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Officials hope Whitmer changes her mind on Fruitport Casino this time around

Little River Band of Ottawa Indians given another shot to submit application   

Back in June, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer then denied the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians application for a new casino in Fruitport Township, after the tribe had spent roughly $30 million on development over a 12-year-planning process.

“We dotted our I’s and we crossed our t’s. We did everything right.”

That is Little River Band Tribal Ogema Larry Romanelli, who called the decision a “punch to the stomach.”

Meanwhile, State Senator Jon Bumstead, who has been a long supporter of the casino, called Whitmer’s decision at the time “shameful.”

“All it took was her signature,” Bumstead said. “And it cost the state nothing.”

Several business leaders on the Lakeshore were outraged as well, as the City of Muskegon has been working on ways to drive tourism to the area, specifically in the winter months. A Casino would have been a perfect fit, says Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce President Cindy Larson.

“It would give visitors to the new convention center a place to go at night,” she said.

The Governor said in June, that she needed more time consider the Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians, who were seeking Federal Recognition from the US Department of the Interior, (DOI) and who claimed rightful ownership to the land that the casino would be built on.

However, the DOI last week denied the Grand River Band’s request, and told casino officials to resubmit its application, paving the way for Governor Whitmer to reconsider her decision.

WGVU reached out to the Governor’s office for comment, at the time of this report, there has not been a response.

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