Beloit City Council Sells 41.5 Acres to Ho-Chunk Nation

BELOIT (WIFR) -- The site for a proposed Indian casino in Beloit is twice the size of the original proposal after a new agreement is signed between the city of Beloit and the Ho-Chunk nation.

The Ho-Chunk nation already owns 32 acres near Willowbrook and Colley Roads in Beloit where they hope to build a casino complex. Representatives from the tribe say an additional 41 acres of land is essential to the overall project.

That's why the Beloit city council agreed Monday night t to sell the land to the nation for $1.8 million. The first 32 acres will house a 145 thousand square foot casino plus a convention center and a 300 bed hotel. The nation expects to spend around $200 million to build all that. On the extra plot of land, in the future the nation could build extra amenities such as a water-park or retail shops. Beloit leaders expect this huge complex will generate huge revenues for the city.

“We desperately need the jobs and the additional economic activity: 2000 permanent jobs, a multi-million dollar annual operating budget. If this comes in, it will attract other related businesses as well to the area so there will be an even bigger impact if this is approved,” says Beloit City Manager Larry Arft.

Those two thousand permanent jobs don’t include all the construction jobs that will be available as the facility is built. Tribe leaders expect 75% of the permanent jobs will go to people who are not part of the Ho-Chunk nation.

This project is still a ways away from a groundbreaking ceremony.
The federal government has yet to approve the casino application; that could take another year and a half. After that, the governor of Wisconsin will also have to approve the casino.

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