Ho-Chunk Nation to begin construction on casino
The Ho-Chunk nation hopes to begin construction on a large casino and waterpark complex in the city of Beloit in 2020. The plans have been discussed in the Ho-Chunk community for over a decade, but leaders have recently started to go through legal proceedings to make the new property a reality.
The casino would be a major endeavor. It would include a 300-room hotel, five restaurants and stores, a 40,000 square foot waterpark, a convention center and a gambling area with over 2,000 slots. So far, Rock County and Beloit City Council have publicly endorsed the construction of the casino. The estimated cost has so far been determined to be $405 million. The proposed area for the building lies off of I-90 by Colley Road.
e undertaking is a joint effort between the City of Beloit and members of the Ho-Chunk Tribe. Many residents in Rock County support construction of the casino complex. “This is a potential game-changer for our local community, and the impact is dramatic,” said Beloit City Manager Lori Luther. Representatives for the Ho-Chunk Nation estimate that over 1,500 jobs will be created once the property is up and running.
However, not everyone is thrilled about the new development. Senator Dave Syverson (R-IL) is concerned that the casino will take business away from Rockford’s convention center and possibly even BMO Harris Bank Center in Milwaukee, WI. He claims that it will “devastate Rockford.”
Regardless of opinion, there are still many processes that the Ho-Chunk Nation must go through before they can start construction. First, they must get approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and then they must hold public discussions in Beloit. Finally, approval must be given at a state level from Governor Scott Walker, and then at a national level from the Trump administration. Although Walker prevented a casino from being built in Kenosha, WI, most are still optimistic that construction will begin in 2020.