FireKeepers Casino Introducing Second Hotel Tower With Tightrope Walker Nik Wallenda

Written By Matt Schoch on July 23, 2021 - Last Updated on July 22, 2021

It’s not a red carpet, but FireKeepers Casino Hotel is instead rolling out a tightrope for a special guest for the opening of the second hotel tower at the Battle Creek casino. Nik Wallenda, world-renowned daredevil of the Great Wallendas fame, will walk from the initial eight-story tower to the new one for an Aug. 16 christening.

Talk about a grand opening.

Spectators are encouraged to attend the event, which will kick off with a 5 p.m. ceremony. Wallenda is expected to begin his walk at about 5:45 p.m. There is also a remote viewing planned.

The walk will cover more than 400 feet and will take place nearly 200 feet off the ground.

Wallenda, known as the “King of the Highwire,” has 11 Guinness World Records. He was the first person to cross the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls and Times Square, and also walked blindfolded between two towers in Chicago.

Wallenda’s latest television special on ABC was a walk over an active volcano in Nicaragua.

Second FireKeepers tower a major addition for southwest Michigan

The new tower features 203 rooms and a new high-limit gaming area. There will also be a new location for the property’s signature Nibi restaurant with seating for about 125 guests.

The hotel, which is operated by the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi tribe, opened in 2009.

“We are thrilled to welcome Nik Wallenda to FireKeepers, and can think of no better way to signify our moving forward than with his aerial adventure across our towers,” said FireKeepers Casino Hotel CEO Kathy George in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming guests to watch this awesome feat, and to experience the new expansion!”

George is a rising star in the casino/hotel industry. She grew up in the Seneca tribe and has earned praise for her leadership at FireKeepers through expansion and growth, but also dealing with safety issues and the economic downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Exciting summer continuing for FireKeepers Casino

It’s the continuation of an exciting summer for FireKeepers. The resort is bouncing back from a tough period from the pandemic in a major way. The tribal casino also launched its FireKeepers online sportsbook and FireKeepers iCasino on July 12.

The online products were in partnership with Scientific Games.

Photo by Jason Szenes/AP
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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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