Gun Lake Casino, one of the largest establishments of its kind in Southwest Michigan, is about to get a major expansion. On Thursday, the casino hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking on a project worth $300 million that will see the Wayland Property become a premium destination resort.
The expansion will include a new 15-floor hotel and a large-scale entertainment venue dubbed The Aquadome. The Aquadome will spread across 32.000 square feet and feature three pools. The venue will be able to transform into a concert venue or banquet center to host different kinds of events.
Leaders of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, or Gun Lake Tribe who owns the casino said that the new project will transform Gun Lake Casino into Gun Lake Casino Resort. The CEO Sam Semola noted that the expansion will mean that the property will now feature more non-gaming amenities. He is happy that they’re creating something special, a unique destination that will help the casino expand its reach way above the local area. It will also increase the casino’s demographic appeal and attract new groups of visitors. Semola added that the new development will make them more competitive and put them on a level playing field with their biggest rivals in the area.
The six-story Aquadome and the 252-room hotel will be located on the west side of the real money Michigan casino in Wayland Township. The whole complex is situated just east of U.S. 131, halfway between Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. According to casino officials, the new additions are expected to open their doors in 2025. At Thursday’s groundbreaking, the casino also revealed the renderings of what new facilities will look like. The hotel will feature sleek, elegant rooms with large windows, blue upholstery, and hardwood floors. It will also include 30 luxurious suites and two-story suites located on the top floor. The project is spearheaded by the Memphis-based design company HBG Design.
The Aqaudome will boast a unique interior with tropical flora, palm trees, and temperatures held at 82 degrees throughout the year. It will feature three separate pools. One will be a family pool, the other for the visitors aged 21 and up, and the third one will host the VIP visitors. There will also be a stage for entertainment events with a capacity of 2,400 people. Besides the hotel and Aquadome, the expansion will include a brand new restaurant, Sandhill Cafe, seating 137 guests.
The hotel and the Aqudome will also bring numerous benefits to the surrounding area. The casino expansion is expected to provide additional 350 jobs at the casino. At the moment, Gun Lake Casino employs 1,200 people. Currently, the casino mainly attracts guests from 30-60 miles away. The casino management expects those new facilities will bring families and gamblers from the whole state, including Southeast Michigan. They’re now able to provide a more complete experience, where guests will not only come to gamble but stay overnight and enjoy everything the casino complex has to offer.