herokee Nation Businesses (CNB) on Monday announced new safety protocols for visitors and employees that will be introduced at its casinos, including Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, when they begin reopening, which is expected in early June.
Brandon Scott, a spokesman for CNB, said an announcement of the schedule for reopening the Cherokee Nation’s 10 casinos in northeastern Oklahoma could come later this week. “We will be doing a staggered reopening, with the smaller casinos reopening first,” said Scott, as reported by Tulsa World. “We have almost got the dates and locations ready to announce, but I can say we are shooting for early June.”
With 7,700 employees, Cherokee Nation Businesses operates Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, and casinos in Claremore, Fort Gibson, Grove, Ramona, Roland, Sallisaw, South Coffeyville, Tahlequah and West Siloam Springs.
The new “Responsible Hospitality” plan released on Monday outlines procedures for physical distancing, enhanced cleaning and sanitization, and noninvasive temperature screenings for both staffers and guests. Those with a temperature higher than 100.4 F will not be permitted inside.
Additional measures will include limited hours of operation, occupancy restrictions and the required use of masks by all. Guests will be asked to bring their own mask that will cover the nose and mouth but not the full face, as advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
Buffets and banqueted events will remain suspended temporarily and food and beverage services that will be available will have additional safety measures in place.
Cherokee Nation is currently deciding locations and dates for reopening based on guidance from health agencies. “How we move forward from this pandemic will be a part of our legacy,” Chuck Garrett, CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses, said in a news release. “We intend to emerge confident in the knowledge that we did all we could to implement industry-leading protocols that promote the health and safety of our team members and guests. While the guest experience will be different than before, we will continue to deliver the same first-class hospitality and entertainment our guests have come to know and love.”
“The ‘Responsible Hospitality’ plan was designed to be a fluid, evolving program that addresses the needs of now, while working toward the future,” said Mark Fulton, COO of Cherokee Nation Entertainment. “We look forward to revising, streamlining and implementing improved measures as we progress toward a more resilient future and returning our properties, amenities and services to full operation.”
Friday’s reopening of the Osage Casino in Tulsa saw new occupancy limits reached in the first two hours. Like the Cherokee Nation, the Creek Nation has yet to announce reopening dates for its entertainment facilities.