Community

A star in the community through charity.

White Earth Nation supports the Native American tradition of giving back to the community through donations to local events and organizations. Shooting Star is proudly owned and successfully operated by the White Earth Nation.
To request a non-monetary donation, download a form here. Or email donations@starcasino.com for more information.

Shooting Star Scholarship 2017-2018

In an effort to support higher education within the White Earth Nation, Shooting Star has founded the Shooting Star Scholarship, to raise money for scholarships to be awarded to White Earth members and descendants seeking post-secondary education. Download an application form here.

A limited number of $1,000 scholarships will be awarded. To be eligible, each student must meet the following criteria:

(Reprinted from Midwest Meetings magazine - 7/07/11)

Casinos: what’s hot and what’s not in the meeting and event world? We asked a few industry professionals to weigh in on recent trends among Midwest casinos, and here’s what they had to say.

In-House Advantage

Many casinos receive periodic requests for table trainings as components of meeting and event activities, and many Midwest venues provide these group activities for interested planners.

David Feathers, public relations manager for the Island Resort & Casino in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, recommends arranging for a table training if a group contains a lot of novice gamblers, since “it enables those people who participate to widen their gaming options and enhance their gaming experience while at the casino.”

Options and Value

Feathers says his group sales team hears regularly from meeting planners who are looking for plenty of options when selecting a venue. This kind of feedback is part of the reason why Island Resort & Casino just unveiled a massive expansion that added a group tour lounge, doubled its Island Convention Center space, and introduced a courtyard complete with a bar, fireplace, and wide-screen TVs. Feathers says the new outdoor space is an attraction for groups, along with onsite golf at his property’s nationally ranked course. In addition, he says, his sales team works with planners to help them create themed parties that utilize the outdoor space in fun and memorable ways.

Devore-Kemp also sees an increased insistence for added value.

“More planners are shopping around, and they aren’t necessarily looking for the best rates,” she explains. “They are seeking the best total value for their event’s budget. They are looking for facilities that offer more than just standard meeting space.”

“This year, while the groups we’re seeing are smaller in numbers, the meeting planners we’re working with are planning more activities and using more amenities,” adds Dan Franz, general manager of Riverside Casino & Golf Resort in Riverside, IA. “Our spa, in particular, has been really busy.” 

Healthy Choices

According to Teddy Busse, sales and banquets manager at the Shooting Star Casino, Hotel and Event Center in Mahnomen, MN, “[We try] to be among the trendsetters in offering groups a wide array of new options and opportunities. Recently, we have been getting a lot of requests for healthier, customized menus, and food allergies appear to be a growing concern. It seems there are two or three people in every group who have some sort of food allergy, such as gluten, nuts, and dairy products.”

“People definitely seem to be more conscious of dietary choices these days,” Feathers agrees. “Cognizant of that, the Island Resort & Casino offers lighter, health-oriented fare options on our menus.”

In addition, “more requests for vegan, vegetarian and diabetic meals” are among the food trends Busse sees among meeting attendees. Amy Henderson, event planner for the American Diabetes Association - Minnesota Area, feels her particular menu-selection responsibilities reinforce the trend toward healthier choices.

“When you work for the American Diabetes Association, and you are planning your annual fundraiser gala, extreme care needs to be taken with the menu,” she points out.

Her association worked closely this year with the kitchen staff at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, MN, to make sure the items served were both delicious and in line with the American Diabetes Association’s nutritional standards and carbohydrate requirements. The menu included chicken roulade served with steamed green beans, roasted red peppers, and roasted potatoes. A vegetarian option included stuffed portabella mushrooms served with grilled mixed vegetables.

Henderson says her guests comment that they enjoyed the healthy fare as well as the location, since they could escape to Treasure Island Resort, donate to a good cause, and have fun in the casino before and after the event.

 “We’re definitely seeing an increased consciousness about eating healthier and getting active, too,” Devore-Kemp adds. “Some small groups are taking morning walks or jogging along our Mississippi bike path, and our fitness centers are also in high demand when we have meetings and conventions in house. I think it is terrific.”

Meeting Sizes and Lengths of Stay

With no consensus emerging, reports indicate meetings business remains unpredictable at many properties. Some casino venues have seen increases while others have decreased or held steady, and economic forecasts continue to vary.

According to Busse, “The sizes of our groups have been expanding over the past six months, and it appears that things are bouncing back and businesses are beginning to spend more.”

The sizes of the groups that meet at Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf are remaining the same, according to Devore-Kemp. The meeting planners she’s working with are still only booking larger events they can’t accommodate at in-house venues. Devore-Kemp is noticing, however, that some groups are beginning to stay for an extra night again, and they’re booking events at local tourist attractions or including activities like golf and concert events as added bonuses for attendees.

Feathers says his casino is still seeing smaller business and corporate groups, and that stays have decreased from three days to two. He’s seeing an interesting maneuver, though: some meeting planners are bringing multiple groups on the same date, so instead of booking one bus, they’re booking two.

“It may be more hectic for the planner, but those who are doing it say it is more cost-efficient for the groups involved,” Feathers says.

The Riverside Casino & Golf Resort has also seen a decrease in the length of stay for groups, according to Franz. Lately, the average length of stay at his property has been one night. However, Franz points out that it can be very productive and invigorating for a group to get away from the everyday, even if just for a night.

After all, with all the entertainment options, dining experiences, unique activities, and special services available under one roof at a Midwest casino venue, a group getaway might be just the winning ticket your attendees are looking for.

Heidi Fendos is a contributing author for Midwest Meetings.

 

6th Annual Shooting Star Scholarship Golf Tournament
Friday, June 2, 2017

Download the registration form!

 
 
 
An error has occurred. Error: SlotTicker is currently unavailable.

Star Updates

SIGN UP FOR EMAIL OFFERS