Oneida Indian Nation operations increased their total investments in vendors and capital projects by more than $67 million in 2018. That represents a 22 percent increase over 2017—and does not include an additional $60 million in Nation payments under the settlement agreement to New York State and surrounding counties.
The increase was driven by the opening of the Tribe’s new 65,000-square-foot Point Place Casino in Bridgeport.
It was also fueled by the opening of several Maple Leaf Markets, which offer a variety of locally sourced products. The Nation also continued its investments in Turning Stone Resort Casino, the Yellow Brick Road Casino, and its SāvOn Stores.
“2018 perfectly illustrated how the Oneida Indian Nation’s business model is based on constant reinvestment right here in Central New York,” said Oneida Nation Representative and Nation Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter. “Our revenues do not go to distant shareholders—they are invested right here in this community. We also do not rest on our laurels—we instead are always working to fortify and expand our enterprises in ways that strengthen the foundation of the local economy. We are proud that these new investments support thousands of jobs throughout the region and we are confident that they position our region to be a leader in the tourism economy.”
In all, the Oneida Nation spent $207 million on vendors in New York—a more than 50 percent increase over 2017. That includes $99 million in Oneida, Madison and Onondaga counties, an increase of more than $30 million from 2017.
The Nation now contracts with more than 1,700 vendors in New York. These include everything from food producers, to IT firms to construction related companies.
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. underscored how the investment the Oneida Nation has made in Oneida County is second-to-none. “Our valued partnership has been a major driver of the economic development of our community. The financial impact the Nation’s enterprises have on Oneida County is far-reaching and will propel us to even greater heights in the future. We also continue to reap the benefits of the historic 2013 settlement agreement, which last year alone, provided Oneida County with more than $16 million in gaming revenue and has allowed for no increase to our tax levy for six years in a row.”
In 2018, the Nation also paid more than $157 million to 4,750 employees—an increase from 2017.
“Madison County certainly understands the capital investments made by the Oneida Nation spin into jobs. Jobs that mean paychecks for employees whom also spend their dollars locally, in housing, vehicles and other durable goods,” said Madison County Chairman John Becker. “We congratulate the Oneida Nation for their successes and look forward to a long and prosperous partnership.”
Also in 2018, the Oneida Indian Nation launched an Office of Economic Development, which kicked-off with a successful “Doing Business with the Oneida Indian Nation” conference at Turning Stone Resort Casino. The half-day event drew hundreds of local businesses and representatives from across the area interested in building economic development partnerships with the Nation. Several presentations by Oneida Nation Enterprises staff provided the attendees insight into the procurement process, becoming a vendor of the Oneida Indian Nation, sponsorship opportunities and possibilities for new business development. Plans for a similar event in 2019 are already underway and will be announced soon.