Leisure & Hospitality International - Fall 2013 - 95

Spirit Lake Casino & Resort

www.s p ir it la keca s in o.co m Re ve nu e : $ 5 0 m illio n H Q : St . Mi ch ae l , N . D .
E mp l oye e s : 4 2 5 Pau l M at h e ny, ge ne ral m anage r : “ Yo u w i l l n e v e r s e e
a n o t h e r v i e w l i ke i t i n N o r t h D a ko ta . I t ’s b ea u t i fu l .”

Set on an island in the middle of Devils
Lake and miles of forest, North Dakota’s
Spirit Lake Casino & Resort is building its
livelihood around breathtaking views.
Spirit Lake Casino & Resort in St.
Michael, N.D., was founded on the Spirit

Adventure
Awaits
Spirit Lake Casino & Resort antes up $10.5 million to
capture its outdoor splendor. BY JANICE HOPPE

Lake Tribe reservation. The tribe founded
two casinos after the Gaming Regulatory
Act of 1988 passed, giving it an opportunity to strengthen its economic status. In
1996, the tribe opened a new $7 million,
49,000-square-foot casino – Spirit Lake
Casino – and effectively closed the other
two properties. General Manager Paul Matheny says what was once just a casino
has expanded into an all-ages resort. The
property includes a 120-room hotel, six
fully furnished log cabins, a park area
with the capacity to house 73 recreational
vehicles, three restaurants, a grocery
store and a marina.
Being set in a remote area of North
Dakota, the natural beauty of the resorts’
surroundings may make it hard to stay indoors, but entertainment options flourish
inside the casino. The gaming floor has
700 gaming machines, blackjack, poker,
craps and a six-table poker room. Matheny says the casino has an average payback of about 94 percent – which he adds
is the same as Las Vegas. The casino may

Spirit Lake Casino & Resort updates its outdoor, hotel and fine dining restaurant to make the resort into a destination.

have Vegas-style stakes, but the atmosphere exudes a hometown feel. “You

Lake Marina offers 70 water and power

STUNNING VIEWS

won’t see your typical high rollers but you

boat-slips for sailing vessels to fishing

As impressive as the resort is, a recent as-

will see farmers,” Matheny says. “It’s the

boats. Boats and pontoons can also be

sessment of the property nevertheless

local market. We are a casino for the lo-

rented. For fishing enthusiasts, the ma-

showed a need for updated amenities to

cals in a 90-mile radius.”

rina holds its annual Walleye Classic and

make the resort into a destination, Math-

Although wails over losses and cheers

Big Fish Contest. First place takes $10,000

eny says. Spirit Lake Casino & Resort allot-

of joy over winning can be heard inside,

in the Walleye Classic and the Big Fish

ted $10.5 million for renovations this year

stepping outdoors presents a more

Contest offers $50 for the largest walleye,

in its fine dining restaurant, hotel and out-

serene setting. The full-service Spirit

northern pike and white bass.

door space. Because the outdoor views are

Fall 2013 L e i s u r e a n d H o s p i t a l i t y I n t e r n a t i o n a l | w w w. l h i m a g a z i n e . c o m

95


http://www.lhimagazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Leisure & Hospitality International - Fall 2013

Contents
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Leisure & Hospitality International - Fall 2013 - Cover3
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