Leelanau Sands Casino

Leelanau Sands Casino wanted to completely transform its 30,000sf gaming floor while creating a unique theme for each of the three large gaming areas that span the length of the casino. The overall design theme drew inspiration from the local Michigan nature scape, especially from the region’s indigenous birch, cedar, and maple trees, bringing warmth and a sense of comfort to the casino interior.


Location: Suttons Bay, Michigan
Duration: 12 Weeks onsite
Project Size: 18,000 sf
Services: Design Build Remodel 

Our Approach

Design & Planning

Set on Lake Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay, Leelanau Sands Casino's design was inspired by both the area's scenic naturescape and the local craftsman style. The design theme identifies each area, encouraging a sense of discovery as casino guests move between the rooms.

The Birch Room offers a bright color palette with light wood finishes providing an open feel as guests enter the property. A decorative half-wall feature leads guests through the bingo area to the concessions and additional gaming areas.

With slightly darker wood and deeper colors, the Cedar Room is the central gaming area for the property and offers a warm, comfortable environment for the casino’s guests. The new design and casino development plan utilized the existing soffits and architectural lines of the building to add dimension and impact with the integrated accent lighting and mural motifs. Dex’s Pizzeria in the corner of the gaming floor was also expanded to provide a semi-private space for restaurant guests.


The Maple Room and Bar area used autumn reds and golds to accentuate the space and create a uniquely vibrant atmosphere. Large illuminated art panels over the bar provide an attractive feature in the room, while the two-toned maple leaf chandeliers and custom wall murals set the entire room apart from the rest of the property.

Build & Install

In addition to providing a complete design plan, I-5 fabricated and installed all of the custom décor and finish solutions. The casino development plan utilized the existing structure of the facility to maximize the visual impact of the budget for the space.

As part of the overall project scope, I-5 performed a comprehensive 3D digital laser scan of the casino to provide an accurate base for the 3D design drawings to be created. This was used throughout the project ensuring every decor element integrated seamlessly within the existing infrastructure. Building from these digital design files, all of the décor and specialty architectural elements were pre-fabricated in I-5’s production facilities to ensure absolute design integrity and quality. All of the décor was then shipped to the project site for implementation, which occurred in phases to allow the casino to remain open during the renovation.


The central Cedar Room features Dex’s Pizzeria, which was transformed into a semi-enclosed dining venue off of the gaming floor to offer guests a nice space away from the casino floor, while allowing them to still feel part of the action. The new pit area provides a unique and intimate space for guests with a lowered, multi-tiered ceiling structure, and custom designed artwork for the windows to create a warm glow for the space.

Finished Project

The entire remodel included approximately 30,000sf of gaming space, restaurant, concessions area, bar area, and four restrooms was completely transformed within seven weeks onsite, five weeks ahead of schedule.

I-5’s design team, production team, and on-site implementation team collaborated throughout the entire project. Their collaborative approach took into consideration the structural and electrical loads, installation specifications, load specifications, finishes and final design specifications to ensure a seamless transition into the casino development and installation phases.


Because of I-5’s “Concept to Completion” approach, the Leelanau Sands Casino renovation was performed without closing the casino’s doors to create an immediate return on investment for the property.

Download Project PDF

Transform your location