Ilani, the Cowlitz Tribe’s casino along Interstate 5 near La Center, Washington, is joining several other tribal casinos in reopening before the state’s stay-at-home orders are lifted.
The casino will reopen at noon on Thursday, May 28. New safety precautions will be in place, officials said, such as reduced seating at restaurants, powered-down machines to create distance between customers, and temperature checks at entrances.
The casino has been closed since March 16, a week before Gov. Jay Inslee ordered Washingtonians to stay home to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“We are optimistic that we can help the community maintain its momentum flattening the curve, while implementing enhanced health protocols that safely allow our employees and guests to reconnect with all that ilani has to offer,” said Kara Fox-LaRose, the casino’s president, in a prepared statement.
Ilani employs 1,725 people, according to representatives for the casino.
Several tribal casinos in Washington have already reopened. Five reopened this week alone, belonging to Puyallup, Suquamish, Squaxin Island and Nisqually tribes, and Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.
Inslee’s stay-at-home order currently doesn’t expire until June 1. He has not indicated whether he will lift the order at that time or extend it another month.