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Prior Lake, MN – When a batter is standing at the plate ready to hit a baseball traveling at speeds of up to 100 mph, the last thing he wants is a distraction – like the sound of a plastic water bottle being crinkled nearby. Most plastic water bottles sold for consumer use in the United States are made from lightweight plastic which crunches noisily when it isn’t full. However, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community produces water bottles which are made from heavier weight plastic so they don’t do that. Because water bottled by the SMSC is produced in these heavier weight plastic bottles, it is now being bottled for two minor league baseball teams in the southern United States through an agreement with Sizemore Creek Beverage Distributors, owned by a member of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians from Atmore, Alabama,
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos and the Mobile Bay Bears, the two teams that Sizemore Creek distributes to currently, began using SMSC bottled water exclusively in their stadiums April 1, 2012. Logo’d water bottles are for sale in the stands as well available in the dugouts for team consumption. The Pensacola Blue Wahoos are a minor league team of the Cincinnati Reds; the defending Southern League Champions Mobile Bay Bears are a minor league team of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“They’re sending trucks monthly through the season,” explained SMSC Water Bottling Manager David Bryant. He described how the connection came about. “Very few companies make heavy weight bottles like we do. Our equipment vendor brought Sizemore Creek up here to tour our facility and rather than purchase their own bottling equipment, they chose us to source their water. Our quality of water and our bottle were what they liked. Most other water bottlers use the lighter weight bottles.”
“We look forward to growing this relationship with Sizemore Creek and are excited to be a part of Minor League Baseball and the opportunities this presents for our economic growth,” said Bryant.”This has opened the door for several other teams who have already made inquiries.”
“Sizemore Creek is grateful to have a relationship with SMSC Water Bottling,” said John Hosman, Vice President of Sizemore Creek. “Our goal was to provide a high quality product to our clients, and SMSC Water Bottling allows us to do just that. Our clients are ecstatic about the quality of their private labeled product, and we look forward to picking up more teams before the 2013 season.”
The SMSC Water Bottling Facility opened in July 2008 at the corner of Orion Road and County Road 82 in Prior Lake, Minnesota. Treated water flows into the bottled water plant. Then, several components, beginning with a pre-treatment reverse osmosis unit and an ozone disinfectant unit further treat the water. An onsite blow molder is used to create plastic bottles in various sizes from preformed PET. PolyEthylene Terephthalate, is a resin of the polyester family used in synthetic fibers; beverage, food, and other liquid containers; and other applications. Automated systems rinse, fill, label, and cap the various sized water bottles before packing them into cases and shrink wrapping them for delivery. The first major production run was for 5,000 cases of 12-ounce bottles for the annual SMSC Wacipi in 2008.
A Vapor Compression Distiller, which produces 800 gallons of distilled water per day, was added in 2011 to allow for the bottling of distilled water for the SMSC Gaming Enterprise and for retail sale at the Shakopee Dakota Convenience Stores. Custom label bottling was added in 2011 for organizations such as high school sports team booster clubs and special events. Other labels bottled by the SMSC include: SMSC Purified Water, MNI-Yuska, Mystic Lake Casino, Mystic Amphitheater, The Wilds Golf Club, Crystal Canyon, and Prairie’s Edge Casino (owned by the Upper Sioux Community of western Minnesota).
About the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
The SMSC utilizes its financial resources from gaming and non-gaming enterprises to pay for the internal infrastructure of the Tribe, including but not limited to roads, water and sewer systems, emergency services, and essential services to its members in education, health, and well-being. A tribal charitable giving program which comes from a cultural and social tradition to assist those in need has given away more than $243.5 million to Indian Tribes, charitable organizations, and schools since 1996. Through the Mdewakanton LIFE Program, the SMSC has donated 746 Automated External Defibrillators to tribes, schools, police and fire departments, and other organizations with 18 lives successfully saved due to their use.
The SMSC has also made more than $450 million in loans to other tribes for economic and infrastructure development projects. Since 1996 the SMSC paid more than $7.5 million for shared local road construction and an additional $16.7 million for road projects on the reservation. The SMSC has also paid $13.1 million to local governments for services and another $6.4 million for other projects.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, a federally recognized Indian Tribe in Minnesota, is the owner and operator of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Little Six Casino, Mazopiya, The Meadows at Mystic Lake, and other enterprises on a reservation south of the Twin Cities.