Casino Betting on Better Days
After being closed for three months, the Ojibwa Casino Marquette is up and running with safety and cleaning protocols in place. “We are slowly adding back some fun gaming promotions to our calendars, so that is something for our guests to get excited about,” says Jim Orr, Director of Marketing for Ojibwa Casinos of Baraga and Marquette.
But what about the expansion? What’s the status of the events center and hotel?
The MQT Events Center is ready to go, having already hosted a New Year’s Eve Party and Super Bowl Party too. But that was all pre-pandemic.
“We have held off for now, again because of the pandemic, but we hope that will change soon. We plan to have a fun, eclectic mix of musical acts, including headliner entertainment and other live events,” says Orr.
As for the hotel, it’s still in pause mode, but that’s turned out to be somewhat of a blessing. The delay “gives us the benefit of maybe building a hotel with more rooms than originally planned when we do break ground.”
There are still changes taking place in the casino too. When finished, there will be three bars to serve thirsty gamers.
The MQT Bar & Lounge, a circular set-up adjacent to a small stage area has been operating since the opening.
Two additional bars are in the works. One will be an auxiliary bar now under construction while the other, the Marquette Tavern, will be a full-service restaurant and bar. And according to Orr, “it is a beauty.” Look for that opening once the pandemic restrictions are lifted and it can actually be “full-service”.
Like every other business, the Ojibwa Casino is weathering the covid storm. “We are just very thankful to be open and greeting customers every day,” says Orr.
That’s a pretty common refrain these days.
New Vinyl (Record) Store
Who would’ve believed that vinyl records would ever make a comeback? We’ve been through a few phases since we were last seen cranking up the record player. There was tape… in various forms, then CDs, and then digital, with quality seeming to get better with every new format.
But was it? Like art, good music is in the eye, or ear, of the beholder. And taking a step back in time, there are a lot of ears beholden to the sound of a needle dragging through a vinyl groove.
Enter The Emporium, at 317 W. Washington, the new record store offering old-school vinyl records from every era. The on-site collection includes new and gently-used albums to satisfy every taste. And if they don’t have it… they’ll find it for you.
Owners Laura and Jon Teichman are part of the vinyl resurgence.
“It’s a tactile nostalgic experience.” says Jon. That’s pretty short and sweet, but spend a few minutes with Jon and you’ll find a guy with a passion for the vinyl many of us grew up with.
“Vinyl is the archival method of preservation of the Library of Congress” according to Jon. That sounds kind of wonky, but Jon’s knowledge of music, past and present, is as good as it gets. “Music is intergenerational,” and vinyl is a romantic way to listen to the music that spans those generations.
Plus, vinyl represents the ultimate in recycling… records and music saved for the next wave of eager audiophiles.
The Emporium is currently open by appointment only as long as the pandemic limits social interaction. Call 373-7157 and Laura or Jon will meet you there and escort you through the current inventory. And if you want to talk about music, they’ll happily oblige.
The 411 on the Election
The big election is less than three weeks away. With covid restrictions and social distancing and masks and hand-sanitizer and long lines and closed spaces, voting in person can be a little intimidating. But you can still vote by absentee ballot. For more information about how to do that, if you haven’t already, visit Michigan.gov/vote.
For information about what you’re voting for, the League of Women Voters has a website that tells you just about everything you’ll need to know about your local ballot. Check that out at VOTE411.org.
As it things weren’t bad enough… now it’s flu season. It’s been suggested that since we’re already doing everything we need to do to help contain the spread of the coronavirus that we don’t need to do anything extra to avoid the common flu.
Dr. Kevin Piggott, Medical Director for the Marquette County Health Department says flu shots are as important now as ever. “Wearing a mask, washing our hands, distancing, minimizing travel, etc. are all safety measures that may reduce the likelihood of contracting influenza. But they do not replace an influenza vaccination. Please get a flu shot.”
And that’s not all from Dr. Piggott. “Continue regular exercise, eat nutritious foods, get adequate sleep, avoid nicotine products, minimize alcohol and make sure all your immunizations are up to date. The better you maintain your health, the less likely you will become ill.”
Good advice from your county doc. Ignore it at your own risk… and the risk of others.