Friday, May 15, 2020

Bear River Casino Announces Plan to Reopen, Health Officer Opposes Decision

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2020 at 4:57 PM

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Bear River Casino Resort announced today that it will be reopening on May 24.

According to the release, the resort will reopen in phases, with limited seating in its restaurants and every other slot machine turned off to allow for social distancing.

Hotel service and guest amenities will also be limited.

The tribe is a sovereign nation and not bound by state and local shelter-in-place orders, both of which would prohibit casinos from operating. But asked about the prospect of casinos opening later this month, Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said earlier today that while she appreciates the county’s partnership with tribal entities locally and she’s seen plans for re-opening and they’ve been “thoughtful” about how they might do so safely, she opposes any casino openings at this time.

“What I can say is this is not the time,” Frankovich said. “We are far too early in this and ultimately there is no way to get around the fact that these are mass gatherings. It’s an entertainment venue and people are not only together in large numbers but they’re together for large periods of time, which extends risk. … I don’t think it’s the time. I would clearly oppose the opening of casinos right now in our community, although I’d be happy to have ongoing conversations about when might be the right time.”

Read the full release from Bear River copied below:


LOLETA / CA – MAY 14, 2020: Bear River Casino Resort is excited to announce we are reopening our doors on Sunday, May 24th.

Since our temporary closure on March 17th due to COVID-19, we have been deep cleaning the property, installing new safety features and planning for the health and safety of guests, employees and Tribal Members.

The property will reopen in phases. Select gaming machines, food and beverage offerings and amenities may be closed initially. Bear River plans to reevaluate and make adjustments as necessary during the reopening phases.

During phase one, the Express Café and Rivers Edge Restaurant will be open with to-go orders, sit-down dining service, once opened, there will be limited seating to allow for social distancing between guests.

There will be changes to the menus and dining special offerings and alcohol will be unavailable for the first week, at minimum. The Thirsty Bear Lounge will remain closed.

To allow for social distancing, every other slot machine will be turned off and table games will have a limited number of players per table. All gaming areas, slot machines and table games will be cleaned frequently. Poker will remain closed in the initial phase and will reopen at a later date to be determined.

Hotel service and guest amenities will be limited. Valet, room service, fitness center and pool will remain closed in the initial phase. High-contact areas including elevators, door handles and lobby areas will be frequently cleaned and maintained.
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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