Greektown Casino-Hotel gives free rooms to Detroit first responders

Tuesday 31st March 2020

Greektown Casino-Hotel in downtown Detroit is offering nearly 50 of its rooms for free to Detroit police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians during the coronavirus pandemic to ease their worries about potentially spreading the virus at home.

The 400-room hotel, which was sold last year by Dan Gilbert's Jack Entertainment to Penn National Gaming, has been closed to the general public since early in the week of March 15, when all three Detroit casinos were ordered shut.

The hotel began offering the rooms Monday night to the first responders, and with no charge to them or to the city, General Manager John Drake said in a phone interview Tuesday.

"A lot of first responders were saying they just don't feel comfortable going home to their family. So we thought this is something we could offer them," Drake said.

Those who use the hotel, 1200 St. Antoine, will have their temperatures taken each time they enter and leave. The hotel's approximately 90-person staff will not be called back to help with the first responders' stay.

More: Greektown Casino sale to Penn National approved, will happen Thursday

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"We've provided them with access to linen, and at their leisure, they can clean their own rooms," said Marvin Beatty, vice president of community and public relations for the casino-hotel.

The hotel continued to pay its staff during the first weeks of the shutdown, but they are scheduled to go on furlough beginning Wednesday. The employees' health insurance benefits will continue until at least June 30, Drake said.

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