Oneida Indian Nation reveals reopening details

Closing down Turning Stone Resort Casino, Point Place and Yellow Brick Road Casinos wasn't as easy as flipping a switch. The reopening, slated for June 10th, won't be, either.

Posted: May 20, 2020 5:29 PM
Updated: May 20, 2020 5:43 PM

VERONA, N.Y. -- Closing down Turning Stone Resort Casino, Point Place and Yellow Brick Road Casinos wasn't as easy as flipping a switch. The reopening, slated for June 10, won't be, either. It will be staggered and fragmented. Everything isn't opening June 10; Turning Stone's Exit 33 entertainment complex won't open to start, nor will Season's Harvest Buffet, the Showroom and Event Center. And after the gaming facilities reopen, entry will be restricted to patrons living within 120 miles, so as to help prevent the spread, between regions, of the coronavirus.

"We will be checking IDs and zip codes, really, and making sure they're within both to enforce the 120 mile radius but also as a part of our contract tracing coordination with the local counties," says Joel Barkin, Nation VP of Communications.

In order to make such checks feasible, the Oneida Nation will restrict entry.

"Limiting the number of entrances the guests will be able to come into. And when guests come in, we will make sure that they have a face covering, show that they have a face covering and if they do not have a face covering, they will be required to purchase one there," says Barkin.

The Nation won't be covering gaming machines or tables in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. They say wearing face coverings will take care of that. They are, however, investing time and money in ensuring the health of their staff, and therefore, patients.

"We're setting up a tent in our employee parking lot. They'll be tested, temperature and health screening before they get on the bus. We've significantly increased the number of buses so there will be spaces between the employees on the bus," says Larkin.

The costly and complex steps aren't ideal, but necessary. Officials with the Oneida Indian Nation say they're glad to be bringing back thousands of employees, because sending them away was a dark day.

"We have employees, thousands and thousand of employees, some of which have been with us more than 25 years, who've never gone a week without being on property just because they don't take very long vacations if they don't want to. And I think that was a very difficult thing to see taken away from people's lives," says Barkin.

The Nation shut down gaming operations March 16; if they reopen as planned, June 10, they'll have been closed nearly three months.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 422003

Reported Deaths: 32787
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City22834323592
Suffolk438931998
Nassau437242195
Westchester362721447
Rockland13954674
Orange11180491
Erie8987671
Monroe5002285
Dutchess4619153
Onondaga3602200
Albany2614128
Oneida2175115
Ulster207692
Niagara151298
Sullivan149048
Putnam144963
Broome114369
Schenectady107537
Rensselaer77030
Saratoga76717
Columbia54637
Madison41317
Ontario36234
Warren31233
Steuben30042
Orleans29854
Fulton29724
Greene29418
Genesee2795
Herkimer2774
St. Lawrence2634
Washington26014
Chautauqua2589
Oswego2553
Wayne2523
Tompkins2340
Chenango2186
Tioga19425
Montgomery1774
Chemung1763
Livingston1768
Cattaraugus1686
Cayuga1572
Jefferson1420
Clinton1294
Otsego1185
Wyoming1185
Delaware1064
Cortland950
Seneca913
Allegany801
Schoharie690
Yates577
Essex560
Franklin540
Lewis450
Schuyler220
Hamilton80
Unassigned00
Utica
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 71°
Oneonta
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 68°
Herkimer
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 71°
Thendara
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 71°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Ask EPLC Sweepstakes
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left