In December 2019, the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board received the Socioeconomic Indicators and Economic Impact Analysis of FireKeepers Casino Hotel. The Board engaged the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Kalamazoo to complete this study in accordance with a long-standing commitment. The promise was to update the economic and social indicators within Calhoun County identified in an initial 2008 Upjohn Study as possibly being impacted by the development of FireKeepers Casino Hotel.
The socioeconomic indicators examined by the Upjohn Institute include economic opportunity, crime offenses, financial impact, and family and children.
The Upjohn Institute estimates that in 2018, 2,426 jobs were added to the labor market due to people from outside of the county patronizing and spending money on services at the casino. These are public and private sector jobs, including direct employment by FireKeepers and also jobs created from the need for others (for example, grocers, accountants, and dry cleaners) to supply goods and services to workers at FireKeepers. FireKeepers represents slightly more than 4% of all county employment.
The report found that gaming adds almost $250 million in additional sales in Calhoun County, along with $21 million in personal income. Combined, gaming and non-gaming activities, sales in Calhoun County were $443 million higher due to activities of patrons and the facility, and personal income rose by $65 million.
Within the social indicators, Upjohn concluded that both Emmett Township, where the Casino Hotel is located, and Calhoun County are doing just as well and in some cases better now, both when compared to the baseline year of 2008 and when measured against comparison counties. These indicators included crime activity, bankruptcy filings, senior assistance requests, divorce rates and domestic violence reports, among others.
About The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi
NHBP, a federally recognized Tribal government with more than 1,500 enrolled Tribal Members, gained federal recognition December 19, 1995. The Tribe’s main offices are located at the Pine Creek Indian Reservation near Athens, Michigan, and in Grand Rapids, Michigan. NHBP provides benefits, programs and services to Tribal Members through various Tribal government departments, as well as a Tribal Police Department, Tribal Court and Gaming Commission.
NHBP’s economic development entities include FireKeepers Casino Hotel (FKCH), a Vegas-style casino, and Waséyabek Development Company, LLC (WDC), which focuses on the pursuit of non-gaming, economic diversification opportunities.
Under the Tribal-State Gaming Compact, NHBP distributes a percentage of its annual slot machine revenue from FKCH to both the State of Michigan and to the Local Revenue Sharing Board (LRSB). The Native American Heritage Fund, established in 2016, serves to provide resources to improve curricula and educational resources related to Michigan Indian history, as well as to fund initiatives that promote mutual respect and cooperation between local communities and Michigan’s federally recognized Tribes.