Menominee Indian Tribe signs agreements for proposed Hard Rock casino in Kenosha

The Menominee tribe partnered with Hard Rock International.
The Menominee tribe partnered with Hard Rock International.

The Menominee tribe has signed intergovernmental agreements.

US.- Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin leaders have signed intergovernmental agreements (IGA) with the city and county for the proposed Hard Rock casino and hotel in Kenosha. The deal now awaits approval from the federal government and, ultimately, governor Tony Evers.

City of Kenosha mayor John Antaramian said: “This is like the second time around in the sense of this project, so I was around with the first negotiations with the compact, regrettably the governor vetoed that, so, it’s again, a process that we’re moving forward on. I feel optimistic, but again, it’s just a first step.”

Joey Awonohopay, chair of the Menominee Kenosha Gaming Authority, said: “We are hoping the application will be expedited to Gov. Evers’ office shortly after the new year or around the new year. We are very optimistic now that we have signed intergovernmental agreements.”

The proposed Hard Rock Kenosha plan includes the casino, restaurants, 150 hotel rooms, a ballroom and a 2000-seat auditorium. The casino project is estimated to cost $360m and create nearly 1,000 construction jobs over 18 months. The proposed 60-acre site is southwest of I-94 and 60th Street.

Last month, Kenosha County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the proposal for the new casino. Two weeks earlier, the City of Kenosha’s Common Council had greenlighted the project. The plan is for a development about half the size of a failed 2013 project. For a casino to operate in Wisconsin, it must be on land federally designated as a tribal reservation. That requires approval from the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and finally Wisconsin governor Tony Evers.

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