Acknowledging that the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino will not open in time for Labor Day weekend, and although there is no set date, chief operating officer Christian Goode is confident that the casino will reopen sometime in September.
Complicating matters surrounding the reopening of the hotel and casino is the need for approvals from the state’s attorney general and a federal judge in Fresno, in addiction to an agreement between Madera County supervisors and the tribe for firefighting and law enforcement services. All of which hasn’t stopped workers and Goode from ensuring that the business is prepared to open at a moment’s notice. People are still applying for jobs daily at the casino, and according to Goode well over a hundred applications were submitted online over the weekend.
The Coarsegold, California casino was forced to close last year after a factional dispute occurred on Oct. 9 when a casino office reportedly containing audit documents that were not submitted to the government was raided. The dispute resulted in several arrests and closure by the National Indian Gaming Commission and the attorney general, and the business has remained closed. No indication of when the casino and hotel might reopen has been given by state and federal officials.
Goode expects the more than 1,000 employees he estimates to be employed will focus on guest services when the hotel and casino does open. He said, “When we open there will be pent-up demand, so we want to be prepared for it,” Goode said. “We want to make sure the guests remain very comfortable, very happy.”
Besides freshening up the gaming floor with approximately 500 more machines, according to Goode the building’s gaming area along with other operating areas are in good working condition. Only 13 of the casino’s 1,300 plus machines were in need of software updates when state gaming officials and an independent firm tested them when the reopening process was started, said Goode. When the hotel and casino reopens customers will be greeted with 1,800 slots, the license maximum, 40 gaming tables, an improvement in overall dining experience and added personal services aimed at attracting extended stays, according to the chief operating officer.
Goode said that while the business didn’t close under the best circumstances, he was pleased with the hotel and casino’s condition and the reopening process overall.