Monies Split Annually Between State of Michigan and Local Revenue Sharing Board
NHBP and FireKeepers Casino Hotel (FKCH) announced on March 1, 2023, that the combined lifetime revenue sharing payments to the State of Michigan and the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board (FLRSB) have exceeded $287 million.
“These distributions reflect the ability of FireKeepers management and staff to leverage a beautiful property to attract and retain guests from across the region,” said NHBP Tribal Council Chairperson Jamie Stuck. “They faced challenges from staggering inflation and high gas prices, to tight labor markets and growing competition, with enthusiasm and a compelling competitive drive to deliver excellent service.”
The continued operating excellence of FKCH led to the second consecutive year of combined contributions exceeding $26 million.
Two checks were presented by NHBP and FKCH; the first for just over $20 million presented to Acting Director of the Executive Office for the State of Michigan Nate Engle. The second check for $6.1 million was presented to FLRSB Secretary Derek King. The funds distributed are part of a negotiated agreement between NHBP and the state for 2022 operations at FKCH.
The Tribe and FKCH also focus on reinvesting in local communities, plus hundreds of charitable endeavors throughout Michigan and neighboring states through donations and sponsorships.
A 2016 Compact Amendment between NHBP and the State of Michigan provides for a payment of up to $500,000 per year of state revenue sharing payments to the Michigan Native American Heritage Fund (NAHF). Stuck and NHBP Vice Chairperson Dorie Rios are appointed members to the Heritage Fund Board.
In 2022, this fund provided financial assistance and/or reimbursement to 11 schools and educational services institutions to defray the costs of projects that promote positive relationships and accurate information regarding the history and role of Michigan’s Tribes and Native Americans in the state.
Past grant recipients included Saranac Community Schools to rebrand to new imagery that is culturally responsive and Hartford Public Schools to implement a new curriculum to help build meaningful connections with students. Chippewa Hills and Lansing Public School districts received monies from NAHF, as well as Michigan College Access Network and Western Michigan University’s Native American Affairs Council.
The checks presented in 2023 to the FLRSB is the 13th distribution since the first distribution in February 2010, when NHBP presented a check to the FLRSB for nearly $2 million.
The $72 million distributed to date has benefited many local municipalities, organizations and schools including
- Harper Creek Community Schools
- Calhoun County Road Department
- Emmett Township
- Calhoun County
- Calhoun Intermediate School District
- Kellogg Community College
- Willard Library
- Athens Township
- Marshall Township
- City of Marshall
- City of Battle Creek
- Athens Area Schools
- Village of Athens
- Battle Creek Public Schools
- Marshall Public Schools
- Lakeview School District
- Pennfield Schools
FKCH also supports the local community through ‘strong’ employment and well-paying jobs. FKCH has increased its employee base to 2,072 Team Members, at a time when many businesses are competing for available talent in a tight labor market. The focus on increasing jobs and providing an outstanding package of salaries and benefits is illustrated by cumulative paid labor costs which totaled $104.2 million in 2022, an increase of 12.4% over 2021. Since opening in 2009, FKCH labor total exceeds $919 million. This investment includes total wages, health insurance, 401k matches and incentives.
“The FireKeepers Way is a path of hospitality excellence, where our team consistently delivers a Vegas-style experience, with a warm and welcoming environment, filled with engagement, enthusiasm and appreciation,” stated Chief Executive Officer at FireKeepers Casino Hotel Frank Tecumseh. “We look forward to 2023 with optimism, based on our service history and an upcoming calendar filled with exciting promotions and superstar entertainment.”