Minnesota's Native American-owned and operated casinos are making plans to reopen for visitors, with one choosing to open immediately after the end of the state's Stay at Home order.
Prairie's Edge Casino Resort in Granite Falls opened its doors at noon on Monday, May 18, the first day of Minnesota's new Stay Safe MN order.
"The decision to reopen has been made with much consideration for the health and safety of our valued guests and team members," Prairie's Edge announced on its website. "We will continue to follow the recommended social distancing guidelines and are asking guests to do the same. In common gathering areas such as kiosks, Guest Services, food outlets, bars, etc. six-foot markers have been placed on the floor throughout the property."
The casino is also asking those who are considered high-risk or showing signs of illness to stay home.
Prairie's Edge is owned and operated by the Upper Sioux Community.
Meantime, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community announced Mystic Lake and Little Six Casinos will reopen in Prior Lake on Tuesday, May 26.
"Our tribal members, team members and guests depend on us to make decisions with their wellbeing in mind, and we have not taken this responsibility lightly as we carefully deliberated these decisions over the past several weeks," Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Chairman Keith Anderson said in a statement.
Mystic Lake and Little Six will reopen with a "phased approach," according to a press release. That includes recalculating building occupancy limits and enforcing physical distancing. Door counts and surveillance will monitor the numbers of guests, and all employees and guests are asked to wear masks.
Slots and table games will be first to reopen. Mystic Lake said chairs have been removed from every other slot machine, and 50% of chairs have been removed from table games for appropriate spacing.
The casino says all public areas will be cleaned and sanitized numerous times each day, and the health of employees will be monitored regularly.
Grand Casino, operated by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, announced it has developed a health, safety and sanitation plan for its casinos in Onamia and Hinckley, though exact reopening dates were not announced.
According to a press release, the first phase at Grand Casino will include reopening the gaming floor with limited seating and layout changes to the floor to accommodate social distancing. Bingo, poker, and pull tabs are not included in the first phase. Dine-in restaurants will remain closed as well, though several to-go food services will be open. Valet and shuttle services will not be available, and the pool, fitness center, and arcade will remain closed.
Grand Casino will ask guests to enter through designated entrances, and non-invasive thermal cameras will be used to scan the temperature of all arriving guests. No guest or employee with a temperature above 100-degrees will be allowed to enter.
Increased cleaning and sanitizing will also be part of the new procedures, casino operators said, and additional hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the building.
Treasure Island Resort and Casino currently remains closed northwest of Red Wing.
"We are just as eager to welcome you back and are actively working on a reopening plan that will keep everyone safe and healthy," the casino wrote in a statement on its website. "While we do not yet have a specific reopening date, we are preparing and getting closer to making that decision."
Treasure Island is owned and operated by the Prairie Island Indian Community.
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The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
There is also a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.