The new Ojibwa Casino in Marquette, Michigan opened in December to quite the fanfare. A ribbon-cutting event took place before the festive holidays with both gamblers and non-gamblers alike excitedly acknowledging the venue’s striking new look and combination of classic casino games with the offer of retail, live entertainment and dining.
The $34 million makeover has seen a 1,200-seat auditorium and large convention space added alongside two new restaurants. As well as a gift shop, a lounge featuring live music weekly, and a bar, customers can play at the 500 new slots machines or hit the table games with blackjack, poker, and roulette on offer.
The project, which has been in development for several years, came after owners Keweenaw Bay Indian Community decided to pump $50 million into its gaming projects. Keen to create a multi- use venue, they created a convention center that can accommodate up to 400 delegates. Meanwhile, plans are afoot to build a hotel nearby, capturing the glitz of Las Vegas gambling while embracing the practicalities of the city’s tourist offer.
Chris Swartz, President of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, said due to Marquette’s growth it was really important to do “our part to provide some quality entertainment.” There’s certainly plenty on offer at Ojibwa Casino. The sheer scale of its slot machine portfolio is one thing but players will have the chance to play the likes of Two Deck Pitch, Six Deck Blackjack, and poker variant Let It Ride. It’s also time to remind yourself of the roulette wheel colors, how you bet on them, and what happens when the ball is let loose on the “run” because the table game is expected to be one of the most popular on offer.
In addition, customers can enjoy live music every week in the lounge while special events, such as the casino recently hosting a Super Bowl LIV party in February, are expected throughout the year. Fans were invited to join the fun as the game was screened on the large projection screen in the new convention center. Adding to the excitement, there was a half-time giveaway in which one lucky fan won a 55-inch Samsung UHD TV.
Since it opened, the casino has enjoyed a great response from locals. Jane Ryan, who was at the ribbon-cutting, says she isn’t a gambler but that the new casino has so much to offer that she’d likely be back. “This is an awesome place”, she told the Upper Michigan Source.
Management has been buoyed by the reaction. Director of Marketing, Jim Orr, said it had been a long time coming so it was pleasing to see such excitement for the opening. He says in the casino’s first two months “we couldn’t be happier” at the “wonderful turnout and response we’ve gotten”
Following a further $7 million invested in another casino of theirs, the owners, who had to shelve plans to build the hotel as part of phase one, are now looking to further develop the site to add luxury accommodation for casino customers.