Courtesy FireKeepers Casino Hotel/
The exterior lighting of FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan

FireKeepers Casino Hits $200M Mark in Wages and Benefits


The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi's FireKeepers Casino Hotel has reached a financial milestone.  Since its August 2009 opening, the Battle Creek, Michigan-based establishment has provided its 1,800 full- and part-time team members with $200 million in cumulative labor costs including total wages, health insurance, 401(k) and incentives.

“We are proud to have provided this stimulus to the local economy,” R. Bruce McKee, CEO of FireKeepers Casino Hotel, said in a press release.

Five and a half years ago, FireKeepers Casino Hotel opened the 111,700-square-foot gaming facility with 1,500 team members, 2,900 slot machines, 70 table games, a live poker room, a bingo room, and six distinctive dining destinations with multiple bars and lounges.

The tribe completed its most recent expansion of the facility on December 12, 2012. The additions showcase a 242-room resort-style hotel complete with indoor pool, exercise facility, full service restaurant, business center, and a functional multi-purpose event center capable of seating up to 2,000 guests in a concert venue. The $300 million facility is staffed with 1,800 team members, making the property one of the largest employers in Calhoun County.

“We are truly grateful for the hard work and dedication put forth by our 1,800 team members,” stated Homer A. Mandoka, tribal council chairman. “Their efforts are what keep us voted as the friendliest staff by Midwest Gaming and Travel, and what makes FireKeepers the casino of choice in Michigan.”

Earlier in the year the Nottawaseppi Huron Band distributed $20.2 million to benefit the state and surrounding local communities. This was the fourth payment to the state of Michigan, and the fourth payment to
the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board. The funds distributed are part of a negotiated agre ement between the tribe and Michigan for the operations of FireKeepers Casino Hotel over the operation year of 2012. This brings the total amount received by the State of Michigan to $41.4 million and $16.6 million by the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board since the opening of the property.

“We have enjoyed many successes, including paying off a $35 million loan four years early in August of 2010, completing the buyout of the FireKeepers Management contract in February of 2012, and securing financing for our expansion including our resort-style hotel and multi-purpose event center,” Mandoka said. “On behalf of fellow Tribal Council members, 1,100 Tribal members, and Tribal elders we are proud of the positive impact that FireKeepers has had on the local community.”

The Nottawaseppi Huron Band and FireKeepers Casino Hotel support local businesses and suppliers and extend contributions to the local economy beyond the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board and the distribution to the state,  a press release states. The tribe has also awarded contracts in excess of $93.1 million within the state since opening in 2009.