SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Pala Casino Spa & Resort is scheduled to reopen at the end of the week, it was announced Wednesday.
The Pala Band of Mission Indians said the casino will open -- in a limited capacity -- to the public on Friday, May 22, at 10 a.m. Pala Casino, and other San Diego County casinos, temporarily shut down in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Viejas and Sycuan casinos have reopened this week, with Jamul slated to reopen Thursday. Valley View and Harrah's are scheduled to reopen on Friday.
Pala Casino’s reopening will be in phases, and officials said numerous health and safety measures will be in place to protect guests and staff.
In a statement, casino officials said the protocols include:
- Increasing cleaning and disinfecting protocols which focus on “high touch” areas like handrails, elevator buttons, doors and countertops and coordinating with vendors to ensure that they are following similar practices
- Placing non-invasive thermal camera scanners at all team member and guest entrances. If a temperature is detected, the individual will be asked to leave the property.
- Encouraging social distancing by reconfiguring the casino floor, reducing the number of seats offered at each table game and reducing the number of operational slots
- Enforcing social distancing of 6 feet where lines congregate, including the Cage, Privileges Club counter and all restaurants
- Meticulously sanitizing chips and changing cards on handheld games more frequently
- Requiring that all team member who come in close contact with guests wear protective facemasks
- Providing hand sanitizing stations for team members and guests throughout the property
- Placing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) signage throughout the property, which encourages good personal hygiene and provides guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19
- Proactively monitoring and removing guests who are outwardly showing flu-like symptoms
- All processes that require the exchange of personal items like currency, credit cards and luggage will be handled using personal protective equipment and sanitization methods to minimize exposure.
- Updating the Pala Casino website daily to provide current information about the resort, scheduled events and COVID-19 updates
In addition to the health and safety measures, casino officials said maximum guest occupancy will limited to 50 percent in all of its gaming areas.
There will also be limited menus and hours for food and beverage service. Officials added, “The reduced hours of operation for food outlets will allow for thorough daily sanitizing of each restaurant.”
Fred Buro, CEO of Pala Casino Spa & Resort, said, “We look forward to welcoming our guests and team members back to the property. Over the last several weeks, the leadership team at Pala Casino Spa & Resort has been working diligently to develop a customized reopening plan that encourages social distancing, increases cleaning and disinfecting protocols and further protects the health and safety of our guests and employees. While we are eager to reopen, we remain dedicated to carefully monitoring this evolving situation and following the advice and guidance of federal and state officials and public health agencies.”