The Swinomish Casino & Lodge reopened Thursday, after closing in mid-March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staff will limit the number of people who can enter the casino and is reducing seating at all restaurants, said casino CEO Brock Hochsprung. 

The casino, normally open 24 hours a day, will now be open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. 

Hochsprung said only about half of the casino's slot machines are running, and all table games, keno, valet, and the 13moons restaurant remain closed for now. 

"We felt it was important to open the property like we are turning a dial rather than flipping a switch," he said in an email. "We want to ensure the safety protocols are in place and working properly before we open the other areas."

All staff and guests will be required to wear masks and will have to pass a temperature check to enter the building. 

Staff will spend extra time sanitizing high-touch surfaces and will place hand sanitizing stations throughout the building, he said. All staff were tested for the virus and will continue to be tested regularly. 

He said about 60% of the prepandemic staff have been called back to work. 

In considering whether to reopen, Hochsprung said the Swinomish Tribal Senate highlighted the casino's economic impact. Hundreds of people are employed by the tribe, and revenue from the casino is essential funding for tribal government services. 

Both the Swinomish casino and The Skagit Casino Resort shut down March 17 to reduce possible spread of the virus.

A spokesperson for the The Skagit Casino Resort said he didn't yet have reopening plans to announce. 

Other area casinos that have reopened are the Angel of the Winds Casino Resort in Arlington, the Tulalip Casino Resort and Quil Ceda Creek Casino in Tulalip, and the Silver Reef Casino Resort in Ferndale.

 

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