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Cherokee Nation's plan to reopen casinos

18 May 2020

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Cherokee Nation Businesses announced today its planned approach to providing a safe environment for guests and employees at its entertainment properties: “Responsible Hospitality.” This carefully developed set of strategies demonstrates Cherokee Nation Businesses’ unwavering commitment to team member and guest safety above all else.

“How we move forward from this pandemic will be a part of our legacy,” said Chuck Garrett, CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses. “We intend to emerge confident in the knowledge that we did all we could to implement industry-leading protocols that promote the health and safety of our team members and guests. While the guest experience will be different than before, we will continue to deliver the same first-class hospitality and entertainment our guests have come to know and love.”

The “Responsible Hospitality” plan addresses entertainment operations protocols including casino gaming, food and beverage offerings, hotel, retail, golf and live entertainment.

Gaming properties include: Cherokee Casino & Hotel Roland, Cherokee Casino & Hotel West Siloam Springs, Cherokee Casino Fort Gibson, Cherokee Casino Grove, Cherokee Casino Ramona, Cherokee Casino Sallisaw, Cherokee Casino South Coffeyville, Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs, Cherokee Nation Outpost Tobacco Shop, Cherokee Travel Plaza & Gaming Parlor, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Tulsa, and Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort.

Cherokee Casino Fort Gibson, Cherokee Casino Sallisaw and Cherokee Tahlequah Casino will reopen for invited guests only on 1 June. The Fort Gibson and Sallisaw properties will reopen to the public on 2 June followed by the Tahlequah Casino on 3 June.

Just over a week later, Cherokee Casino & Hotel Roland, Cherokee Casino Grove and Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs will reopen on 10 June.

Cherokee Casino & Hotel West Siloam Springs will welcome back guests on 14 June.

It outlines procedures for physical distancing, enhanced cleaning and sanitization, and noninvasive temperature screenings for both team members and guests. Those with a temperature in excess of 100.4 F will not be permitted to enter the building.

Additional measures include limited hours of operation, occupancy restrictions and the required use of masks by all. Guests are asked to bring their own mask, which covers the nose and mouth but not the full face. The Centers for Disease Control advises the use of cloth face masks to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Food and beverage offerings will be available with additional safety measures in place, though buffet-style venues and banqueted events will remain temporarily suspended.

“The ‘Responsible Hospitality’ plan was designed to be a fluid, evolving program that addresses the needs of now, while working toward the future,” said Mark Fulton, COO of Cherokee Nation Entertainment. “We look forward to revising, streamlining and implementing improved measures as we progress toward a more resilient future and returning our properties, amenities and services to full operation.”

“I’m proud of CNB’s leadership team for prioritizing the health and safety of our business employees and customers,” said Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation Chuck Hoskin Jr. “Cherokee Nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has set a high standard and this phased reopening plan is an extension of that standard.”

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