We live in a pretty brilliant time at the moment – the digital age has helped spread awareness for all manner of entrepreneurial ideas and given knowledge to people all over the world, no matter how far they are and where they are located. That’s the true beauty of the internet, it’s accessibility means that anyone, anywhere can head online with an idea, a problem, or even a solution, and make the most of it by reading information posted by people who have already experienced their circumstance and either done it successfully, or know someone who can. Websites like Kickstarter have placed the power firmly in the hands of the consumer for the first time, and made it possible for average Joes across the world to realize their dreams for whatever higher purpose they choose.
Such a dream is looking very likely to come to fruition in the small village of Shabbona in Northern Illinois where a native American tribe are planning to build a brand new casino to help inject jobs into the area and establish a firm foothold in the local economy to ensure the area can sustain it self forever. This isn’t the first time an idea like this has become a reality either, thus giving hope to the tribes efforts and re enforcing their plans to go ahead and re invigorate their local community.
“It’s going to be an economic engine and a job creator in this community” said Liana Onnen, the tribes chairwoman. She’s not kidding either, the running costs of a casino like this are fairly high but should the tribes plans reach their full potential, annual revenue is forecast to be in the region of $17 million and no less than 400 new jobs will be created. This would simply be phenomenal for the small town and would make an immeasurable difference for local families.
There is as ever, opposition to the cause, one of the biggest critics being County Board Chairman Mark Pietrowski who said “It seems like a high number to me.” Then added “my thoughts are, they, at least, believe that there will be a draw and it’s worth building that facility.” On a more positive note, Shabbona Village President Claudia Hicks said she supports bringing jobs to the area. “We’re a small town and it’s very hard for us to get anything into Shabbona. Anything that I think we could get to help us, I would support it.”
As part of the previously mentioned outgoings, the village would have to supply the hall’s water and waste water. Owners would pay up to $772,000 to install pipes and there would be a one time waste water connection fee in the region of $513,000. Theoretically, these sums are small ripples in the ocean when compared to the projected annual revenue of the hall, but as with any business venture, speculated revenue and actual revenue are rarely ever in a positive relationship with each other. In an ideal world revenue exceeds expectations, but should the tribes plans be sound enough, the revenue would at least inject enough to ensure that the whole venture from start to finish was entirely worthwhile and beneficial.
The hall would be regulated by the National Indian Gaming Commission and, we can only hope, gets the green light and proves to be half as successful as it is speculated to be.