Groundbreaking Kicks Off Massive Expansion at Bay Mills Casino Resort

Roughly 11 months after first announcing the project, Bay Mills Casino and Resort has broken ground on a massive expansion that will double the resort’s visitor occupancy.

Last week, the casino and Bay Mills Indian Community (BMIC), which owns and operates the resort, held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the project’s start.

Bay Mills Tribal President Whitney Gravelle expressed gratitude to project supporters in a letter shared before the Brimley, Michigan, ceremony.

Gravelle wrote:

We are so excited to celebrate the hard work and innovation that has culminated in this historic investment; for your support, your enthusiasm, and your trust have fueled our ambition to reach new heights, and for that, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

This ceremony will mark the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the history of Bay Mills Indian Community and Bay Mills Resort & Casino. As we embark on this journey of growth and transformation, we know that none of this would be possible without our community – our tribal citizens, employees, and partners.

New Amenities Will Enhance Bay Mills Experience

Bay Mills Casino and Resort opened in 1995, just outside Bay Mills Township.

In the years since its opening, the resort has become a popular tourist destination and economic driver, employing more than 200 people from surrounding communities.

In September last year, the casino announced plans for a massive $65 million project to expand the resort.

When the now-underway expansion is complete, the popular gambling destination will have more rooms and a more full-featured experience for visitors.

Currently, the casino resort has 140 hotel rooms, multiple restaurants, a gift shop, and hiking trails.

After the expansion, visitors will have access to a host of new interior amenities, including:

  • 134 rooms (with balconies)
  • Conference spaces
  • Spa and massage therapy rooms
  • Pool and splash pad
  • Hot tubs
  • Deli
  • Nail salon
  • Fitness center
  • Arcade
  • Storefront

The expansion will beef up outdoor attractions, too, starting with new fishing piers on the property. The exterior plans also call for new gardens, gazebos, patios, and marina upgrades.

In the initial announcement, resort general manager Richard Leblanc acknowledged the benefits for guests.

Said Leblanc:

Bay Mills Resort & Casino is well-loved by its visitors.

This expansion will allow us to take things one step further to meet the needs of our guests while also providing them with a one-of-a-kind experience on Lake Superior.

In addition to guest-related upgrades, the staff break room will also get an update, with additional space and amenities for employees.

Project Faces Time, Cost Adjustments

Notably, in 2020, the Tribe also partnered with DraftKings to offer sports betting in the state. With that deal, players can place bets online, via the DraftKings Sportsbook app, or in person at DraftKings Sportsbook at Bay Mills.

Bay Mills Indian Community also operated Kings Club Casino (KCC), the first tribally-owned casino in the US.

Also located in Brimley, Kings Club closed during the height of the pandemic.

However, instead of reopening KCC, BMIC opted to permanently shutter the site to focus on the Bay Mills Casino renovation.

While estimates for the expansion initially came in at around $65 million, Bay Mills now projects total costs will be closer to $85 million. One report even pegs the expected outlay could reach as high as $100 million.

In addition to rising costs, officials shifted the timeline for completion of the build from fall 2024 to fall 2025.

Still, the benefits will be widespread, said Gravelle.

We will be lifting up our employees, and our community, our tribal citizens, and really the rest of the Eastern Upper Peninsula with this project. As we continue to prosper with this project, so will everyone else.

About the Author

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil (she/they) is a Nova Scotia-based writer and editor, and a lead writer at Bonus. Here she focuses on news relevant to online casinos, while specializing in responsible gambling coverage, legislative developments, gambling regulations, and industry-related legal fights.
Back To Top

Get connected with us on Social Media