The Green Ranking: The Top Michigan Casinos By Use Of Renewable Energy

Written By Dan Holmes on November 4, 2023
Ranking Michigan casinos by green energy

Which Michigan casinos and resort hotels are using the most green / renewable energy and how much?

PlayMichigan took a deep dive into this important topic at a time when the state, business organizations, and the public are demanding responsible stewardship of resources.

List of the most energy-efficient casinos in Michigan

1. FireKeepers Casino Hotel

Earlier this year, FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek committed to becoming the first Michigan casino to source 100% of its electrical needs from renewable energy. It’s called the “Consumers Energy’s Renewable Energy Program,” and this casino will eventually replace 31,527 megawatt-hours per year with clean, renewable energy sources.

2. Gun Lake Casino

The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians have invested in a $300 million redevelopment of this casino and resort in Wayland. The new Gun Lake Casino will have an architectural marvel known as Wawyé Oasis, which the tribe calls “a striking architectural marvel encased within a 32,000 square-foot glass dome.” That dome will provide natural sunlight for that building, and solar cells will store much of the energy captured.

3. MGM Grand Detroit

MGM Resorts, which owns and operates the MGM Grand Detroit, has long dedicated itself to green energy. According to the company, since 2007, MGM has invested $68 million in efficient energy development. The largest contiguous solar panel array in the United States is atop the MGM-owned Mandalay Bay casino in Las Vegas. MGM Grand in Detroit also uses solar panels, and sells excess energy it gathers from sunlight back to Michigan’s energy grid.

4. Soaring Eagle Casino Resort

Located in Mt. Pleasant, Soaring Eagle Casino Resort is owned by the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. That proud nation is a firm believer in not wasting the earth’s resources, and has instituted an impressive program to eliminate waste and leverage clean energy.

5. MotorCity Casino Hotel

According to its website, the downtown Detroit casino utilizes “energy efficient lighting across the property,” and also purchases “food and beverage products in bulk [which] helps to eliminate excess packaging.” The hotel has a policy that encourages guests to reuse towels, and they supply only glasses, no plastic cups are on the property. MotorCity Casino has installed sensors in its heating and cooling systems shut off power when a guest rooms is unoccupied.

6. Turtle Creek Casino & Resort

Turtle Creek Casino and Resort in Williamsburg, just north of Traverse City, has long been committed to finding ways to cut energy costs. During the daytime as much as half of the light in the casino comes from skylights.

7. Four Winds Casino Dowagiac, Four Winds Casino Buffalo, Four Winds Casino Hartford

These casinos and the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, who owns them, have joined the Michigan Energy Mandate, which is designed to support energy providers and companies that consume large amounts of energy, to reach 60% sustainable  by 2035.

8. Odawa Casino (Mackinaw City and Petoskey)

One of the stated goals of this operation is to promote “good corporate citizenship” in their communities. While Odawa Casino has not yet committed to the Consumers Energy’s Renewable Energy Program, they have taken steps to adhere to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Michigan Energy Mandate.

9. Little River Casino

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians says that they have instituted a water conservation plan. And they are pursuing the reduction of their use of plastics in the Little River Casino located in Manistee, near the shores of Lake Michigan.

10t. Kewadin Casino Sault Ste. Marie and Kewadin Casino St. Ignace

The Sault Tribe Gaming Commission governs the gaming operations for the owners of the Kewadin casinos. The Sault Tribe does have a renewable energy plan. However, no update to that plan has been posted to their tribal government website. There may be efforts being made toward that plan, but we cannot confirm.

13. Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge

Located in Peshawbestown, just north of Traverse City, the Leelanau Sands casino is older and smaller than many others in the state. It does not use solar. Nor have we been able to confirm a “green energy” plan from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

PlayMichigan was unable to find renewable or green energy plans from these Michigan casinos:

Photo by PlayMichigan
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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a Michigan resident who writes about sports betting, sports media, casino and sports betting legislative matters. He's the author of three books, and previously reported for Major League Baseball, as well as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters.

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