Royal River Casino set to reopen Friday

Published: May. 26, 2020 at 10:22 PM CDT
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It has been about seven weeks since Royal River Casino & Hotel elected to close its doors to the public. Now, after a month planning, tribal leaders say the casino is ready to reopen its doors.

The casino will officially be open Friday, May 29th at 8 a.m.

"I told the managers and directors a number of times while we were closed, I didn't think it was going to be this difficult to be closed, we're used to being open and serving guests," James McDermott, Royal River Casino & Hotel General Manager, said.

The first phase of reopening started on May 22nd with what staff called a "soft opening," welcoming back in Royal River's top 250 guests.

"We used that soft opening, one, as a way to recognize those players, get them back in the door, and then, two, as a very crucial opportunity to do a first run of our plan with real people in the building and test out those protocols," Tim Morrissey, Royal River Casino & Hotel Senior Operations Director, said.

Tuesday, Royal River Casino expanded the soft opening by letting in an additional 250 guests.

"It has been going very well, it has been a modest turn out, which is by design," McDermott said. "So far, so good."

As well as installing paneling between each slot machine and table game, the casino has marked high volume locations with signage to remind guests to stay six feel apart. In addition, all casino employees are equipped with proper PPE, and staffing levels have been increased to ensure all shared surfaces are frequently cleaned and sanitized.

"The number one priority for the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe and Royal River Casino has been, and always will be, the security, safety, and health of our guests, our team members, and the community," Morrissey said. "We've worked with everybody that we can to make sure that we have those protocols in place."

Just this past October Royal River Casino completed a three-year, $30 million, renovation, and staff are excited to welcome guests back in to see the finished product.

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