Odawa Casino Wins 2nd Place in Entertainment in Michigan's Battle of the Buildings

July 20, 2015

Odawa Casino Resort, owned and operated by the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, took second place in the Entertainment Group for Michigan Battle of the Buildings on April 22 by reducing their energy consumption by 5%.

The Michigan US Green Building Council Battle of the Buildings Program is an awards and recognition program for energy use reduction open to all Michigan area commercial and industrial buildings. The program is a way to encourage energy-efficient practices in buildings across the state and to instill a spirit of friendly competition among the area's building owners and operators.

Odawa Casino Resort began their energy efficiency journey with what started as a moderate lighting project. Fast-forward to 2014 and their sustainable efforts have increased tri-fold.

Last year, Odawa Casino Resort installed variable frequency drives (VFD) on eight belt-driven motors. The VFDs prevent motors from running at full speed all of the time, reducing the need for costly belt replacements. Instead, VFDs adjust the motor's electrical supply to efficiently meet varying process requirements, which saves energy and extends equipment life.

"I think, as with any company, energy cost savings would be the biggest reason to implement energy efficiency," said Dave Heinz, lead electrician at Odawa Casino Resort, "but Odawa Casino Resort also believes it is very important to reduce our carbon footprint."

In addition to gaming, Odawa Casino Resort features multiple restaurants and retail outlets, a concert venue (Ovation Hall), nightclub (The O Zone Nightclub), and a circular lounge bar in the middle of the gaming floor (Rendezvous). The resort also includes an AAA Diamond-rated hotel.

"A lot of our savings come from involving the whole Odawa team," Heinz said. "We save over $9,000 a year because our team members walk up a flight of stairs instead of using the elevator, reducing riding up the elevator by over 30,000 rides a month."

According to Heinz, Odawa Casino Resort is proactive in their energy efficiency, and performs boiler tune-ups every 2 years. Over the last 6 years, they have reduced their gas consumption by over 25%.

The conservation efforts don't end there. In 2014, Odawa Casino Resort recycled 22.7 tons of glass, plastic, metal, and paper, and 40.2 tons of cardboard. According to Heinz, they also recycled 468 pounds of batteries and 930 pounds of scrap metal.

With a win from the 2014 Michigan Battle of the Buildings Program under their belt, Odawa Casino Resort is continuing to look for future opportunities to reduce energy consumption.

"We are always looking at new technology for our future projects," Heinz said. "We have two large projects we are looking at for 2015 or 2016."


Owned and operated by the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, the $140 million Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey opened in June, 2007 and features 1,200 slot machines, 25 table games, a 4 table Poker Room, several restaurants, gift stores, a nightclub and a 137-room hotel.

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