Casinos0401

The inside of the Angel of the Winds casino facility which was closed in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

 

Local casinos have been closed for several weeks now as tribes in the area help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and follow Gov. Jay Inslee's 'stay-at-home' order.

The Tulalip Resort Casino will say closed for an indeterminate amount of time. The Angel of the Winds Casino is also scheduled closed until at least April 9.

Stillaguamish Tribal officials will reassess that date later and see if it needs to be pushed back.

"I think we will continue to listen to what our governor is saying," said Mary Jewett, director of marketing with the Angel of the Winds casino. "We will keep the best interests of our tribal members and our staff and team in mind in these trying times."

The hotels that each of the casinos has are also closed because of the new coronavirus.

The local tribes performed deep cleaning of their casinos.

"Our whole team went through and did a deep cleaning of the whole casino," said Jewett. "They went through anything and everything. Same with all the hotel rooms, they meticulously cleaned everything."

Tulalip Resort Casino staff members used medical-grade disinfectant to clean their facility.

The Angel of the Winds casino said they will have cleaning standards that exceed the CDC recommendations when they re-open.

Both casinos have committed to pay staff members for at least a couple of weeks into the quarantine.

Currently, the Angel of the Winds staff is being paid through April 1. Jewett said  a decision beyond that date has not been made yet (as of March 26).

"The Tribe and our general manager have the best interests of our team members and they will do what we can," said Jewett.

The Tulalip Tribes said they will continue paying staff through April 5, then allow employees use of their annual leave from April 6 to 12. After that, mandatory furloughs will begin.

"It was a painful decision. But furloughs, instead of layoffs, mean that employees will retain their jobs, and anniversary dates, and return to their jobs when we reopen. Under the Tulalip Tribes' furlough policy, employees are also eligible for unemployment while on furlough," said Tulalip Tribal chairwoman Teri Gobin in a statement. "With no revenue, we had to protect our future, our elders, and our community. There was no easy path forward."

Both casinos found themselves with a good deal of food during the beginning of the shutdown and donated to local food banks when able.

The Angel of the Winds casino provided 1,800 pounds of food to the Arlington and Stanwood food banks.

"Times are tough for everyone and we are trying to figure out how we can be a good neighbor," said Jewett. "Anything we can do to give back to the community is critical."

When they re-open, the Angel of the Winds casino is also planning to provide some sort of bonus or gift to EMS workers, although exactly what that will be has not been finalized yet.

"We want to show our gratitude for the EMS workers who are out there at this time," said Jewett. She said to look for an announcement further into April.

 

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