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Leonard discusses details of Star Lake Casino

Nick Leonard, Otter Tail County's new director of economic development and tourism, recently answered questions about the proposed Star Lake casino to members of the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners at a meeting on Oct. 6.

Nick Leonard, Otter Tail County’s new director of economic development and tourism, recently answered questions about the proposed Star Lake casino to members of the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners at a meeting on Oct. 6.

The proposed casino, which also would include a resort, would be located near the intersection of Highway 41 and 380th Street, on the southwest side of Star Lake which is southwest of Dent and southeast of Pelican Rapids.

When asked why Shooting Star can open a casino in Otter Tail County, Leonard explained that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) allows for Indian gaming on Indian lands.

“Indian lands include land within the boundaries of a reservation as well as land held in trust, such as land near Star Lake in Otter Tail County,” said Leonard. “A tribe has jurisdiction and exercises governmental power.”

The White Earth Nation currently operates a casino complex at Mahnomen, north of Detroit Lakes.

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The land in question near Star Lake, said Leonard, includes a parcel of trust land on the south arm of Star Lake in Otter Tail County.

“The proposed development includes approximately 270 acres and 5,500 feet of frontage on Star Lake,” said Leonard.

 

Construction timeline

If everything goes according to plan, Leonard said construction will begin in 2016. The casino and resort would open in 2017.

Developing the resort and casino is Shooting Star Casino, Hotel and Entertainment which is owned and operated by the White Earth Nation.

When completed, the casino and resort at Star Lake is expected to employ close to 500 people.

“Shooting Star Casino has indicated that they are working with area companies to bring natural gas, fiber-optic communication and enhanced electrical service to the Star Lake area,” said Leonard.

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The resort will be designed b Minneapolis-based Cuningham Group.

Plans include a 110-room hotel, RV park, three restaurants (bar and grill, deli and buffet), gift shop, ballroom and event center, indoor and outdoor swimming pool, observation tower and gaming facility.

Related Topics: OTTER TAIL COUNTY
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