ANAHEIM, Calif. —The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians’ NativeWahl will take center stage at the National Indian Gaming Association 2022 Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention in Anaheim, Calif. on Thursday with celebrity Chef Paul Wahlberg. 

Last year, NativeWahl launched its franchise arrangement with Wahlburgers Franchising at NIGA’s 2021 Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention. The partnership provides NativeWahl the rights to develop Wahlburgers franchises at tribally owned locations at Indian casinos and resorts or non-gaming locations.

This year, NativeWahl will announce its working arrangement with two tribal business entities, Seven Generations A + E and Greenfire Management Services, that can assist tribes develop Wahlburgers across Indian Country. 

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Eugene Magnuson is one of the co-founder’s of Wahlberg and general manager of Little River Holdings. He told Native News Online that the timing is right to reach out to tribal casinos now because some tribes chose not to reopen buffets after closing for the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At NativeWahl, we are focused on bringing Wahlburgers franchising opportunities to the tribal space. As tribes continue their shift away from buffets in the wake of the COVID-19 era, we are excited to offer a franchise option that will not only draw customers in with its infamous name but will keep customers continually coming back for so much more,” Magnuson said. 

According to Magnuson, the demographics of a typical Walhburger restaurant aligns with the type of customer a casino draws. 

“We would love to discuss all that this brand has to offer with interested Native parties. If you are looking to incorporate a restaurant concept into your casino, hotel, or property for economic development, Wahlburgers may be just what you are looking for. The family atmosphere, exceptional dining experience, and delicious food are second to none in the industry,” Magnuson said. 

NativeWahl’s first Walhburgers will open this June on the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation at the Inn of the Mountain Gods in Mescalero, New Mexico.    

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Levi Rickert
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Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected]