Referendum Vote Will Determine Construction Of New Palace Casino & Hotel In Cass Lake
Residents near the Leech Lake Reservation may soon have a new place to hit the jackpot if a referendum is approved to construct a new Palace Casino & Hotel in Cass Lake.
“If it come back as a yes vote, then we’re going to proceed; if it should come back as a no vote, then we’ve got to rethink the plan,” said Leech Lake Tribal Chairman Faron Jackson Sr.
Any enrolled member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe that’s 18 years or older can vote on the new casino and hotel tomorrow. If the vote goes through the casino would be located near the intersection of U.S. Highway 2 and 371.
“Just kind of, what would that be north of Teal’s?” said Jackson. “On the same side of Highway 2 as the government center.”
There are options for what could happen to the current Palace Casino & Hotel.
“Maybe a college dorm for students that want to attend our tribal college there and we also talked about a possible treatment facility,” said Jackson.
Michael Morris doesn’t see the benefit a new casino would bring to Cass Lake, the place he’s called home for 55 years.
“More or less, it will hurt it because of the laws that they’re bringing in – it’s going to wipe everything out,” said Cass Lake Resident Michael Morris.
Chairman Faron Jackson Sr. says the casino can provide up to 100 jobs and also bring in tourists.
“Our air quality at our current palace is not a healthy place to have a lot of our employees working,” said Jackson. “Our clients and members that come to the gambling establishment there we want to provide a newer building.”
Another Cass Lake resident says he has serious concerns.
“This is an illegal referendum vote,” said Kenn Mitchell.
Mitchell says a casino serving alcohol would increase the crime in the area, and that’s just part of his disapproval.
“They can switch the vote anyway they want, but it’s already been decided they are going to build it doesn’t matter what we say,” said Mitchell.
The cost of the casino and hotel would be between $45-$50 million and Chairman Jackson says the money would come from special financing.
Here are a list of the polling stations that will be open on May 16 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Ball Club Community Center
Inger Community Center
S. Lake Community Center
Bena Community Center
Smokey Point/Kego Comm Ctr.
Sugar Point Community Center
Cass Lake Dikinaagan Center
Mission Community Center
Oak Point Community Center
Cass River Community Center
Cass Lake Justice Center
Bemidji: City Hall, Duluth: Trapanier Hall, Leech Lake Twin Cities: Mpls. Indian Center