Gun Lake Expansion Includes An Aquadome, Which Is As Cool As It Sounds

Written By Drew Ellis on June 2, 2022 - Last Updated on June 3, 2022
Gun Lake expansion rendering

Big things are happening at Gun Lake Casino in Wayland.

On May 19, Gun Lake hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for its $300 million Phase 5 expansion to the west side of its property.

Included in the plans is a new 15-floor hotel and an Aquadome which will include three pools, but also be able to convert into a concert venue and banquet center.

Owned by the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi, Gun Lake Casino already features 2,500 slot machines, 47 table games and more.

Plans call for the grand opening of the new expansion projects in March of 2025.

What’s included in Phase 5 of Gun Lake’s expansion?

Phase 5 has its primary focus on the new hotel and Aquadome, but will also include a new café, gift shop, spa and lobby bar.

“Phase 5 will transform the property into becoming a first-class destination resort. Without question, its design attributes will create a unique entertainment experience,” said Gun Lake Casino CEO, Sal Semola. “Over the past 11 years, the Gun Lake Tribe and our Gun Lake Casino Team Members have worked tirelessly to make this all a possibility. This is just the next step towards making our property the premier entertainment destination in the Midwest.”

Gun Lake Aquadome rendering
Courtesy of Gun Lake


Standing six stories, the Aquadome will be 32,000 square feet and contain three pools.

One pool will be for families, one for patrons 21 and older, and another for VIP guests.

The Aquadome will also included a swim-up bar and feature live palm trees and tropical flora.

When not being used for swimming, the facility can be transformed into a concert venue, banquet center and entertainment center.

The dynamic form of the Aquadome is sculpted by the sun’s daily path across the site and will reflect the sky from all four of Michigan’s seasons.


The hotel will be 15 floors and contain 252 rooms. Included in those rooms will be 30 suites and a two-story suite on the top floors.

Color palettes and design of the hotel and resort are inspired by Gun Lake and surrounding landscape in the area.

Other additions

Also being included in Phase 5 is the following:

  • Sandhill Café, featuring a three-meal restaurant and 137 seats
  • New gift shop
  • A lobby bar overlooking the Aquadome
  • Full-service spa
  • New pools and a hot tub
  • Business center and meeting space

Expansion could create 350 jobs, economic boost

The cost of the Phase 5 expansion is $300 million. However, the estimated economic impact for the project is $650 million.

On top of that, an estimated 350 jobs will be created by the expansion project.

“Job creation is one of the many things we’re excited about with this expansion,” Semola said. “We take great pride in providing career opportunities with outstanding benefits for people in our community. These jobs will include guest relations, housekeeping, entertainment, and several other departments.”

Phase 5’s layout will be handled by HBG Design.

Photo by Courtesy of Gun Lake
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is currently the Lead Writer of He was the former Lead Writer of PlayMichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. A lifelong resident of the state, Ellis has been working in various forms of media since 1998, including more than a decade in the sports betting industry prior to transitioning into US casino markets in 2020.

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