Shooting Star aims for new casino: White Earth holds groundbreaking for new facility south of Bagley
BEMIDJI -- Gold shovels hit the dirt south of Bagley, Minn., Thursday during the groundbreaking ceremony for a second Shooting Star Casino. The new casino, which will include a bar and grill, is located on Clearwater County Highway 27 between Bag...
BEMIDJI -- Gold shovels hit the dirt south of Bagley, Minn., Thursday during the groundbreaking ceremony for a second Shooting Star Casino.
The new casino, which will include a bar and grill, is located on Clearwater County Highway 27 between Bagley and Ebro, Minn. Thursday's ceremony took place on the site of the coming facility, surrounded by construction machinery already moving dirt.
Before digging in with the shovels, comments were made by representatives from the White Earth Nation Tribal Council as well as representatives from the first Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen.
"For the surrounding communities, posterity, team members, people of White Earth and the White Earth Nation, this is for you," Bill Marsh, general manager of Shooting Star Casino said. "For the future, this journey, as we move forward to the end of Shooting Star Casino and the beginning of Shooting Star Casinos, I say miigwetch (thank you)."
According to Marsh, discussions about new casino locations began late in 2014. A feasibility study soon followed and revealed that the area near Bagley had potential.
"The area that came back as offering new clientele and keeping within the boundaries of the reservation was along County Highway 27. The study we received said it would be a worthwhile venture," Marsh said. "We pressed forward, contracted architects and began our work."
The 21,400 square-feet building is being designed by Cuningham Group in Minneapolis.
In the next several days, Marsh said construction workers will establish the foundation and footing for the new facility. The size of the building was not released.
Once completed the next step will be to construct the exterior of the building which will allow work to continue inside through the winter months.
In spring, Marsh said the parking lots will be poured and paved and the business is expecting an opening date in June 2016.
"We expect about 61 new jobs in the area and an economic boost to the areas of Bagley and Ebro. This will also continue self sufficiency and growth for the White Earth Nation," Marsh said. "We plan to deliver a high-quality product, not only in gaming, but in the dining experience and become more competitive in this area."
In September, the casino company also announced a third casino near Dent, Minn. The third casino also is being designed by Cuningham Group with construction starting in 2016 and an opening date in 2017. That location will include slots, tables, a bar and grill, a ballroom, a buffet as well as house a gift shop, deli, hotel and an RV park.
The original Shooting Star Casino is located in Mahnomen, Minn. Gaming operations began in 1991 in temporary facilities and a new facility was completed with a grand opening in 1992. A $30 million, 145,300 square foot expansion of the Mahnomen location was completed in 2001.