BLYN — 7 Cedars Casino has announced it will reopen June 1 with 50 percent capacity, a new refurbished facility and smoke-free areas.
The casino has been shut down since March 17 due to COVID-19, said Chief Executive Officer Jerry Allen.
“The health and safety of our guests and team members, as well as our larger community, is our No. 1 priority,” he said.
“We have implemented an aggressive sanitation program to complement the rigorous cleaning standards currently in place, and we want our guests to know that, regardless of the changes, we are committed to continue to provide the exceptional service and experience you have come to appreciate and expect while visiting 7 Cedars,” said a release announcing the reopening.
Allen said 7 Cedars could have legally opened during the past two months, but it shut down out of respect for the community and for Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order.
“We were following Gov. Inslee’s direction and tried to mirror his recommendations,” Allen said. “We found it was in our best interests to wait.”
Allen estimated the closure cost 7 Cedars $3 million a month in gross revenues during the past 2 1/2 months.
He added the closure also cost the casino about a month of time on completing the construction of its hotel. However, the hotel will open Aug. 4, and reservations for rooms will be taken as early as July 7.
He said 7 Cedars representatives visited other Native American casinos in Spokane and elsewhere that already have reopened to see what procedures they are using.
There is no timeline for how long 7 Cedars will remain at the 50 percent capacity, he said.
Allen said casino officials will pay attention to when the state moves to Phase 3 and Phase 4 of Inslee’s four-part reopening plan and will try to mirror what the state is doing.
Some of the state is set to move into Phase 2 next week.
While the casino was closed, some of the areas were refurbished. The west side of the casino, including areas for table games, conferences, the Totem Bar and Club SEVEN, are now smoke-free.
Smoking still will be allowed in the east side of the casino with the bingo hall, and smokers will have their own section in the bar.
“People will be able to go to the casino and never be around smoke,” Allen said.
Allen said the smoke-free option was in the plans, but it became more imperative to offer customers an option for healthy air with the arrival of COVID-19.
Guests will be encouraged to bring and wear masks as much as possible while on the property, Allen said.
Security team members will take people’s temperatures before they enter the casino. If anyone has a temperature over 100.4 degrees, they won’t be allowed in that day.
The casino also asks people to stay home and not visit if they are sick or otherwise not feeling well.
7 Cedars has cut down on the number of operating slot machines to encourage social distancing.
Valet service, table games and bingo will not be available at this time.
Entrances and exits will be clearly marked with directional signs.
Health and sanitation guidelines, as well as new protocols, will be clearly displayed upon entrance to 7 Cedars.
Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be reached at [email protected].