Image via Chukchansi Gold Facebook page
Written by The Business Journal Staff
Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, shuttered since March 20 due to the Covid-19 shutdown, is planning to reopen June 1.
It will be a “first phase” of reopening that will include limited capacity, added sanitation procedures as well as temperature screenings and masks required for workers and guests to enter, according to the Chukchansi Economic Development Authority.
The casino’s gaming floor will have fewer slot machines — from 1,800 to 1,200 — to provide more distance between players. Tables will have maximum seating of three people. All guests must be 21 or over to enter the resort and casino.
Select restaurants will reopen with limited menus and no buffets. The restaurants will feature reduced seating, disposable menus and increased spacing between tables and chairs. Hotel rooms will not be available for booking from the public and all promotional events, tournaments and concerts have been postponed.
The Firehouse Lounge will remain closed, as will Serenity Springs Spa. Valet parking has been temporarily suspended.
The reopening brings to life one of Madera County’s largest private employers. Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino reported to the state of California that 1,065 workers were affected by its temporary closure.
Cleaning will also be a key task for Chukchansi team members. Operational hours will vary to give adequate time to sanitize every room, machine, door handle, counter, lobby and open space with hospital-grade sanitation products. The entire casino will be sprayed daily with an Environmental Protection Agency-registered disinfectant that kills 99.9% of bacteria, as well as Covid-19, according to a news release.
“We’ve worked diligently to develop a re-opening plan that focuses on operating in a manner that protects our team and our guests,” said Claudia Gonzales, chairwoman of the Tribal Council for the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, in a statement. “We’re confident the practices we’ve adopted will create the safety, sanitation and social distance needed to open our doors in a responsible manner for our guests to return, and our team members to confidently return to work.”
Table Mountain Casino was the first area casino to close due to the Covid-19 shutdown. Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino and Tachi Palace Casino Resort both closed on March 20.
Chukchansi is the first casino to announce it’s reopening.
The news comes as Fresno, Kings and Madera counties this week received variances from the state to enter Phase 2 of reopening, which also gives the green light for non-essential retail and dine-in restaurants to begin operating with precautions.