Friday, August 24, 2007

Ilitch plans depend on Quicken picking his downtown property, the former Statler Hotel & United Artists property

MLive Map detailing ownership of parcels in the greater Foxtown area of Downtown Detroit


A DOWNTOWN DILEMMA: Quicken considers a move to Detroit; two key sites spark pros, cons debate


It's unanimous: Detroit's civic and corporate leaders all hope Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert will move his company downtown.

But far from unanimous, and sparking debate in Detroit development circles, is where in downtown Gilbert should relocate his Livonia-based company, if and when he decides to come.

The key question is: Which of the two sites offered to Gilbert would produce more spin-off benefits for downtown, bringing downtown closer to its goal of becoming a lively, walkable, 24-hour community?

The two parcels offered include the site of the old Hudson's store, demolished in 1998, and an irregular site off Grand Circus Park that once housed the now-demolished Statler and Tuller hotels and vacant United Artists Theater.

Of course, Detroit's leaders would welcome Quicken to either site should Gilbert decide to move.

"I'd be happy with them being in Detroit, period," George Jackson, the city's chief development officer and president of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., said.

But as Gilbert mulls a decision, two camps have evolved. And both have strong arguments for each of the sites.

Quicken looked at other locations, including General Motors Corp.-owned riverfront just east of the Renaissance Center. It also has considered buying an existing office building, such as Comerica Tower at 500 Woodward.

But the Hudson's and Statler-Tuller sites are the main ones under consideration, according to Jackson and others close to the negotiations...

The Ilitch family, owner of the Tigers, Red Wings, Fox Theatre and other holdings, owns a portion of the Statler-Tuller site [and United Artists Building]. The family, which declined to comment for this article, hopes to lure Quicken to that site to bolster overall redevelopment in the vicinity.

And that could become an important consideration if the family decides to build a new hockey arena for the Red Wings behind the Fox.

The arena is something that the Ilitches have been weighing for more than a year, although no decision has been announced.

But two other factors may play into Gilbert's decision, assuming he makes the move.

Cost is one. The Hudson's site is development-ready, complete with a 1,100-space city-owned parking garage operating below ground, as well as foundations already in place for a future building.

No such foundations or parking exist at the Statler-Tuller parcel, so building there would be more expensive.

The second consideration is the matter of prestige. People close to the negotiations say that Gilbert, should he choose to come, fears that locating on the Hudson's site might seem like taking second place to Compuware's headquarters...(
Complete Story)

Contact JOHN GALLAGHER at 313-222-5173 or

Arizona Congressman To Retire Amid Probe


Arizona Congressman Rick Renzi, Facing Probe, To Retire; Fifth GOP Lawmaker Stepping Down

(AP) Three-term Rep. Rick Renzi, an Arizona Republican facing a federal inquiry into his family's insurance business, said Thursday he will not seek re-election next year. Renzi becomes the fifth GOP House member in recent weeks to announce retirement plans, giving Democrats hopes of possibly picking up seats next year that otherwise would not be in play.

"I will not be seeking re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008," Renzi said in a brief statement released by the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Neither Renzi nor his top aides had immediately returned repeated calls and e-mails requesting further comment Thursday afternoon. (Full Story)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Tribal Casino Deal, Contrived Land Claim Fall Flat

LIMA, Ohio/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Lima City Council this week unanimously rejected a local ordinance that would have authorized two agreements with the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, subject to approval of city residents.

The first agreement represented a contrived land settlement over which the Shawnee has no authority to seek claim due to an 1831 treaty and the City has no statutory authority to surrender territory to a sovereign power. The second agreement, dubbed an "intergovernmental agreement" outlines the terms for operating a casino and other tribally owned businesses on the surrendered land...

...Federal law providing for tribal casinos expressly prohibits an Indian tribe from opening a casino on land acquired after 1988, with a few narrow exceptions. If one tribe is able to file a phony land claim for the purpose of creating a phony land settlement (one of the federal exceptions), then any other tribe with a historical connection to Ohio can follow suit. The actions of one city council will literally have a domino effect across the entire state.

The Eastern Shawnee Tribe may continue to draw local communities into their scheme and residents of Ohio will continue to see the deal for what it is - a wolf in sheep's clothing... (Complete Story)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"New Proposal for Tiger Stadium" | ABC-7 Detroit Video Story

"New Proposal for Tiger Stadium"
on ABC-7 Detroit, 8.22.07

Harwell Floats New Plan to Save Tiger Stadium

Retired Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell says the long-vacant Tiger Stadium should be revived as a venue for boxing, amateur football and amateur baseball with 10,000 to 14,000 seats.

"In America, we have a tendency to knock down anything that's over 30 years old and make a parking lot out of it," the 89-year-old Hall of Fame member said Tuesday. "Whereas in Europe, they preserve all these beautiful buildings and structures that have a history. I sort of like the European approach."

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has set an Oct. 1 deadline to hear the plan before proceeding with plans to demolish the stadium. It has stood at the site since 1912 but saw its last Tigers game in 1999. Team owner Mike Ilitch moved the ballclub to Comerica Park in 2000.

Harwell and lawyer S. Gary Spicer propose reducing Tiger Stadium's seating while adding music and sports memorabilia museums.

The City Council voted 5-4 on July 27 to give the public-private partnership the Detroit Economic Development Corp. the authority to demolish the park.

Development group President George Jackson called the plan a "PR gimmick." "Our decision will not be based on a public relations campaign," he told the Detroit Free Press. "It's going to be based on financial substance, period."

Harwell told The Detroit News that his plan was "picking up steam." (MORE)

Video Link:

Map of Indian casinos in Michigan

as published in the Detroit News 8.22.07:

Michigan Casino Factoids

Michigan's Indian Casinos

  • Michigan ranks 10th in revenue among the 28 states with Indian casinos; it ranks 25th in revenue growth.

  • Michigan tribes pulled in $945.5 million in revenue in 2006 ; Detroit's three commercial casinos brought in $1.3 billion that year.

  • Indian casinos have paid $412.1 million in state and local taxes since 1993.

Source: Alan Meister, author of the 2007-08 Indian Gaming Industry Report

Michigan tribes poised to break billion-dollar barrier


State flush with new casinos

Expansion in Indian gambling comes as Detroit operations ready permanent facilities

Joel J. Smith / The Detroit News

The state's Indian gaming industry is poised for considerable growth with the opening of the $400 million Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo and two more casinos moving toward reality in southwest Michigan.

Gaming experts predict the three casinos -- the others are near Grand Rapids and Battle Creek -- will increase Indian gaming revenue by about 60 percent a year, injecting new life into an otherwise flat industry by drawing new customers from southwest Michigan and bordering states. Revenue from the state's other 17 Indian casinos has hovered around $900 million for several years.

"If there is any new Indian casino growth in Michigan, it will come from southwestern Michigan," said Larry Rosenthal, a Washington, D.C.-based casino consultant for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, which owns Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo.

The expansion in Indian gambling comes as Detroit's three gaming operations prepare to open permanent casinos and hotel and entertainment complexes -- a $1.3 billion investment. Two of them -- MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity -- will open within the next three months.

While the Detroit casinos also foresee revenue growth, gaming experts contend its three casinos will draw a different clientele than the Indian facilities. Their growth will come from business travelers and conventioneers who don't mind spending big money for luxury rooms and other amenities at their 400-room hotels and entertainment venues.

"None of the tribal casinos suffered when we had that last go around with the Detroit casinos opening in 1999-2000," said Tom Shields, a consultant who represents tribes on casino issues. "And Detroit won't suffer with the three new Indian casinos opening either. I expect these new Indian casinos to do $600 million in annual business. These casinos will offer the opportunity to draw gamblers from outside the state."

That kind of revenue would mean an additional $60 million in state tax money each year and $12 million in local taxes.

Casinos needed near border

While the state might seem saturated with Indian casinos, some regions, including southwest Michigan, have been void of gaming operations.

Michigan could easily handle 25 percent growth in the number of new casinos depending on where they are located, said Jacob L. Miklojcik, a Lansing-based gambling consultant.

"By adding new Indian casinos in Michigan, you would not grow the overall North American market," he said.

However, he said Michigan could draw more out-of-state gamblers with casinos near its borders. It also would help retain Michigan gamblers who frequent other states.

"It would keep those gambling dollars in the state," he said.

Four Winds latest to open

The Four Winds Casino Resort is the first Indian gaming facility to open in Michigan in about a decade.

Four Winds Casino has 165 rooms in a lodge-style hotel, six restaurants, and 130,000 square feet of gaming space. The casino boasts 3,000 slot machines, 100 table games and
a poker room that can seat 158 players.

Off Interstate 94, just north of the Indiana border, the resort looks to draw gamblers from surrounding communities as well as Indiana and Illinois.

"Our market generally is the 50- to 100-mile driving radius," said Matt Harkness, general manager of Four Winds. "That's pretty standard for a casino. It's an untapped market for the kind of product we're offering."

Plans for the new casino were in the works for years. It was stalled by legal challenges financed by competitors -- some from Indiana -- who feared the new gaming facility would dig deep into their client base. A U.S. Court of Appeals eventually ruled in the tribe's favor, and the resort opened Aug. 2.

Firekeepers next to be built

The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians overcame the same legal challenges to move ahead with their plans for Firekeepers Casino, which will open off I-94 near Battle Creek.

The tribe will break ground on a $60 million casino in September, with plans to open in late spring 2008. The casino will include a 130,000-square-foot gaming floor. A hotel is expected to be added at a later date.

The casino will employ 2,000 workers and expects nearly 3 million annual visitors, drawing gamblers from Lansing, Jackson, Ohio and Fort Wayne, Ind.

"It's a wonderful thing," said Linda Coss, 47, who lives across from the site in Emmett Township.

"Michigan's economy is so horrible now. Battle Creek is one of the worst in the horrible lot. We really need the employment. It's a win-win for the area."

Court decision awaited

Before moving ahead with plans for Gun Lake Casino off U.S. 131 south of Grand Rapids, the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Potawatomi Indians has to overcome a federal court challenge.

The tribe faces the same legal issues as the others did and is awaiting a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals. The tribe -- and gaming experts -- expect the court to rule in its favor.

Plans call for Gun Lake Casino in Wayland Township to have 2,500 slot machines and 80 gaming tables. Its market will include Grand Rapids, Holland and Kalamazoo.

"We will be ready to go in a relatively short period of time once the court rules on the case," said James Nye, a tribe spokesman.

"This has been a long time coming."

You can reach Joel J. Smith at (313) 222-2556 or .

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ilitches gamble when they mix ball games and politics

Detroit Red Wings co-owner & secretary/treasurer Marian Ilitch isn't only the MotorCity Casino's proprietor; she & casino developer Michael J. Malik are involved in plans to build casinos near Barstow, CA, Port Huron, MI, and Long Island, NY. Now she's hosting a fundraiser for Rudy Giuliani when her husband's Detroit Tigers play the Yankees 8/27.

read more | digg story

Rudy Backed By Tribal Gaming Bigwigs


By Lisa Finn

Is presidential hopeful and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani a gambling man?

That's the question on the minds of many East End residents after published reports indicated that the head honchos behind a plan to build a $20 million casino in partnership with the Shinnecock Tribe are also Rudy fans...

...Those who question whether Giuliani is a supporter of the Shinnecock casino took note of the fact that both Malik and the Ilitchs' support Congresswoman Candice Miller, who introduced a bill supporting an off-reservation Native American casino in Michigan. In years past, the Ilitchs have made a play for off-reservation gambling in states including Hawaii and California.

Miller is also the Michigan campaign chairman for Giuliani's presidential run...

...But now that the Giulianis are East Enders themselves – the couple reportedly paid $3 million for their Water Mill abode – residents are wondering if there is a tie between the mayor and his supporters, who are charging between $1000 to $2300 for the fundraiser.

Jeff Barker, press representative for the Northeastern Leg of Giuliani's presidential campaign, said although he is unfamiliar with the Shinnecock casino issue, "In general, folks who choose to donate money or raise funds for the mayor because they want him to be president do so because they believe in his vision or his ideas – not the other way around." (Complete Story)

Co-owners of Olympia Aviation's Gulfstream IV Jet - Tail# N424QS

A 1997 Gulfstream G-IVSP, tail number N424QS, serial #1324, is registered to NJI Sales, Inc. (NetJets Inc./NetJets Aviation Inc.), a Berkshire Hathaway company, with fractional ownership (co-owned).
    NJI Sales Inc.
    2 Leadership Square, 10th Floor
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102
"NetJets' fractional aircraft ownership allows individuals and companies to buy a share of a private business jet at a fraction of the cost of whole aircraft ownership, and guarantees availability 365 days a year with just a few hours' notice."

According to the registration on file with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the 22-seat, twin engine turbo jet, Gulfstream N424QS is co-owned by these entities:
  • CIT Leasing Corp
  • Fisher Air LLC
  • GPR Aviation LLC
  • Highpoint Ventures LLC
  • Robert Half International Inc
Olympia Aviation, L.L.C. is an affiliate of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. It is likely this aircraft is used by Mike & Marian Ilitch, their family and associates for their personal and professional travel needs.

Olympia Aviation leases a larger Boeing DC-9, tail number N682RW, which is used for travel by the Detroit Tigers/Detroit Red Wings.

A 1999 Gulfstream G-IVSP is currently offered for sale by TWC Aviation with a $28,500,000 price tag.
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CNIGA's new executive director



Former Jamul chairman joins CNIGA

Lee Acebedo, former chairman of the Jamul Indian tribe, on Monday began a new stint as executive director of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, the state's largest tribal alliance.

Acebedo recently lost a re-election bid to continue leading his 53-member tribe and its controversial push to build a high-rise casino on a small, six-acre reservation in Jamul. It's doubtful that his new job with an organization that represents the diverse, conflicting interests of 65 gaming and nongaming tribes, will be any less stressful.

"I'm hopeful that the fact that I do come from a tribe, a California tribe, and have
dealt with many of the issues that other tribes are dealing with ... will put
me a position where I can be of better assistance to the tribes and the
association," Acebedo said Monday.

He replaces Ralph Simon, who left in January after just 18 months with the organization that remains arguably the state's dominant tribal lobby.

-- James P. Sweeney, Copley News Service

San Diego's La Jolla Tribe on hold


California tribal casino plans in limbo

CALIFORNIA -- As reported by the San Diego Metro News: "The La Jolla Indian band's plans to open a small casino on its remote 9,000-acre reservation are in limbo after the tribe and its business partners couldn't agree on how to proceed.

"'Things didn't work out,' tribal chairman Tracy Lee Nelson said yesterday. 'We couldn't go any further.'

"Nelson wouldn't say what led the tribe to ask out of its contract with Nevada Gold, the Houston company with which it has been working. He also would not discuss the tribe's plans.

"...The 700-member tribe planned to open a 349-slot gambling hall on its reservation on Route 76, about 22 miles east of Interstate 15..."

Monday, August 20, 2007

Don't expect the truth from Barwest on matters of Native American history or ancestral territories

The principals, partners and agents of Detroit-based Barwest LLC (including Marian Ilitch, Michael Malik, Tom Shields, Lance Boldrey, Virgil Moorehead, Katherine Saubel, Kevin Siva and Shane Chaparossa among others) have demonstrated time and time again that they can't be trusted when it comes to matters of Native American history in the Mojave Desert or ancestral ties to the greater Barstow area.

Consider the following example of sloppy disregard for the truth.

For more than a year, the official Barwest Web site has posted the following false "factoid" among others on its Barstow History page:

"The aboriginal territory of the Chemehuevi Indians (of which the membership of the modern Chemehuevi Tribe is composed) was located to the west of the Vanyume's territory."

The truth is, the Chemehuevi Indian Reservation is located on the California shore line of Lake Havasu and the Colorado River. Lake Havasu and the Colorado River are located east of Barstow and the area believed to be the ancestral lands of the Vanyume people.

And it's generally understood and accepted by all -- except apparently Barwest, LLC and its tribal partners -- that the bulk of the Chemehuevi ancestral territory is located to the east of Barstow/Mojave River; not the west.

The Antelope Valley Indian Museum indicates what is commonly understood by most:

"The Vanyume shared a territorial boundary with the Chemehuevi to the northeast."

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Shinnecock casino developers help Giuliani



Casino developers help Rudy

Rudy Giuliani is playing ball with developers who are bankrolling the Shinnecock's controversial push to put a 61,000-square-foot casino and 600-room hotel in Hampton Bays. Michael Malik and Marian Ilitch, who have paid lobbyists more than $1 million to represent American Indian tribal casino developers, are listed as "captains" for an Aug. 27 fundraiser for Giuliani's presidential campaign to be held at a Detroit Tigers game against the Yankees. Tickets range from $1,000 to $2,300, according to the invitation. The state and the Town of Southampton are fighting the casino plan in court.

Malik admitted last year that he failed to report a $26,600 contribution to a GOP group in California. He paid a $6,500 fine.

- Glenn Thrush in Washington, D.C.

Look who took part in preliminary discussions about Big Lagoon/Los Coyotes casinos

The following is reproduced from a “sign-in sheet” completed by those who attended a 2004 meeting in northern California to discuss a preliminary proposal for two off-reservation Indian casinos and resorts in Barstow, CA, to be developed and managed by Detroit-based Barwest, L.L.C. for the Big Lagoon Rancheria Indians (Humboldt County) and Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians (San Diego County).




Peter Engstrom

Baker & McKenzie (Counsel, Big Lagoon)

Virgil Moorehead

Big Lagoon

Shawna Neyra

Big Lagoon

David Neyra

Big Lagoon

Jake Miklojcik

Michigan Consultants

Heather Sibbison

Patton Boggs/Barwest

Lance Boldrey

Dykema Gossett/Barwest

Anna Kimber

Tribal Attorney/Los Coyotes

Katherine Saubel

Los Coyotes

Kevin Siva

Los Coyotes

Marc A. Palazzo

Barronhaus (Los Coyotes)

Michael G. Rossetti

Akin Gump for Los Coyotes

Robert Guenthardt

Barwest (former chair Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Manistee, MI)

Ron Rector

City of Barstow

Lawrence E. Dale

Mayor City of Barstow

Michael J. Malik


John Feliz

Big Lagoon

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Plot to give balance of wastewater contract to another consultant coincides with introduction of Rep. McKeon's half-a-million-dollar earmark

Is it just a coincidence that these directly related actions were going on at the same time on opposite coasts:

  • Barstow's GOP Mayor Lawrence Dale went public with his intention to re-award an important multi-million dollar contract mid-stream by firing HDR, Inc., the consultants retained two years ago to manage state mandated upgrades to Barstow's wastewater treatment facilities, and hiring a firm with no track record at all, MicroMedia Filtration Inc.; and
  • GOP Congressman Buck McKeon slipped an additional half-a-million dollar earmark into the Department of Interior's FY 2008 Appropriations Bill designated for the balance of the same contract to upgrade the Barstow wastewater treatment facilities. The funds earmarked by Rep. McKeon would come out of Environmental Protection Agency, State and Tribal Assistance Grants.

You may want to review these additional posts:

Merriam-Webster's various definitions for "plot" are all relevant connotations when it comes to Detroit casino syndicators

as Merriam-Webster's on-line defines "plot," it would seem to have many relevant connotations for the circumstances surrounding various Detroit casino syndicators ...


Main Entry: 1plot
Pronunciation: 'pl├Ąt
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English
1 a : a small area of planted ground <a vegetable plot> b : a small piece of land in a cemetery c : a measured piece of land : LOT
3 : the plan or main story (as of a movie or literary work)
4 [perhaps back-formation from complot] : a secret plan for accomplishing a usually evil or unlawful end : INTRIGUE
5 : a graphic representation (as a chart)
- plot·less /-l&s/ adjective
- plot·less·ness noun
synonyms PLOT, INTRIGUE, MACHINATION, CONSPIRACY, CABAL, SCHEME mean a plan secretly devised to accomplish an evil or treacherous end. PLOT implies careful foresight in planning a complex scheme <an assassination plot>. INTRIGUE suggests secret underhanded maneuvering in an atmosphere of duplicity <backstairs intrigue>. MACHINATION implies a contriving of annoyances, injuries, or evils by indirect means <the machinations of a party boss>. CONSPIRACY implies a secret agreement among several people usually involving treason or great treachery <a conspiracy to fix prices>. CABAL typically applies to political intrigue involving persons of some eminence <a cabal among powerful senators>. synonym see in addition PLAN

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certainly must reads!

Ilitch has backed loosing sports teams and pizza, but casinos in Detroit? 10.09.06 ● Marian Ilitch #1 on "25 Most Powerful People" to Watch 2006” global gaming business o1.oo.o5 ● My Kingdom for a Casino Forbes 05.08.06 ● Big Lagoon’s casino dream awakens north coast journal 07.28.05 ● Shinnecocks launch legal claim to Hamptons land 06.16.05 ● Ilitch Plans to Expand Casino Empire 07.05.05 ● Ilitch outbids partners 04.14.05 ● Ilitch enmeshed in NY casino dispute 03.20.05 ● Marian Ilitch, high roller 03.20.05 ● MGM Mirage to Decide on Offer for Casino in Detroit 04.16.05 ● Secret deal for MotorCity alleged 02.15.05 ● Los Coyotes get new developer 02.08.05 Detroit casino figure to finance Barstow project 07.07.03 ● Indian Band trying to put casino in Barstow 06.04.03 Pizza matriarch takes on casino roles 10.23.02 ● Vanderbilt gets short straw in negotiations for a casino Lansing Journal 10.06.02 ● Indians aim to drive family from tribe in vicious dispute san diego union tribune 04.09.00 ●Malik owns 2000 Michigan Quarter Horse of the Year 01.01.00 ● Detroit Team to run Michigan’s newest Indian casino 05.23.99 Tiger ties tangle Marian Ilitch 04.29.99 ● Three investors must sell their Detroit casino interests 04.25.99 ● Partners’ cash revived election; They say money was crucial to Prop-E 04.25.99 Investors have troubled histories las vegas review journal 04.27.99 ● Investor served probation for domestic assault on 12 year old boy 04.25.99 Can a pair win a jackpot?: local men hope to... 03.17.97

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