MASHANTUCKET, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut's two casinos jointly agreed to reopen on Monday, despite misgivings from the governor.
Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan officially resumed operations.
Foxwoods, with the support of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council, reopened and resumed 24/7 operations.
The casino said it implemented a robust set of new safety protocols and operating procedures for its reopening plan aimed at mitigating COVID-19 health risks for both guests and employees. These measures will be continually reevaluated and updated as necessary.
Guests who visit the property during phase one will be able to enjoy the Grand Pequot and Great Cedar casino floors, the Grand Pequot Hotel, The Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods, and select food and beverage venues. These venues – which include David Burke Prime, Dunkin Donuts, Regina Pizzeria, Sugar Factory, Starbucks, Subway, Veranda Café and Spin Bar – are limited to take out only and the Grand Pequot Ballroom is set up for socially distanced dining. For those looking to stay overnight, the Grand Pequot Hotel will open a limited number of hotel rooms and begin taking new reservations starting June 8.
“We are excited to welcome our guests and team members back to resort today as we reopen our doors for the first since Mid-March,” said Jason Guyot, Foxwoods’ interim CEO and SVP of resort operations. “Foxwoods is in a unique position, given the size of our physical space and our geographic location, to allow for social distancing within our resort. Additionally, we’ve taken significant guidance from our Chief Medical Officer, Tribal regulators, and the CDC to develop the set of health guidelines we’ve implemented that help create an environment where our guests can experience moments of joy and celebration safely and responsibility. We are thrilled to once again contribute to our local community and the State of Connecticut. The health and safety of our loyal guests and team members will remain our top priority – today and every day.”
Visible safety changes to the casino include, but are not limited to, non-invasive temperature scans, required face masks, a wide array of social distancing measures and newly developed FoxClean protocols. With FoxClean, Foxwoods is meeting or exceeding CDC cleaning recommendations by offering over 300 sanitization stations throughout the property, encouraging guests to wipe high contact areas using provided sanitizing wipes and using Decon 30, an all-natural botanical cleaner to deep clean dice, chips, and all casino surfaces. Additionally, Cleaning Ambassadors have rolled out an advanced cleaning schedule for all surfaces hourly, and overnight deep cleaning nightly.
A full list of Foxwoods' protocols and guidelines can be found here.
Mohegan Sun issued similar guidelines.
"Our team has tirelessly been working around the clock to develop and implement first-in-class standards and safety measures consistent with or exceeding guidelines by state and federal officials," said Mohegan Tribe chairman James Gessner, chief executive officer Mario Kontomerkos and president & general manager Jeff Hamilton. "These measures, which you will find below, have been endorsed by our Chief Medical Director and Tribal Health Department. We will continue to moderate and make changes as necessary to our procedures based off their guidance to ensure the highest level of safety for our guests and team members. This guidance and level of standards will be implemented at all seven resort destinations in North America operated and managed by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, some of which have already begun to reopen."
Mohegan said not all portions of its casino will be open during this first phase.
Mohegan Sun's full list of protocols and guidelines can be found here.
Still, Gov. Ned Lamont expressed concerns about the reopening of the casinos.
"I think opening up on June 1 is early. It’s earlier than Las Vegas. It’s earlier than our regional casinos, short of that," Lamont said. "I want them to put in stricter protocols. I think that’s key for people going in, their employees, and the greater region."
Stay with Channel 3 for continuing coverage as the state recovers from the coronavirus.