Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Casino Scene: Odawa
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Casino Scene: Odawa

Al Parker - March 15th, 2007
Northern Michigan casino goers
should grab a fat, red Crayola and circle Wednesday, June 20 on their calendar.
That’s the opening day of Odawa, the huge new casino project being built by the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians in Petoskey.
When I say huge, I mean roughly 300,000 square feet with more than 50,000 square feet on the gaming floor.
“We could put the entire Victories facility on the gaming floor (of the Odawa),” says General Manager Barry Milligan, who gave us a 90-minute private tour of the new casino, which sits on a 98-acre site just across US-131, west of Victories.
Donning hard hats, we walked through the shell of the new $140 million gambling palace where 200 to 300 workers are busy every day getting the casino ready for that June 20 date.
Beautiful color tiles and impressive hardwood trusses lend a north woods beauty to the expansive gaming floor. The place is loaded with the latest high-tech gadgetry, including many plasma TVs, dozens of cameras and several security doors that are only accessible by swiping an employee badge that has an imbedded chip to allow access.
To keep all the gear working properly, Odawa boasts more than 1.4 million linear feet of wire.
We zip from room to room, up and down floors, even checking out Odawa’s five sets of restrooms, its 2,000-coat cloakroom and the state-of-the-art air transfer and ventilation system that will keep fresh air pumping through the building.
Milligan has the floor plan well memorized as a result of giving tours almost daily to groups that included tribal officials, community leaders, Victories workers and honchos from other casinos.
Of particular interest to gamblers will be the Odawa’s large gaming floor that will feature some 1,500 slot and video poker machines, 30 table games and six poker tables. All of the machines will be Ticket-In-Ticket-Out and several automated kiosks will cash the tickets.
There will also be a high limit area with gaming tables and slots, plus a special high limit lounge for special players.
By comparison, Victories has 1,100 slot and video poker machines, 14 table games and three poker tables.
When arriving at Odawa, motorists can park in a new two-deck parking deck, then – protected from winter winds – make their way through a wide, comfortable tunnel to reach the gaming floor. This walkway will prove popular in winter.
If you work up an appetite during a gaming session, Odawa will offer three distinct dining choices:
The Sage will be a fine dining restaurant dominated by a 16-foot-tall wine tower. “This will seat 120 and be true, fine dining,” explains Milligan.
A spacious buffet, Waasnode, will feature five different food presentation areas, plus an omelette station and wood-fired pizza oven. It will seat 330 diners. “Nothing north of Detroit has a buffet like this,” says Milligan.
The Copper Café, sort of a Starbucks on steroids, will be available for those who want a coffee and a quick nosh. It’ll be open 22 hours a day for early morning or late night light dining.
One of Odawa’s most impressive drawing cards will be the Ozone night club which will feature two bars with flair bartenders, several plasma TVs, eight cozy pods and a stage for small acts or DJs. A bank of cameras will capture the action on the dance floor, then project it on the plasmas and the creamy white walls and ceiling of the Ozone.
“There’s nothing like it in the state,” says Milligan, a veteran casino manager who has directed Victories since coming to Petoskey in 2005 from New Mexico.
Victories has about 500 workers and that number is expected to double at Odawa. The band has held three job fairs that have attracted many applicants, according to Milligan. New dealers will be able to learn their craft at Odawa’s in-house training area, one of the few such facilities in Michigan.
Even with all of the construction under way, Milligan explains that Odawa is the first phase of a plan that is expected to eventually include a hotel and more. Odawa has been designed with expansion in mind.
“We are on time and on budget,” he says with a smile. “We’re all working hard toward that June 20 opening.”

Concert Scene
• Country group Sawyer Brown will rock the Little River Casino on March 17.
• Everclear will perform at the Kewadin Casino in Sault Ste. Marie on March 24.
• Tyrese Gibson’s Alter Ego Tour is stopping at The Soaring Eagle Casino on March 29.
• The Soaring Eagle will also host legendary Motown diva Diana Ross on April 13.

Promo This!
Once again, The Leelanau Sands Casino is hosting World Series of Poker (WSOP) satellite tourneys every Friday in the poker room. Top finishers from each Friday’s
$40 satellite earn entry into the casino’s WSOP super satellite on June 2 with the winner of that going to Las Vegas to play in the WSOP.
To mark the opening of their new hotel rooms, Little River Casino is offering current and new Player’s Club members a $79 room rate with a free breakfast through March 31. If you’re not a member when you stay, sign up and receive $15 in free play. Also through March 31, one lucky guest is chosen each night to receive a free night stay.
Turtle Creek Casino has started its Million Dollar Spin promotion. Two winners are drawn daily every hour from noon to 5 p.m. Winners will spin a wheel for prizes. This runs through May 26.

Words of Gaming Wisdom
“Lady Luck favors the backbone, not the wishbone.” – Doyle Brunson

On a Roll is a new monthly column
in the Express. If you have a question about Northern Michigan casinos or would like an event listed, email Al Parker at HYPERLINK “mailto:aparker48@aol.com” aparker48@aol.com.
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