Popular NorCal casino defends upcoming 6,000-person indoor party
Wednesday 30th December 2020
"Cache Creek Casino Resort will become a private venue starting at 12:00 p.m. on December 31, 2020," the casino says on its website. "We will reopen to the public at 6:00 a.m. on January 1, 2021."
Similarly, Thunder Valley is closing to the public at 1 p.m. Thursday and reopening on Jan. 1 at 6 a.m.
Casinos located on tribal lands are not obligated to follow state or county COVID rules. As such, Gov. Gavin Newsom's orders banning indoor entertainment doesn't apply to the state's dozens of tribal casinos. Most shut down during the early months of the pandemic before reopening at reduced capacity with temperature checks, clear barriers between guests and mask mandates (although drinking, eating and smoking are all allowed indoors).
Thunder Valley is located in Lincoln; Placer County currently has a 12.4% test positivity rate. Cache Creek is in Brooks; Yolo County is seeing a 12.24% positivity rate over the last seven days.
Cache Creek told the Bee that its public party planned in early December has been canceled. Both venues emphasized the private parties represent a fraction of the guests they normally see on New Year's Eve, although those numbers reflect attendance in a year without a global health crisis.
"Out of an abundance of caution, Thunder Valley is closing to the general public on New Year's Eve and limiting the number of guests that will have access to the casino to 6,000, which is less than 20% of attendance on a typical NYE at Thunder Valley," Thunder Valley spokesman Doug Elmets told the Bee. A spokesman for Cache Creek told the publication its private party will represent "less than 1% of our pre-COVID occupancy."
Graton casino, which was planning on a 4,000-person indoor party reportedly for high-rollers, announced last week it would not be holding the event after all.