The wait is nearly over to play electronic bingo again at Wind Creek facilities in Alabama, though some major changes and safety requirements for guests are planned.
Wind Creek Bethlehem closed to the public on March 15 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pennsylvania officials hope to allow 13 counties to move to the green phase of re-opening on Friday. Wind Creek Hospitality said that all three Alabama casinos will reopen with safety changes. The casinos had been closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak. BETHLEHEM, Pa., June 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ - Wind Creek Bethlehem today announces the reopening of the property to the public on Monday, June 29, 2020.
You also may want to make a reservation to get on the casino floor.
“Just like your favorite restaurant on a Friday night, a reservation isn’t required,' said Jay Dorris, CEO and President of Wind Creek, in a news release from Wind Creek Hospitality on Wednesday. 'But if you absolutely want to join us on a given day and time, reservations are available.”© Advertiser file Wind Creek's electronic bingo machines will be cleaned between each person's use.
After a soft opening for invited guests, Wind Creek's facilities in Montgomery, Wetumpka and Atmore will reopen to the public on June 8.
'A big part of our plans is predicated on real social distancing,' Dorris told the Advertiser in an interview prior to Wednesday's announcement.
Each game takes up about 3 feet of space. Dorris said that the casino floors will require two unused games between each active game, in order to allow the recommended six foot safety distance.
Dorris said they're also in the process of installing barriers. He said these are being manufactured, and will be put in place as they are received.
Guests and employees will be required to wear masks in the building, which guests are asked to provide for themselves. Masks will also be available on site for a small donation that supports first-responders, health care providers and COVID-19 patient relief funds.
Additionally, all guests and employees will have their temperatures taken.
'We want them to know they're choosing a place that has taken every step we can take to make sure they're going to be safe, our employees are going to be safe, and we can all still have fun,' Dorris said.
A limited number of guests will be allowed on the casino floor, roughly a third of normal capacity, according to the Wind Creek release. The public will have four sessions a day that they're allowed to use the electronic bingo machines. The room will undergo a deep cleaning between sessions, and machines will be cleaned after each use.
If the casino floor is at capacity, Wind Creek will have waiting areas available for guests.
They're also implementing a new reservation system as of June 3 to let guests make a request to play up to 14 days in advance. Reservations can be made at www.WindCreekCasino.com or by calling 866-WIND-360 (866-946-3360).
'We're eager to get (guests) back,' Dorris said. 'They need to know that we've been working extremely hard. We've been consulting with public health people. We have a doctor that has been helping us develop our reopening plan.'
One change Dorris described that's specific to the River Region is a new use for the entertainment center at Wind Creek Wetumpka, which has served as a concert hall for major touring acts. Dorris said that is being converted into additional gaming space.
“The key for us is to spread the games out so our guests can spread out,” Dorris said.
In restaurants, tables will be spaced. The hotel and player services areas, and anywhere else that could have lines, will have social distancing markers to keep people six feet apart.
Facilities will also only allow smoking in designated areas that are separate from the gaming floor, restaurants and other public areas.
Dorris said live music would return to the facilities sometime later after the reopening.
Along with guests, this will mark the return of Wind Creek employees, who have been kept on the payroll by Wind Creek since the facilities closed.
'Our staff has been fantastic, and they've been very appreciative,' Dorris said. 'We've been very fortunate that we've had success that allowed us to weather this situation better than perhaps some other companies. You know, the staff are our company. The building is nice and pretty, but that's not what makes us successful. We've been fortunate to be able to keep our staff.'
Wind Creek Hospitality is an authority of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, the only federally recognized Indian tribe in the state of Alabama
For more information about safety protocols at Wind Creek, visit www.WindCreekStandard.com.
Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Shannon Heupel at [email protected]
This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Wind Creek to reopen Alabama casinos June 8
Bethlehem, PA, April 28, 2020
It’s been forty-five (45) days since we voluntarily closed our doors in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. A verycommon question heard frequently is “When is Wind Creek going to reopen?” And it comes from both guestsand team members in equal parts!
So, when will we reopen?
We don’t have a date yet, but I assure you, it will be the very first moment that we can provide guests and teammembers a fun and exciting experience without taking irresponsible public health risks. Our team is workingthrough many solutions and our plans are coming into focus.
Just like professional sports, restaurants, office buildings and amusement parks, you’ll see changes at WindCreek when we reopen. Like other businesses, we will be limiting the number of guests, stepping up thefrequency and intensity of sanitization, and increasing the use of PPE by our team members. We’ve beenworking diligently for the past few weeks to develop these plans, and we continue to fine tune them based onnew data from authorities. Once the details and our full reopening plans are ready, we will publish them on ourwebsites, our online casino (WindCreekCasino.com), and our social media outlets. And let’s be clear –throughout this process plans change as new information becomes available. So all of us need to be flexible aswe work our way through these times.
If the number of questions from our guests is any indication, I am sure demand for the Wind Creek experiencewill be high when we reopen. While I wish we could safely swing our doors open and invite everyone in all atonce, our reopening will be conducted in phases.
We will begin with a “soft reopening,” where we will invite small groups of guests to visit our properties to testout some of our new policies and procedures and ensure that they’ll work on a larger scale.
Once we believe we can accommodate more guests, we will reopen to the general public. We will still beoperating at reduced capacity and we don’t want the excitement of visiting our property spoiled due to waitingin line to get in. So we will offer a new reservation system for casino visits. This system will allow guests to“reserve” a day and time in advance and will allow us to always keep the number of guests and team memberson property and on the casino floor at a safe number. Please expect more information on this system soon.
Upon re-opening, you’ll notice reduced capacity in our restaurants to ensure proper distance. We will also bemaking changes to self-service areas of food service, limiting the number of guests in retail outlets, limitingsome services in our spas and fitness facilities, and making some changes in our hotels, valet parking, pools, bellservice, and other entertainment venues.
Wind Creek Casino Reopening
We will continue to consult with health, regulatory, Tribal and commonwealth agencies so we can provide youand our team members the escape and fun environment expected from Wind Creek. Those same authorities arehelping inform our decision about the proper time to reopen. While it won’t be this Friday, May 1st, as you mayhave heard or read, we hope it will be soon.
Is Wind Creek Casino Open
When we reopen, our goal is to have a plan that will provide a smart and measured approach. It probably won’tbe perfect, and it will evolve once put into practice. But just as we erred on the side of caution for the health ofour guests and team members when we chose to close before government shutdowns went in place, we will useour own best judgment on when to reopen in order to protect the well-being of our team members, guests andsurrounding communities When does the dealer stop hitting in blackjack.
Thank you for your continued support through this period. We look forward to seeing you in the very nearfuture at one of our Wind Creek properties. Stay safe.
Wind Creek Casino Reopening
Wind Creek Casino Reopening Alabama
President and CEO
Wind Creek Hospitality