ONAMIA — Less than 10 months after announcing that it had purchased more than half the hotel rooms in St. Paul, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe’s Corporate Commission Tuesday announced another investment — this one a major redevelopment of an existing asset in its own backyard.
Joe Nayquonabe Jr., commissioner of Corporate Affairs for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, announced that the Band will redevelop Eddy’s Lake Mille Lacs Resort into a premier resort and restaurant property on the lake.
“As a part of our vision for economic diversification, the Corporate Commission is charged with identifying new potential investments, as well as looking critically at existing assets to maximize their value and productivity,” Nayquonabe said.
The announcement comes at a time when critics are speculating about the future of the lake. However, Nayquonabe says the proposed redevelopment project is a significant investment that demonstrates the Band’s confidence in the future of the lake.
“The economy of the entire region revolves around Lake Mille Lacs, and Eddy’s resort is no different,” Nayquonabe said. “It is our goal to ensure the quality of the lake for generations to come. The fact that we are making a significant investment in the renovation of our lake resort indicates how strongly we believe in the future of the lake.”
The Corporate Commission of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe recently received approval from the Mille Lacs County Board on a redevelopment plan for Eddy’s Lake Mille Lacs Resort. The plans include razing the current structures and redeveloping Eddy’s into a world-class destination resort and restaurant on Lake Mille Lacs.
The approved plans include a refresh of the whole property, including guest rooms, amenities, meetings spaces and a restaurant. The plan also calls for moving the parking lot away from the water to preserve the lake shore and maximize the views of the lake frontage.
“By improving the customer experience and boosting tourism, this project will be a win-win for the Mille Lacs Band and the tourism industry in East Central Minnesota,” Nayquonabe said.
The Corporate Commission of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians manages all the Band’s businesses, including Grand Casino Mille Lacs, Grand Casino Hinckley, the Crowne Plaza Riverfront Hotel and the DoubleTree Hilton in St. Paul; and other Band-owned businesses such as a cinema, a grocery store, gas/convenience stores, a golf course, wastewater treatment plant and a print shop. The Corporate Commission has over 3,600 employees and its board of directors is comprised of five members, who guide the business and investment decisions for the Band.