Ho-Chunk Nation eyes La Crosse partnership to diversify revenue stream

Ho Chunk Nation 2

BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WKBT) — The Ho-Chunk Nation Executive Branch is working to get the nod to pursue a partnership with the city of La Crosse on a retail/residential structure.
Michael Rave, executive director of the Ho-Chunk Business Department, appeared before the nation’s Development Committee Tuesday to explain plans for the project.
The land the Ho-Chunk Nation might acquire is in the River Point District, organized and conducted by developers Wired Properties through the city of La Crosse.
Several sources of funding are available to the Ho-Chunk Nation, Rave said, adding that the business opportunity provides an excellent opportunity to draw in “new money” as opposed to money circulated in the gaming operations.
“It’s important to know that all the value from gaming and retail – that money isn’t necessarily new,” Rave said. “That money tends to be ‘status quo’ year after year. … The net revenues coming into the nation always remains relatively static.”
The La Crosse River Point project is a solvent approach for the Ho-Chunk Nation “in terms of understanding and practically implementing different business opportunities that allow us to focus in other business industries — whether it be retail, expanded hotels or housing operations,” Rave said.
The La Crosse project could become a model for other areas where the nation owns property, he said.
The Development Committee did not take any action, with committee chair nothing that the meeting was just to gather information.