Overwhelming traffic forced the closure of both US-131 ramps to the new Gun Lake Casino most of the day Friday, and Allegan County Deputies anticipate other traffic issues all weekend.
The Allegan County Sheriff's deputies closed the northbound and southbound US-131 exit 61 because traffic was backing up with people heading to check out the new facility. By late Friday, traffic seemed to be steady, and the parking lot appeared to have dozens of spaces available.
A statement released Friday afternoon by casino management said:
“We are at capacity right now. Our parking lot is full and our sign indicates that fact to the public. Demand is extraordinary and we are excited about the public response. The safety of our guests comes first and therefore we are being very cautious about our judgment of building capacity. We do not have a firm number on capacity. That is a judgment call for security to make based on the number of people walking around the facility. We will conduct and hour-by-hour assessment of the level of guests. This approach is consistent with the crowd and traffic control plan that was developed in coordination with local law enforcement and Michigan State Police.”
The casino opened at 10 p.m. Thursday, two hours early, and large crowds mingled throughout the night.
Access to the casino was still available via 129th Avenue.
Southbound traffic headed to the casino could use the Wayland/Exit 64 and head south on Main Street, which becomes 10th Street.
Northbound traffic could use the Shelbyville/Exit 55 and use 10th Street going north.
(Photos by Brian Farber, FOX 17)Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times