On Wednesday, July 11, the Saganing Eagles Landing Casino in Arenac County celebrated reaching the half-way point of its huge $55 million expansion with a topping off ceremony as the last beam was placed atop the new five story hotel being built on the property. The hotel should be open by August 2019.

When the expansion is complete, the Saganing Eagles Landing Casino will have more gaming space, including the 148 room hotel to accommodate guests. The expansion also includes a full-service restaurant and additional gaming space.

"This is going to be the largest property in the region north of Bay City," said Ron Ekdahl, chief of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe in an interview with ABC News 12.

The casino attracts about one million visitors a year, but that number is expected to grow when the $55 million expansion project is complete.

"When you go to a casino, you are there. You want to spend a night or two. A lot of times you stop for a half hour or a couple of hours, have lunch and move on," said Ray Brenny, CEO of Soaring Eagle Casinos to the news station. "People will actually stop and spend time here."

The tribe will be increasing its workforce as well. The Saganing casino is currently the largest employer in Arenac County with about 300 employees. There will be 160 new job openings created with the expansion.

"We are going to have an aggressive recruitment effort," Brenny said. "We are going to start way in advance and we are going to try and pull people from the local area. If not, from out of the county or out of state."

"It's going to be a boon," Brenny said. "People are going to start looking at the development in the area and I think it's going to attract other businesses to move into this region."


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