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Frog Lake First Nation announces casino development

A second casino has been announced for the Border City.

The announcement came in the form of a detailed press release, issued by Frog Lake First Nation. The release states that a project led by Frog Lake will result in the construction of a 7,500 seat arena and event centre, along with a 200 room hotel, and a 1,200 person convention centre. The facility will be known as the Lloydminster Regional Entertainment Complex Project.

The project also includes a casino, with VLTS and table games, along with a smaller venue space included. A grand entrance to the complex will include a visitor centre, a gallery and a gift shop, and visitor will be able to explore regional First Nations History and Culture. Outside features include plazas, with landscaping and art, along with other features.

According to the release, the arena is aimed at hosting a Western Hockey League team.

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The proposal has not yet come before Lloydminster city council. In the release, it is stated that Frog Lake has been keeping city staff updated of developments with the project, for a “number of months”. The project is described in the release as a win-win for First Nations and other communities in the region, and states that profits from the venture will be re-invested back into the local community to support other projects, with airport expansion listed as an example.

The release goes on to state that the purchase of a 140 acre site just west of the Lloydminster city limits has been finalized. It also states a feasibility study for the project was conducted by HVS Global Hospitality Services, and the architecture firm of Marshall Tittemore Architect are the designers of the complex.

The release also details the economic impact of the project, with an estimated cost of $100,000,000. It is slated to be constructed as one build.

106.1 The Goat got in touch with Bruce Simms, the project manager for the LRECP. According to Simms, the project has been in the works for the last one to two years, and full time work has been put in on the proposal since last fall.

“Because it’s such a large project, it takes a while to take it to the point where you feel comfortable enough to let the public know about it,” said Simms.

He also said Frog Lake is now the legal title holder of the land slated for the development,

“We wanted to invest in land and invest in the city, and we said ‘let’s develop a project that will be a real plus for the community’ and we looked at the community,” said Simms.

“We decided that it should be multi-faceted, including the arena and the convention centre, and the full service hotel. We felt that a larger entertainment centre would add a great deal to the city, in terms of economic development, in terms of bringing new meeting and convention business, and a partnership with the Lloydminster region.”

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The press release also discusses the next steps in the approval process for the project. Presentations to both Vermilion River County Council and Lloydminster city council are “imminent” and a development permit from the county is the first stage of approval.

The release goes on to say that an agreement with Lloydminster for utilities services will be negotiated, and open house information sessions jointly sponsored by Frog Lake and the municipal governments will be held, along with discussions with specialized management companies to run the facilities.

Discussions are also being held with other First Nations, and investors, with strong interest, according to the release, and presentations to lenders and investors are continuing.

According to Simms, meetings have taken place about the project between Frog Lake and members of the Lloydminster government.

“We’ve met with different civic officials,” said Simms.

“A number of months ago, our feasibility consultant (HVS) was in town, and we met with senior officials of the city there as well, and let them know what our plans were, and that we were moving ahead. All along, we’ve been engaging in dialogue, and discussing our plans as best we can.”

Simms is now waiting to hear back about a time to present to Lloydminster city council.

“We expect to hear literally anytime now, to move forward with the presentation to council,” said Simms.

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