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      Tribe looks to add new casino to Mackinaw City

      "It's a really good economic area to even think about putting a casino and it's one of the best I've ever seen around here," Little Traverse Bay of Odawa Indians Tribal Chairman Dexter McNamara said.

      McNamara is betting on Mackinaw City's tourism track record. That is one of the many contributing factors that has the tribe looking to build a new casino. The new facility would cost roughly $26 million and bring new jobs to the area.

      "And we're looking to add a hundred construction jobs and 80 plus jobs once the casino gets put into place," McNamara said.

      The casino will have more than 500 slot machines and a restaurant. It would be built just off of I-75 at the location of the old Kings Inn building.

      "If they don't put in a hotel, they don't put in multiple eating establishments, then I think it would be a good fit for the community to bring people to town that currently go to Petosky or St. Ignace or Sault Ste. Marie. I think a lot of them will stop in Mackinaw city and hopefully they'll venture outside the casino at some point and spend money at other local venues," Hamilton Inn Owner Joseph Lieghil said.

      T he tribe plans on taking their building plan to the Mackinaw City Village Council at the beginning of October.

      " I want to bring not only to my tribe , but to the Village of Mackinaw City a good economic development arena, where the business will not only be popular in the summer, but we can bring in people all season, and every season for this town," McNamara said.