The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi, owners of the FireKeepers Casino Hotel, will donate more than $6.3 million this year to support schools and local government in Calhoun County.
The record contribution is the result of a strong performance in 2021, a year that saw the casino unveil a second 203-room hotel tower while weathering the storm of multiple COVID variants.
The NHBP contributed just over $4.9 million to local revenue sharing a year ago, a substantial sum in itself given that the casino experienced a 12-week closure and reduced operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
“The record revenue-sharing distributions represent both the Tribe’s continued substantial investments in this award-winning property and our team members’ dedication to providing exceptional customer service,” Tribal Council Chairman Jamie Stuck said. in a press release. “Management and staff faced extreme labor shortages and surges of COVID variants as we built and opened a beautiful hotel tower and additions to our casino and restaurant offerings. .”
As part of an agreement between the tribe and the state, FireKeepers donates 2% of the casino’s annual revenue from electronic casino games to reimburse government entities impacted by its presence.
This year’s distributions were part of a negotiated settlement between the tribe and the state for 2021 operations at FireKeepers.
The state received just over $21 million, more than double last year’s contribution.
“FireKeepers is important to our community,” said Rep. Matt Hall (R-Marshall), who accepted a check on behalf of the state. “This $21 million will go a long way in helping us continue to grow our economy in the state and promote economic development in Calhoun County.”
The casino has contributed more than $260 million to the state and local revenue sharing board since opening in 2009.
Locally, casino funds will be distributed by the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board. For the past 12 years, the board has provided funding to local school districts, the Calhoun County Highway Commission, Willard Library and Kellogg Community College, as well as municipal governments.
In addition to the local revenue sharing council, FireKeepers continues to invest in the community by expanding its employee base. The casino currently employs 2,082 people in the region and paid $92.7 million in cumulative labor costs (total salaries, health insurance, 401(k) correspondence and incentives) in 2021, an increase of 20.8% compared to 2020.
FireKeepers has also awarded contracts worth more than $71.2 million in Michigan in 2021, including $6.1 million in Calhoun, Jackson and Branch counties.
“The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi are the best owners in the hospitality industry,” FireKeepers Executive Director Kathy George said in a news release. “They have invested in a beautiful second hotel tower and expansion of our resort, which will allow us to accommodate and attract more guests to the local community. They provided strong incentives, top-notch salaries, benefits and semi-annual bonuses to our team members.
“I am so proud of our team members who have overcome multiple challenges throughout the year, while continuing to welcome and appreciate the thousands of guests who visit us daily.”
Contact reporter Greyson Steele at [email protected] or 269-501-5661. Follow him on Twitter: G_SteeleBC