus large sections of Indiana, Ohio and Illinois.”
“The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi are the best owners in the hospitality industry, providing resources to maintain an outstanding resort, the support to confidently plan for the future and the solid foundation to invest in our team members,” said Kathy George, CEO at FireKeepers Casino Hotel. “I am so proud of our team members, who are also critically responsible for our financial performance, as they create winning experiences for our guests every day.”
The tribe and the casino also focus on reinvesting in local communities, plus hundreds of charitable endeavors throughout Michigan and neighboring states through donations and sponsorships. The most significant investment is The Fire Hub restaurant in downtown Battle Creek, which opened in 2017 and combines an exciting restaurant and bakery concept with an adjacent dignified Kendall Street Food Pantry, operating as an agency of the Food Bank of South Central Michigan. Just one of many examples of the connected success of both the restaurant and food bank is a check presentation from restaurant proceeds of $14,164 presented to Peter Vogel, Executive Director of The Food Bank of South Central Michigan.
The NHBP has made a concentrated effort to focus FireKeepers Casino Hotel on supporting local businesses and suppliers and extend contributions to the local economy beyond the FLRSB and the distribution to the state. The tribe’s commitment to local spending has resulted in awarding contracts in excess of $38.6 million within the state of Michigan in 2018.
The check presented to the FLRSB is the ninth distribution since the first distribution in February 2010, when the NHBP presented a check to the FLRSB for nearly $2 million. 2019 marks the sixth consecutive year where annual payments have exceeded $5 million. The $48,962,723 distributed to date have benefited a diverse array of groups.