WAYLAND, MI – Gun Lake Casino has officially broken ground on the upcoming $300 million addition to the west side of the property. The expansion will transform the casino into a hotel resort with numerous amenities.
“Phase 5 will transform the property into becoming a first-class destination resort,” said Sal Semola, Gun Lake Casino CEO. “Without question, its design attributes will create a unique entertainment experience. Over the past eleven years, the Gun Lake Tribe and our Gun Lake Casino Team Members have worked tirelessly to make this all a possibility. This is just the next step towards making our property the premier entertainment destination in the Midwest.”
The resort will feature multiple pools inside a six-story Aquadome with 32,000 sq. ft. of space that can transform into a concert venue, banquet center and entertainment venue. The hotel will consist of 15 floors with 252 rooms including 30 suites, and a two-level suite. The project is expected to create 350 jobs as part of the addition to the property.
“Job creation is one of the many things we are excited about with this expansion,” said Semola. “We take great pride in providing career opportunities with outstanding benefits for people in our community. These jobs will include guest relations, housekeeping, entertainment, and several other departments.”
Sandhill Café will make its return inside the new expansion, featuring a three-meal venue designed around 137 seats, which features a flexible layout for individual and group settings. Gun Lake and the surrounding area will have a large influence on the color palette inside of each guestroom and suite.
“We are thrilled to begin taking the next steps in expanding not only Gun Lake Casino’s offerings, but also our career opportunities to those in the surrounding communities,” said Tribal Chairman Bob Peters. “We are committed to continuously investing in the future of the tribe, the community, and our current and future team members.”
HBG Design has taken the reins on the layout of Phase 5. The design firm has been in operation for over 42 years and has worked with 40 sovereign nations across the U.S. to date.
“HBG Design is excited to be leading the architecture and interior design for the $300 million expansion of Gun Lake Casino featuring a 252 room four-diamond hotel, spa, and multi-purpose Aquadome,” said Paul Bell, AIA, Principal of HBG Design. “The Aquadome is sure to become a must-see feature.”
“A resort pool by day and performance complex by night, the glass-enclosed circular structure will generate an immense sense of energy inside and out, while offering a variety of complementary entertainment and gathering opportunities for resort guests and entertainment-seekers from the tri-state area,” said Bell. “Our team is dedicated to helping the Gun Lake Tribe fulfill its vision for the future of its popular entertainment facility. We have enjoyed working diligently together with the tribe and casino operations to envision a unique expansion design that sets them on that path to success.”
The Aquadome’s dynamic form is sculpted by the sun’s daily path across the site and will reflect the dynamic sky from all four of Michigan’s vivid seasons.
The top two floors of the hotel will feature a two-story suite with a unique living space showcasing a grand staircase, double-height window, and residential elevator. Guests can also enjoy a full-service bar, billiards table, and a larger bar upstairs with both indoor and outdoor dining and lounge areas.
Construction on the west side of Gun Lake Casino will begin in late May with an expected completion of March 2025. The project will create 350 jobs and have an estimated $650 million economic impact.