The Kenosha City Council has given the green light to an intergovernmental agreement between the state of Wisconsin and the Menominee Tribe’s gaming authority for the development of a casino in Kenosha county. The $360 million hotel and casino project, which is a collaboration between the Menominee Tribe and Hard Rock International, has been approved by the council in a 11:6 vote, marking a major milestone for the partners.
The proposal focuses on the development of a casino, hotel, restaurant, and entertainment venue on 60 acres of land near Interstate 94. This move has cleared the way for the project to enter further legal procedures and eventually be implemented.
During a meeting at the Municipality Building, the council deliberated on the proposal for more than three hours, with a large number of citizens in attendance. Alderperson Daniel Prozanski expressed support for the proposal, emphasizing that it is a privately funded operation and a significant development for the community. Meanwhile, Alderperson Anthony Kennedy stressed the importance of starting the process to maintain or improve the quality of life for constituents, despite the anticipated lengthy duration of the project.
The proponents generally view the casino proposal as compelling and have expressed support for it. However, some have requested that city officials be prohibited from working at the casino while in office or for a specified period after their service. On the other hand, some opponents have called for additional details and explanations before they can fully support the project.
Mayor John Antaramian believes that the project will have a positive impact on the community in the long term. He expressed confidence in the compact agreement and its potential benefits for the area.
The Menominee Tribe’s gaming authority has estimated that the hotel and casino complex will generate between $250 million and $295 million in annual revenues. A customized payment scheme has been proposed to allocate 3% of net revenues to the community, with payments ranging from $100,000 to $2.5 million to fund community programs and public infrastructure development.
The casino development is expected to create 800 construction jobs over a two-year period and around 1,000 permanent jobs once the resort is operational. The next step for the project is a review of the compact agreement with the tribe by the County Board of Supervisors on January 16, 2024.