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Hotel, Bank & Visit On Council Agenda

By E. Bowers

HOLLYWOOD - A new hotel/entertainment complex on the Hollywood Reservation, investment in the formation of the Native American National Bank, and a visit from the Minister of Housing and Settlements of Trinidad were on the agenda when the Tribal Council held its regular meeting on May 14.

The Council:

*Approved a letter of intent that authorizes Chairman James Billie to negotiate a development agreement with the Reservation Resources Group, LLC for a hotel/entertainment complex. On display were schematic drawings of the complex (named the Seminole Grand) by the architectural and planning firm of Wimberly, Allison, Tong, & Goo.

*Agreed to further pursue the opportunity to invest in the formation of the Native American National Bank. The bank, which would serve Indians and Indian tribes, requires investors to invest $1 million for 1,000 shares of bank stock and do a portion of their business with the bank. The first 15-20 investors will be on the Board of Directors.

* The Honorable John Humphrey of Trinidad/Tobago, a twin-island state in the southernmost part of the Caribbean chain, invited the Seminoles to visit and consider the financial tunities of the island. According to Humphrey, Trinidad holds potential for the areas of gaming, eco-tourism, and technology related fields. "The investment opportunities are unlimited. It is ripe for investment," said Humphrey.

* Ratified an agreement between the Tribe and Florida West Coast Public Broadcasting, Inc., pertaining to the distribution and broadcast rights to Florida Folk Festival Live. The 30-minute program, which featured interviews and performances, was aired on PBS affiliates throughout Florida and Georgia.

*Approved the addition of three new positions in the Chairman's Office: Calixto Garcia, Advisor on Foreign Affairs; Joe Dan Osceola, Ambassador to Foreign Countries; and Lesley Billie, Special Projects Coordinator.

*Approved the Power Bingo King Placement Agreement. The agreement covers a lease for an electronic hand-held bingo system that can be rented to increase the amount of paper the renter can play.

*Approved a service contract with Dunbar Armored, Inc., for armored car service for Hollywood Seminole Gaming.

Seminoles who used the Tribal jet for a trip to Oklahoma City evidently left their rental car a mess, resulting in a refusal by Oklahoma aviation officials to work with the Tribe any further. Although the jet is available to all Tribal members, schedule permitting, Chairman Billie said those individuals responsible will not be allowed to use the jet.

"If you get a denial," said Billie, " then you are that person."

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