Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, one of the last major local attractions to close during the coronavirus pandemic, will now be one of the first to reopen.
In a statement released Monday morning, the casino announced this morning that it will reopen Thursday, May 21, with “new and stringent ‘Safe and Sound’ program guidelines,” including mandatory face masks and temperature checks for all guests and staff. Also, only 200 of the 800 hotel rooms will be available for reservations.
According to Seminole Hard Rock, the new safety guidelines include:
— Temperature checks for all guests and team members before entry. Any guest or team member with a temperature above CDC guidelines will not be allowed entry.
— A requirement that all guests wear masks or cloth face coverings that meet CDC guidelines, without exception. Masks will be provided to guests, as needed.
— Thousands of alternating slot machines will be turned off, to help ensure social distancing on the casino floor.
— New Plexiglas barriers will divide players at table games, poker games and customer service areas.
— 850 signs will be posted throughout the complex to encourage social distancing and help ensure adherence to Safe and Sound Program guidelines.
— More than 100 team members will be part of a new “Safe and Sound Clean Team” to focus on cleaning and disinfecting surfaces throughout the complex, with special emphasis on high-touch surfaces and common areas.
— Hand-sanitizing stations will be available on the casino floor, at the entrances and throughout the resort.
— Constant purification and disinfecting of the air flowing into the complex through the AtmosAir™ bipolar ionization system designed to destroy virus particles in the air and on surfaces.
— An overall 50% reduction in guest capacity throughout the resort.
“Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming have made a tremendous commitment to sanitary protocols and a safety-first mentality for both guests and team members,” said Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and Chairman of Hard Rock International. “We are making sure our resorts are safe and sound so our guests and team members have peace of mind when they return.”
The Tampa casino, located 5223 Orient Rd., also stated that its on-site restaurants, including Hard Rock Cafe and Rise Kitchen & Deli, will reopen with social distancing requirements in place.
However, the Seminole Hard Rock Event Center will remain closed, and no events are currently planned at the pool complex.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa voluntarily closed on March 20, days after State Rep. Jackie Toledo sent a letter to president Steve Bonner, asking him to temporarily shut down the gaming floors.
The Tampa Hard Rock will be the first of the company’s six locations to reopen in Florida. As of now, there’s no information on opening dates for Seminole Gaming’s other sites.
Like most casinos, the Tampa’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is a huge draw to senior citizens, a population most at risk of serious complications from coronavirus, says health officials. According to a report released Sunday from the Tampa Bay Times, 83% of those who’ve died so far from coronavirus in Florida were over 65 years old.
Republished with permission of Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.