HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveVolume 26Issue 24Firekeepers Casino Reports Successful and Strong Re-Opening

Appearing on a webinar entitled “Reopening Realities:  Cautious Celebration and Planning for the Future” (LINK  https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=GUWvFtzCfks&feature=youtu.be) which is part of the “Gaming in Crisis:  The Path Back” webinar series this week, Firekeepers Casino CEO Kathy George reported on the very successful and strong re-opening of the casino.   

The casino, which is located halfway between Detroit and Chicago, first opened ten years ago.  As a result of the pandemic, the casino shut down on March 16th, and re-opened on May 29th for a soft opening, and on Monday, June 1 to the general public.  Ms. George gave great praise to the tribal Gaming Commission with regard to the re-opening process. 

“Working with our tribal gaming commission was invaluable to us.  They understood what we were facing, and they really worked amazingly well to help us overcome anything.  If we needed secondary or third job code positions to make the staff be able to change their duties and help fill in gaps, they were truly great partners.  They came to all of our operations meetings that we had for the month prior to opening, and literally were here with us hand in hand to assist however they could during the opening out on the floor.”   

Ms. George also was grateful to the Center for Disease Control, the local health department in Calhoun County, and both the local police and state police.    

She reported on the steps that were taken to assure safety at the casino, including health inspections before and after the soft opening, 50 percent occupancy, limiting the points of entry to 2, doing temperature checks to patrons entering, valet being closed – but using the valet staff as welcoming ambassadors, making the casino floor nonsmoking given the requirement for masks on patrons, social distancing measures on the casino floor for both slots and table games, and using a cleaning ambassador program to have employees on the floor keeping everything clean.   

Ms. George noted that all of the staff went through very extensive training, which she noted was very important.   Employees are being given additional breaks.  She stated that most everyone has returned to work that has been called back. Overall the guest satisfaction is high and employee engagement and satisfaction is high.   

Very notably, Ms. George indicated that the first ten days of operation have been very strong financially as well.  “The pent-up demand has certainly driven revenues and EBITDA in the first ten days we have been open,”  she noted.   

Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C., The Innovation Group, and Global Gaming Business Magazine, have combined their gaming industry expertise and perspective to present the Gaming in Crisis webinar series in a way that is designed to help gaming companies, operators, manufacturers and suppliers, executives, employees, investors and customers navigate the "new normal" as the world struggles through and emerges from the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic.  Throughout this series, the Gaming in Crisis webinars have analyzed and charted the recovery path for each segment of the industry. The webinars are free and open to all participants of the industry simply by registering to attend. 

The entire “Gaming in Crisis:  The Path Back” series of webinars is available for free at www.casinowebinar.com and includes all of the following topics: 

• Webinar 1:  Beyond CARES:  How the Relief Bill Helps the Industry and Employees and Where it May Fall Short;

• Webinar 2:  Taking Care of Business:  Difficult Decisions Ahead

• Webinar 3:  Tribal Troubles:  How Indian Gaming Will Rebound

• Webinar 4:  Moving Forward: iGaming in the COVID-19 Era

• Webinar 5:  Design Changes:  What Will a Casino Resort Look Like in the Wake of COVID19?

• Webinar 6:  Reopening Realities:  Cautious Celebration and Planning for the Future 

 

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