Update on Fortune Bay Resort

Fortune Bay Resort Casino, owned and operated by the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, hired Jeffrey D. Brauer of Golf Scapes, Inc. as the designer for its proposed 18-hole championship golf course in Tower, Minnesota. In April 2001, planning and conceptual work was being finalized in preparation for construction to begin this summer.

”We are very excited to hire someone of Mr. Brauer’s caliber to design the course at Fortune Bay,” said Gary Gotchnik, chairman of the board for Bois Forte Enterprises. “Having Jeffrey as part of our development team confirms our commitment to making this a first-class golf course.”

Brauer has already earned acclaim and name recognition in Minnesota, turning hundreds of acres of former iron ore mines and sand and gravel quarries into the state’s highest ranked public course at Giants Ridge in nearby Biwabik. When it opened in 1997, Giants Ridge finished 8th in Golf Digest’s Best New Upscale Public Course, and it is widely considered Minnesota’s most successful resort course. Brauer has just completed the design of the second course at Giants Ridge, the Quarry.

The proposed course at Fortune Bay will be located on land adjacent to the casino. Brauer predicts that the high drama of his course will correlate with the dramas unfolding in the casino. “I am emphasizing ‘gambling’ holes, while giving the golfer a good chance to, in this case, ‘beat the designer,’ “ Brauer said. “This course will have some unique holes, and will definitely be very fun to play.

”Fortunately, I have lots to work with – some of the prettiest land in Minnesota, fronting one the prettiest lakes in Minnesota, and with dramatic granite rock outcroppings which I hope to feature in the design,” Brauer added. “Also, at least one hole will border on Lake Vermilion and the lake will be visible from several holes.”

Fortune Bay Planning Director Andy Datko said the Bois Forte Band intends to accomplish two things with the golf course: add diversity to the resort, making it a family vacation getaway; and expand its amenities for business meetings. Datko said the Tribe hopes the course is ready for play in 2003.

The casino has been in operation since 1986. The resort, opened in 1996, features a hotel and conference center, marina, RV park and nature trails. A 12,000-square-foot cultural heritage center, focusing on the Bois Forte Tribe, is currently under construction and will open in June 2001.