In northern Michigan and the Island Resort and Casino has reportedly announced that it will be re-opening from Wednesday after being shuttered for almost seven weeks due to fears over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to a Friday report from local television broadcaster WJMN-TV, the 300-room facility owned by the federally-recognized Hannahville Indian Community closed its doors to guests on March 21 as part of a campaign from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to stop the spread of the potentially-lethal contagion.
However, the tribal facility is reportedly not subject to the rules of the Michigan Gaming Control Board or a subsequent gubernatorial order that is to keep the state’s trio of Detroit-based commercial casinos closed until at least May 28. This purportedly leaves the Menominee County venue free to re-open its slot floor on Wednesday in advance of resuming operations at its adjacent golf courses and hotel from Friday and May 13 respectively.
Tony Mancilla, General Manager for the Island Resort and Casino, reportedly told WJMN-TV that now is the right time to re-open his property as it has partnered with the National Indian Gaming Commission and regulators in Nevada to formulate a range of anti-coronavirus measures to safeguard employees and customers. He purportedly detailed that these are to include the widespread use of plexiglass barriers and hand sanitizer dispensers as well as the routine cleaning of high-traffic surfaces such as those found on its collection of over 1,200 slots.
Mancilla reportedly told the broadcaster…
“We feel we’re doing what everyone else does. Hotels are open, restaurants are open. We have those things. The only difference is the slot floor. We think we can keep that clean and our customers themselves will keep themselves safe.”
WJMN-TV reported that workers and guests at the Island Resort and Casino are to have their temperatures taken upon arrival and also be asked to wear complimentary protective face masks while keeping at least six feet away from anyone else. The venue located about 14 miles west of the small Michigan city of Escanaba is to moreover purportedly only admit those who are over the age of 18 and advise anyone feeling unwell or with an underlying health condition to stay away.
“As far as the governor’s order, those casinos are in the hot-spot of Detroit. Those three casinos they have jurisdiction over are right in the middle of where all this is happening and that makes sense. It doesn’t make sense for us here in the Upper Peninsula that was lightly hit. We’re following what they do in the state with food and beverage takeout. We’re going to follow the guidelines on golf.”