Following the Midwest Gaming & Travel magazine’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey of Native American casinos, officials at the Island Resort & Casino have been notified that they are the statewide first-place winner in nine specific evaluation categories. The Island also placed second in four categories and third in seven others. Readers were asked to rate casinos in 35 detailed gaming and amenities areas.
First Place awards were received for: Most Knowledgeable/Helpful Staff; Best Slot Attendants; Favorite Casual Restaurant (Firekeepers); Best Casino Golf Course (Sweetgrass); Best RV Park; Most Comfortable Bingo Hall; Best Bingo Packages; Best Early Bird Bingo; and Best Poker Tournaments. Second Place awards were received for: Best Concert Venue (Island Showroom); Best Overall Bingo Hall; Best Bingo Jackpots; and Best Bingo/Casino Combination. Third Place awards were comprised of: Best Players Club; Best Cash Back; Best Live Entertainment; Most Comfortable Hotel Rooms; Best Hotel Ambience/Décor; Best Hotel Amenities; and Most Comfortable Poker Room.
Throughout Michigan, Soaring Eagle Casino of Mount Pleasant had the highest total with 23 awards. The Island was second with 20 awards and Firekeepers Casino of Battle Creek was third with 19 total awards. The Island was the lone U.P. casino to win any awards this year. This is the sixth consecutive year that the Island has been the top vote getter of the 11 U.P. casinos. The annual survey was conducted and data compiled from respondents of nine midwestern states.
“Downstate casinos have much larger metropolitan areas, which logically suggests more survey voters,” said Assistant General Manager Bill Wandahsega. “Nevertheless, while matched against Soaring Eagle, Firekeepers, Four Winds and all the other large downstate Native American casinos, I’d say we’ve measured up very well. To be identified in a prestigious publication like Midwest Gaming & Travel is a tribute to the commitment of all our employees who contribute to our overall success and popularity. It also cements our status as a travel destination,” he added.
The notification came less than two weeks after being lauded in a report by Gaming Central magazine that bestowed six “Best of Gaming” awards upon the Island Resort & Casino.
The Island Resort & Casino, located 15 minutes west of Escanaba, is one of several enterprises owned and operated by the Hannahville Indian Community.