WEST WENDOVER, Nev. – The gaming industry is set to welcome back guests after a long shutdown due to the threat of COVID-19.
Casinos in West Wendover will be allowed to reopen on June 4 following guidelines from the Nevada Gaming Commission and Control Board.
“These last few days have been pretty exciting,” said Steve Sirianni, the general manager of The Nugget and Red Garter Hotel and casino properties. “We worked super hard to get everything in place and learn and understand new procedures.”
Following more than two months of emptiness, a return to normalcy will have an updated look.
To promote social distancing, The Nugget’s occupancy will be cut in half.
Some slot machines will not be activated and table games will remain closed.
“We want to observe and see how this soft opening goes. If everyone feels safe, then we will move forward with opening the pit and poker room,” Sirianni said.
That move could come in the next few weeks.
Personal protective equipment like masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be readily available to all patrons and employees.
Everyone entering the casino will have their temperature checked prior to being allowed inside.
“Our number one priority is the safety of our guests and employees,” Sirianni said.
These changes mean things won’t look exactly the same as they did before the coronavirus pandemic, but getting back to business is restoring hope to a town decimated by the coronavirus closures.
“It was a sad sight for us,” Sirianni said. “We can’t operate like that forever. That’s what makes it so exciting to get back open.”
The company furloughed almost all of its 500 employees. Many are set to return to work during this first phase.
The Red Garter Hotel & Casino is scheduled to open during the next phase on June 11.
To entice guests from Utah to come back, The Nugget sent offers to previous guests and its loyalty club members. The casino will also hold a slot tournament.