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Airport moves out, casino moves in

Michigan State Roundup

January 1, 2000

Airport moves out, casino moves in

Provided all the necessary state and federal approvals are given, people will soon be hearing the steady buzz of slot machines instead of airplane propellers.

The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and a developer recently purchased the Marquette County Airport from the county for $1.8 million. The tribe purchased 100 acres and the former terminal, which along with the maintenance building, will be converted to a casino.

The developer in the transaction holds almost 600 acres, and is proposing a hotel, new homes, a light industrial park and recreation to complement the casino, according to local reports. Rather than starting up a new venture, the tribe is hoping to move its existing Ojibwa II Casino from Chocolay Township, where its operation has been a point of legal contention for several years.

Before the casino can open, the land purchased by the tribe must first be placed into trust, for which the tribe has applied. Once approved, it must then receive state approval to operate a casino.