Tribe announces June 1 'target reopening' for Pechanga Resort Casino

Sunday 10th May 2020

The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians announced on Saturday a "target reopening timeframe" around June 1 for the Pechanga Resort Casino near Temecula.

The casino is one of the first in the region to share a reopening timeline following Gov. Gavin Newsom's newly-released plan to reopen the state in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Newsom said Friday that roughly 70% of the state's economy, including retailers, could reopen with modifications as the state moves into the second phase of its four-phase reopening plan.

Also on Friday, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to direct the public health officer, Dr. Cameron Kaiser, to rescind and amend a series of local public health orders stricter than California's statewide pandemic mandates.

The Pechanga Resort Casino has been closed since mid-March, as Newsom ordered nonessential businesses to shut their doors indefinitely to help curb the spread of the disease. A couple of weeks later, the tribe announced that it would begin temporary layoffs for casino staff on April 1.

"Not knowing how long the temporary closure would persist, we chose not to speculate about when the property would reopen until there were clear indicators from the State and local officials that it was practical to begin planning for a target re-opening date," an unattributed statement on the casino's website reads. "We are very excited to announce that time has arrived."

It goes on: "With Governor Newsom and local officials poised to relax some of the statewide and local stay-at-home orders and other measures in the days and weeks ahead, we are very happy to inform you that tribal leadership has set a target reopening timeframe of June 1. The actual date will be confirmed in the days ahead."

More: Tribal casino closures will 'be crippling for some' if stretched into June, casino GM predicts

More: Coronavirus: Torres-Martinez last tribe in Coachella Valley to close its casino

When the gaming floor and other facets of the casino reopen, they will look different. Changes outlined by the tribe include:

At the casino, the tribe reopened its golf course for limited use on April 26 and its RV resort with limited spaces on May 5.

Jacob Mejia, vice president of public and external affairs for the tribe, declined to comment.

As of Saturday, the Coachella Valley's five casinos are still closed until further notice.

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