Pechanga Resort Casino expects coronavirus closure to last beyond March with layoffs anticipated

Saturday 21st March 2020

Pechanga Resort Casino near Temecula announced Saturday, March 21, that it anticipates that it will stay closed beyond the end of March due to the novel coronavirus and that if it does, officials there will institute a temporary layoff beginning April 1.

The casino last weekend announced that it was planning to stay closed through the end of the month in order to combat COVID-19 and ensure the safety of its guests and employees. Last weekend's announcement also noted that employees will be paid their base pay and benefits through the end of the month.

In the Saturday, March 21 news release, officials said they anticipated a longer closure, "due to the extraordinary efforts by the private sector and governments at all levels to combat and slow the spread of COVID-19."

"As much as we would love to bring everyone back April 1, the facts and circumstances indicate the closure will last much longer," Jared Munoa, President of the Pechanga Development Corporation, said in a statement. "This temporary layoff means we will bring our team back together as soon as possible when we get through this. As painful as this decision is, we have to be honest and give our Team Members as much notice as possible so that they can make appropriate preparations."

It wasn't clear from the news release how many employees might be affected by the temporary layoff. A representative from Pechanga Resort Casino wasn't immediately available Saturday afternoon. According to Riverside County's current budget, as of 2018, Pechanga Resort & Casino had 4,683 employees, making it the county's sixth-largest employer.

Pechanga spokeswoman Ciara Green said Saturday she could not comment beyond what was in the release.

Pechanga was one of the first casinos on tribal land in Southern California to announce a planned closure last weekend and it has since been joined by other casinos across Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties in deciding to close.

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