After only having been opened since November 2019, the new Havasu Landing Resort & Casino in California has now had to delay its planned early May re-opening, maintaining shelter-in-place orders “until further notice.”
According to an April 21, 2020 press release issued by Chemehuevi Indian Tribe Tribal Chairman Charles F. Wood, the reservation, along with its new 72,500 square-foot facility located on the shores of Lake Havasu will remain closed.
Second outbreak concerns:
First announced in March and closed on the 25th due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the orders were due to expire on April 24. However, Chairman Wood said the federally-recognized tribe is concerned about the “lingering possibility of a second outbreak of the virus.”
He said he believes that the Tribe’s “strong and early action” in the fight against the virus “saved lived by reducing the exposure to our communities.”
“Please understand that if we re-open too soon, we might have to pull back if there should be a local spike in cases that jeopardizes the Lake Havasu communities. It is imperative that we wait and “flatten the curve” as much as possible so we don’t re-open only to have to close once again. We cannot predict when sanctions will be lifted, so let’s all do the best we can. We want to emerge in a safe and sustainable way.”
Chairman Wood goes on to say that they “monitor and rely on the best available science on sanitation and prevention methods as presented by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Indian Health Service.” And that they hope to coordinate their re-opening plans with California and Arizona, and “most importantly with our sister city across the lake, Lake Havasu City.
“Thus far everyone seems to be complying with the “shelter-in-place” and “no-gathering” requirements here on the Chemehuevi Indian Reservation, which is perhaps why no report of the virus has been made,” added Chairman Wood.
The Chemehuevi Tribe celebrated the grand opening of its new Havasu Landing Resort & Casino on Friday, November 15, 2019, after working on the project for nearly seven years. And while a groundbreaking took place in November 2017, with expected completion by the spring of 2019, the date came and went.
Tribal officials in August 2019 said that finishing an unpaved parking lot due to the intense heat last summer contributed to concrete finishers being prevented from completing the work.
The new resort casino replaced the existing Havasu Landing Casino on 1 Main Drive, located about a quarter mile away. In 1967 Havasu Palms Inc. leased the casino site property from the federal government, and the land/Havasu Landing wasn’t added to the reservation until 1974 and has been the primary source of revenue for the tribe since then.
Along with the new 48 room hotel, the 72,500 square-foot facility features a gourmet-inspired restaurant and bar, bar & lounge, outdoor pool & spa, a state of the art fitness room and an arcade. Other major attractions include an RV Park & campground, 117-slip marina with fuel dock, smoke shop and mini bar, market & deli, along with fully furnished vacation rentals.
At 13,000 square feet, the new casino, located on the California side of Lake Havasu, is about 30 percent larger than the old one and features some 320 gaming machines and six gaming tables.