- By Levi Rickert
LAS VEGAS — Actor Mark Wahlberg, along with his brothers, Paul and Donnie, will join Little River Holdings officials, General Manager Eugene Magnuson and board Chairman Frank Lewis, at the National Indian Gaming Association's Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 21, to announce a newly formed partnership.
The partnership is between Little River Holdings, LLC, a wholly owned enterprise of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, based in Manistee, Mich. and Wahlburgers Franchising. The partnership will provide Little River Holdings the rights to develop Wahlburgers franchises at tribally owned locations at Indian casinos and resorts or non-gaming locations.
“The partnership will accelerate the growth of the Wahlburgers franchise throughout Indian Country in the United States and Canada,” Magnuson said to Native News Online.
Wahlburgers is a casual dining burger restaurant & bar founded by brothers Mark, Donnie and Chef Paul Wahlberg. As of Jan. 1, 2021, there were 49 Wahlburgers restaurants.
“We believe that Wahlburgers is only scratching the surface of its potential and this partnership will be invaluable in giving us the opportunity to expand our reach and serve more guests,” Mark Wahlberg said.
“We are thrilled to welcome Wahlburgers as a partner and look forward to continuing to develop a relationship with such a successful brand that will aid in diversifying our tribal economy.” Ogema (Chairman) Larry Romanelli of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians said.
Wahlburgers menu items inspired by family recipes the Wahlberg brothers came to enjoy and love as they grew up in a working-class family in Boston. Paul Wahlberg became a chef and integrated the family edibles into the menu used at Wahlburgers.
“There is no better feeling than sitting at the table together, sharing good food, a few laughs and lots of love. At Wahlburgers we share a bit of that feeling every day with every guest. Our hospitality comes from the heart,” reads a portion of Wahlburgers marketing.
“Our goal has always been to offer delicious food inspired by our upbringing and complemented by top notch hospitality,” Paul Wahlberg said.
The announcement at this year’s Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention, the largest gathering of tribal leaders and casino executives in the country, presents Little River Holdings a unique opportunity to spread the word of its partnership with Wahlburgers Franchising
“The Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention is the largest gathering of tribal leaders and casino executives in the country, there is no better way to kick off this unique opportunity. The Wahlberg brothers have demonstrated that they are tremendous partners for the Native American community by supporting tribal business endeavors,” National Indian Gaming Association Chairman Ernie Stevens Jr. said.
“For those attending the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention, you’re going to want to be there on Wednesday, July 21 to learn more about this opportunity. This is an exciting opportunity and what better way to kick off this partnership than having Mark and Paul Wahlberg at the Convention? Don’t forget to stop by Booth 715 for a chance to see Mark and Paul and learn more,” Little River Holdings Chairman Lewis added.
The annual Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention, hosted by the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), will meet at the new Caesars Forum July 19-22, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is the first in-person NIGA event since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year’s event scheduled in San Diego was canceled.
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