MANISTEE — The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians announced Tuesday that it plans to keep Little River Casino Resort open with adjusted hours and service offerings.
The resort announced in a press release that it is committed to doing its part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Little River Casino Resort, under the guidance of the tribe, took numerous steps to protect team members, tribal members and the community, including voluntarily shutting down in March.
The resort stated in a release previously last Friday that it was going to reduce its hours of operation after it reported a potential exposure to COVID-19. It considered the recent orders from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and it made adjustments to not only its gaming, but also its dining establishments.
Those changes include:
• Hours of operations will be reduced to 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day through at least Tuesday, Dec. 8;
• Occupancy of the building will be restricted to 25 percent of capacity;
• The Rapids Bistro will be open for to-go orders;
• The River Rock Sportsbook & Grill restaurant/dining will close;
• Sports betting will be available;
• Due to the extended close interactions, all table games will be closed through at least Tuesday, Dec. 8;
• Every other slot machine where social distancing cannot be achieved will be turned off;
• Properly worn masks will still be required of all guests and team members, as well as temperature checks that have been required since reopening;
• Only guests ages 18 or older will be permitted in the building;
• Continue to ban smoking except in designated areas off the gaming floor;
• To further limit contact in common areas, self-service beverage stations are staffed with team members who will serve guests their drink requests.
The resort requests any patrons to self-assess their health before visiting, and patrons should inform themselves of expectations should they visit. Employees are also expected to self-assess before heading to work, and they’re asked to stay home when necessary.
According to the release, the resort developed a detailed health and safety plan that exceeds guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The plan details what the resort does to keep guests, team members and communities safe during their time at the casino.
Each operating department at the casino has its own customized set of procedures that details how they support and execute the program. Team members are trained on their department specific health and safety procedures. The health and safety program is available to the public and team members.
Guests and employees are encouraged to practice regular sanitary measures by washing and sanitizing their hands frequently and to limit touching their faces. Hand sanitizer stations will be available throughout the property.
Frequently touched areas have been given additional consideration in the resort’s health and safety program, it stated in the release. Cleaning of areas will be increased with gaming floor closed and deep cleaned each day after 10 p.m. Slot machines will be cleaned periodically throughout the day and when possible between guests and included in the section cleaning process.
The resort closed in in mid-March, and it reopened in early June with several restrictions to combat the pandemic. The resort announced in September three exposures to the disease, with another occurring near mid-October. A fifth reported exposure last week spurred on the restricted hours that were to take effect Monday, and those measures were changed with Tuesday’s announcement.