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Bureau of Indian Affairs approves Beloit Ho-Chunk casino project

The project is expected to bring 3,000 construction jobs to Beloit.
Preliminary renderings of the proposed Beloit Ho-Chunk Casino & Resort
Preliminary renderings of the proposed Beloit Ho-Chunk Casino & Resort(NBC15)
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 1:38 PM CDT
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BELOIT, Wis. (WIFR) - The Bureau of Indian Affairs gave final approval Friday for 33 acres of land to be placed into trust for the Ho-Chunk Nation’s Beloit casino project.

Now, the Ho-Chunk Nation tribe plans to finalize design, infrastructure work and construction on the project. Once open, the entertainment destination will bring 1,300 permanent full-time jobs.

“The Nation, our partners and this community have been anticipating this moment for years,” says Vice President Karena Thundercloud, “There’s been some skepticism about the timeline because of the Nation’s reliance on the federal processes but we’ve been confident in the project’s viability and look forward to a bright future for Beloit, the state of Wisconsin and the Ho-Chunk Nation.”

Beloit City Manager Lori Curis Luther shared her sentiments on the approval.

“Our community has eagerly awaited the groundbreaking for this high-quality complex that will provide an additional boost to our economy. We appreciate the thorough review and approval of this project so that our city can welcome the Ho-Chunk Nation home to Kecak. The City of Beloit remains committed to being a good partner with the tribe at they begin the development for this entertainment destination.”

Kecak is the Ho-Chunk name for the historic village where Beloit now sits.

The development plans have called for a casino hotel and convention space along with other entertainment options like a waterpark, beverage/dining venues and retail space.

The project is expected to bring 3,000 construction jobs to Beloit.

Rockfo Casino President, Geno Iafrate, welcomed the news, saying “Congratulations to the Ho-Chunk Nation and the Beloit region. Welcome to the neighborhood!”

Iafrate recently spoke on the Hard Rock project and expedited need for hotel accommodations in the region. He says final plans are in the works with a possible ground breaking this summer.  “Since opening in November, Rockford Casino—A Hard Rock Opening Act continues to experience month-over-month growth, bringing entertainment, jobs and tax revenue to Rockford and to the state.”

A preliminary construction schedule shows several phases for the Ho-Chunk project, beginning with roadway improvements, utility work and site access/egress.

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