Iowa casinos preparing to re-open

Local News

LARCHWOOD, IOWA (KELO) — Casinos are opening up, and are putting new guidelines in place so you don’t gamble with your safety. That includes Mystic Lake Casino in Minnesota, set to re-open on June 1st. Closer to KELOLAND, Grand Falls Casino is getting ready to be fully operational again. It just needs the go-ahead from Iowa’s governor.

On Memorial Day, rain drops fell on the casino’s golf course. Even with no sun in sight, that didn’t stop golfers like Matt Spain from hitting the links.

Matt Spain: “Just enjoying a game of golf on Memorial Day, Memorial Day Weekend. Just hanging out,” Spain said.
Brady: “How’s your golf game today?”
Spain: “Not very good. Not very good at all.”

That’s ok, because a lot of us are trying to get back into the swing of things after the last few months. That includes Grand Falls Casino.

“Usually when Memorial Day is rainy outside, we’re swamped,” Sharon Haselhoff, general manager, said.

Haselhoff hopes that’ll soon change. Grand Falls closed on March 16th. However, within the last week it’s been able to re-open its restaurants, hotel, spa, and golf course. Now Haselhoff is waiting for Governor Kim Reynolds to set a date for Iowa casinos.

“We’ve been making a lot of different precautions. Making some steps, some changes,” Haselhoff said.

All employees have to wear masks, and you’ll notice a lot of plexiglass barriers around the building, including the gaming floor. Management wants guests to respect social distancing and hygiene guidelines. The same goes for employees as they come back to work.

“We did some training this past week and it was encouraging to see how excited they are to be back. They’re sick of talking to the TV and really excited to be back with their colleagues,” Haselhoff said.

“Ensuring the safety of our guests and employees is our number one priority,” Haselhoff said.

It looks like an upcoming re-opening is in the cards for this casino, and Spain hopes to see everything go smoothly.

“I hope they keep up the safety measures and keep sanitizing things and keep making sure people follow proper protocols and and procedures set in place,” Spain said.

We asked if Grand Falls has any plans for whether it’ll lower the number of guests allowed in the building. Haselhoff says that’ll depend on any occupancy guidelines the governor sets for Iowa casinos.

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