UPDATE: Ho-Chunk Nation plans to expand central Wisconsin casinos
NEKOOSA (WAOW) -- Big changes are coming to two central Wisconsin casinos. Ho-Chunk Nation legislatures have announced a multimillion-dollar expansion project, including upgrades at its Nekoosa and Wittenberg locations.
In March, the Ho-Chunk Nation passed a resolution to modernize four of its six casino locations.
In Wittenberg, documents say they plan to build a $14 million hotel, a $5 million conference center and more than $6 million worth of renovations to the casino.
There are also plans of a new hotel and event center in Nekoosa. Documents show Ho-Chunk plans to build an $11 million hotel and a $4 million events center.
Melissa Reichert is the president of the Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce. She says this expansion could be mean bucks for the Nekoosa community.
“The likelihood of having more conventions and events out at the casino will certainly drive the economy here,” said Reichert. “It certainly will provide a great economic return to the area. It will be especially beneficial to the small businesses within Nekoosa, the gas stations, the ice cream stands."
No one from Ho-Chunk Nation returned our multiple phone calls. But, according to it's website, the entire expansion project will cost about $144 million and bring about 150 jobs to central Wisconsin. That breaks down to about 75 jobs in Nekoosa and roughly 82 jobs in Wittenberg.
Newsline 9 spoke with village and town officials in Wittenberg. The Village of Wittenberg president says he doesn't know much about the project but says anything that brings jobs to the area is a good thing.
Right now there's no word when the project will begin or how long it will take.
The only casino with a hotel in that central Wisconsin area is North Star Mohican Casino in Bowler. We reached out to them for comment about this expansion project, but they did not return our calls.