Menominee, Hard Rock renew Kenosha casino efforts
The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin has announced a partnership with Hard Rock International on renewed efforts to open a casino and entertainment center in the city of Kenosha. It is expected that this project will contribute to the general well-being and bring much-needed growth to the economy of the Menominee Indians.
This new development is the latest effort by the tribe in sourcing necessary provisions for its members. It is hoped that the project will eventually provide funding for healthcare, education, and other infrastructure.
In 2015, the tribe’s plan to build a casino and entertainment center, which was approved by the city council of Kenosha, was shut down by the then-governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker. It should be noted that the tribe is one of the poorest and consistently ranked for high mortality and poverty rates in the Badger State.
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Speaking on the matter, tribe chairman Ronald J. Corn Sr. said, “Much has changed since our 2015 effort, but the needs of our tribe and its members have continued and, in some cases, grown more acute. We need to make greater investments into health care for our children and elders. We need to make more investments into educating our young people; and we need to do more to reduce the high levels of poverty, hunger, and unemployment on our reservation. A casino and entertainment center in the City of Kenosha is the best path for our tribe to obtain the resources to help achieve those important goals.”
One notable difference between the 2015 plans and now is the change in the size of the casino.
“The proposed project will not be as big as it was previously envisioned, but it will still create jobs and be substantial. It will still be a Hard Rock brand and be an incredible addition to the community, the local and regional economy, and the state,” Corn said.
He adds that the cutback is in order to reflect the increasing number of gaming facilities already existing in Wisconsin.
Another change in plans is the location of the casino. The new complex will be located less than a mile away from Kenosha’s old Dairyland dog track, which was the former location of the 2015 plan.
The COO of Hard Rock International, Jon Lucas, said of the agreement: “Hard Rock has a long-standing partnership with the Menominee Tribe and is proud to support them in their continued efforts to bring a world-class gaming and entertainment resort to the Kenosha community.”
While Hard Rock International will develop and manage the project, the Menominee Tribe fully owns the casino.