City Hits the Jackpot

Zahara Schooley, feature reporter

On August 22, 1997 the grand opening of Blue Chip Casino rocked Michigan City.       This riverboat holds a maximum capacity of 3,000 passengers and 500 crew members, and has 37,400 square feet of gaming space and 80,000 square feet of permanent pavilion. Since this innovation, Michigan City has not quite been the same. In 1998, a hotel was built in conjunction with the casino. As soon as you walk through the hotel doors you enter a world of wonder.

Blue Chip is not just any hotel. Complete with a spa, an endless gourmet buffet, and multiple venues for entertainment, the Blue Chip Hotel enhances your gaming experience. Even if you aren’t looking to stay up all night placing bets and playing slot machines, Blue Chip has everything one needs to have a memorable night.

The casino sits right on highway 12, the ideal location for tourism. Everyone coming in from the Chicago area and Michigan are sure to pass by. It is the perfect place to rest your head and have some fun along the way.

People have such a great time that they are begging for more and eventually Blue Chip is not just a stop along the way, but a destination. This kind of attraction is a great supplement for Michigan City. It draws people in. Not only does this positive attention boost Michigan City’s image and reputation, but it also leads to other positive additions to our downtown area.Local shops and restaurants line the streets of the uptown arts district neighboring Blue Chip. This is made possible by the funding that Blue Chip gives to the City. According to federal law there is a certain amount of money that casinos make that they must give back to the city that they are located in.This contribution has boosted Michigan City especially downtown which brings even more tourism and positive attention from bordering urban areas.

While the positive attention from other areas is great, Blue Chip also does great things for our citizens right here in Michigan City. It takes a lot of staff to run a place that gets so much business. More business means more jobs for those who need it, especially with the struggling economy.

When asked about the positive contributions Blue Chip gives back to City, MCHS educator Christy Shriey says, “It provides job opportunities with health insurance. That’s something a lot of places don’t have.”

When Blue Chip was first built no one knew how successful it would end up being and how positively something like gambling would affect an entire city. It was a risky investment, but the little town of Michigan City definitely hit the jackpot.


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