Larry Romanelli, Tribal Ogema of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, has responded to the announcement by Governor Whitmer that she will not approve the tribe’s $200 million casino project in Fruitport Township in Muskegon County, MI.
“Our tribal members are absolutely devastated that Governor Whitmer has decided to not approve our casino development in Fruitport Township,” said Romanelli. “This project would have created and supported 3,000 jobs for tribal members and families in the community along with providing funds for healthcare and housing. Our tribe has worked hand-in-hand with the Muskegon community for the past 12 years to gain approval from the federal government and state government. Words cannot express how thankful we are for our community’s support and the disappointment we feel for them.
Our tribe is proud that over the last 12 years, we did everything right. The project has been supported by the Obama, Trump and Biden presidential administrations along with the Granholm and Snyder Gubernatorial administrations. We received approvals from the Department of Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. We met all the criteria required for approval. And while we disagree completely with Governor Whitmer’s decision, we respect that she has the authority to make it. For now, the Muskegon Casino Project has concluded.”