CABAZON (CBSLA) — A long line of guests waited to get into Morongo Casino and Spa after it reopened Friday afternoon.
“We’ve been looking forward to having our guests back with us for weeks now,” Simon Farmer, Morongo’s executive director of marketing said. “Our guests have been reaching out to us for the last two months, texting, emailing, and calling. They’re excited, we’re excited. It’s gonna be a great day.”
But with coronavirus cases still on the rise throughout the country, Morongo Casino guests will see some major changes. When they arrive, they’ll be asked to wear a mask and will have to undergo a temperature check at the door. Social distancing will be observed with slot machines spaced out or separated by partitions, and seats will be removed from table games to lower the capacity. The casino’s cleaning team will be out and about at all times and on an “aggressive cleaning schedule,” Farmer said.
“We want to go above and beyond to make sure that our guests feel comfortable coming back to Morongo,” he said.
The casino’s popular steakhouse, Cielo, will not be open Friday, but will open within the next week, Farmer said. However, the cafe and food court will be open for business, along with Morongo’s new expansion.
Farmer said Morongo will have teams in and out out of the casino to help monitor the crowd and manage the flow of traffic, and that they’re prepared for anyone who doesn’t want to follow the rules.
“We understand there’s some people that may not come prepared with a mask, may not come prepared to go through a screening,” he said.
If there’s anyone unwilling to comply with the new rules, “we’ll have the conversation to invite them back later,” Farmer said.
Those who arrived Friday to gamble at Morongo were ecstatic.
“If we’re safe at the grocery store with a mask then we’re safe here with a mask, right?” said Riverside resident Stephanie Christian.
“We just wanted to get a taste of normalcy again and see what it’s like to be inside a business that’s running semi-normally at least. I mean you gotta wear these muzzles, I mean, masks,” said L.A. resident David Hakimfar. “But we’re doing our best.”