BIA approval clears land in Beloit for Ho-Chunk Nation casino project
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the placing of 33 acres of Beloit land into trust for the Ho-Chunk Nations casino project. The move allows for the building of the casino on a portion of the 70-plus acres purchased by the Ho-Chunk Nation for a casino, hotel, conference center, waterpark, and multiple restaurants. It is a project 30 years in the making.
“It was 1992 when Governor Tommy Thompson signed a compact with the Ho-Chunk Nation that agreed to have another casino for the Ho-Chunk,” said Ho-Chunk Nation public relations officer Casey Brown. “It’s going to be great, not just for the tribe but also the surrounding area.”
Brown says much of the wait over the past decade has been on approval to place the land into trust, which allows for the construction of a casino. Brown says construction will create 3,000 jobs and, when complete, 1,300 jobs for the area.
Beloit city manager Lori Curtis Luther says she is excited about more jobs for the area. But she adds it is also invigorating to return the land to the Ho-Chunk Nation, which occupied the area long before the city.
“This certainly is home to the Ho-Chunk Nation, and we think it’s appropriate that they now have the land that they can generate revenue and support their people,” said Luther.
Brown says the following steps are finalizing the paperwork for the casino to begin construction. The groundbreaking and project launch is anticipated to happen in the next several months. Brown says the casino is phase one, and once complete, phase two (the rest of the destination location) will begin construction.
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