Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Reopens, Set to Operate at 30% Capacity

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Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, one of North Carolina’s premium gaming destinations, reopened to the public earlier today after staying closed for more than two months.

The casino resumed operations at 6 am local time today and will be operating at limited capacity consistent with North Carolina and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians guidelines.

Harrah’s Cherokee closed in mid-March when North Carolina and the rest of the US began implementing measures aimed at curbing the advance of the dangerous coronavirus. The property initially reopened on May 18 but to invitation only guests.

The gambling venue began sending invitations to select few customers from May 13. During that initial reopening phase only those invited patrons were able to make reservations and were permitted access to facilities at Harrah’s Cherokee.

That first reopening phase aimed to make social distancing possible, while offering some access to the property.

According to a message on Harrah’s Cherokee’s Facebook page, the casino will now be operating at 30% capacity and with “social distancing in place.”

Most of the restaurants at the casino resort reopened today with limited seating as well as carryout options.

Gaming areas are open to patrons, but will temporarily be non-smoking, Harrah’s Cherokee has also announced.

Facilities and services at the resort where social distancing is impossible will remain closed for the time being and will reopen when it is appropriate to do so. These include valet parking, spa, buffets, and concerts. The casino has decided to not resume poker operations for now.

Enhanced Safety and Health Protocols

Harrah’s Cherokee said that it has adopted enhanced health and safety protocols to protect both employees and guests from coronavirus exposure. Those enhanced protocols include more frequent cleaning and sanitization across the property.

In addition, employees are undergoing daily health checks. Staff members are required to wear face masks while on duty.

As for guests, they will have their temperatures checked before they enter Harrah’s Cherokee. They will also be required to wear face masks around the property.

Other amenities at the property will reopen at a later stages as determined by North Carolina officials and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Reflecting on Harrah’s Cherokee’s closure, Senior Vice President and General Manager Brooks Robinson said earlier this month that “this is uncharted territory for the casino industry, but what is clear is that when we return to work it will not be exactly as it was prior closing.”

One more thing that will be different following Harrah’s Cherokee’s reopening is that the property will not host the annual WSOP Global Casino Championship as event organizers announced a few days ago that they have decided to move it online.

The WSOP Circuit season-ending championship was originally scheduled to take place at Harrah’s Cherokee from August 11-13, but the coronavirus situation derailed that plan.

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