CNB casinos open under strict safety protocols

BY D. SEAN ROWLEY
Senior Reporter
09/13/2020 02:00 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Patrons can visit the Cherokee Nation’s casinos, but must wear a mask and have their temperatures checked to enter in order to help control the spread of COVID-19. ARCHIVE
TAHLEQUAH – Though the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impose the need for restrictions, Cherokee Nation Businesses has its casino doors open with social distancing and requirements for entry.

The casinos are operating with patrons allowed entry if they follow guidelines.

“They are all open with reduced capacity,” CNB Communications Director Brandon Scott said. “Masks must be worn and no smoking will continue at all 10 properties.”

One major change has been the closure of Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

“Toby Keith’s parent company chose to close its location in the Hard Rock and not renew their lease, which was set to expire,” Scott said. “No plans on a replacement tenant or business have been decided on as this development is relatively new.”

Speaking to the Tribal Council’s Executive & Finance Committee on Aug. 27, CNB CEO Chuck Garrett said July revenue was lower than a year ago due to the pandemic, but that all casinos were operating.

“They are continuing to work in a limited capacity to accommodate the safety protocols that we have put in place to protect our guests and employees,” Garrett said. “Those protocols include … screening before admittance to the facilities. There are masking requirements still in place and there is no smoking. That’s taken some adjustments for our customers and clients, but we know it’s the right thing to do for our employees at this point.”

Garrett said CNB would continue to monitor COVID-19 and its effects on public health.

“We’ll (also) continue to work with the administration on adhering to the executive orders that they outline,” he said. 

Current safety protocols include social distancing, non-invasive temperature screenings for guests and employees and enhanced sanitation and cleaning. Those with a temperature higher than 100.4 Fahrenheit are not allowed to enter CNB properties.

Masks must also be worn by everyone inside the venues. Guests are asked to bring their own masks that cover the nose and mouth but not the entire face.

The casinos have also reduced operating hours to allow for daily cleaning. The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa is open 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. CNB casinos in West Siloam Springs and Roland are open 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. All other venues are open 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.

At Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, food and drink service is available but buffet style offerings remain closed.

The hotel’s maximum occupancy has been reduced, and rooms may be booked for a maximum of three consecutive nights. Those wishing to stay longer may be moved to another room.

Further safety measures include:

• Guests are required to have their temperature screened each day;

• No more than four guests may ride in the same elevator cabin at one time, though exceptions can be made for minor children staying in the same room;

• All room deliveries, including toiletries, pillows and mail, will be placed outside the guest room door on a bell cart or sanitized tray. Employees will knock on the door and step feet away until the guest retrieves the items. Team members then return trays and carts for sanitization;

• Ice machines are out of service. Ice is available upon request and delivered to the room in disposable bags;

• Business centers will be locked but available upon request. Only one guest will be allowed inside at a time. The centers are cleaned and sanitized after each use;

• Valet operations are suspended;

• Bell services are available only by request. Luggage or other deliveries will be placed outside the guest’s room door for retrieval. Bell team members are not allowed to enter an occupied guest room until further notice. Bell carts are sanitized before and after each use by bell team members; and

• Some pool deck furniture has been removed to allow distancing, and hot tubs are not currently available. Social distancing should be observed between guests on the deck and in the pool. Guests can also remove their masks in the pool or on the deck, but must wear them at the bar areas and towel desk. Smoking is allowed only in designated areas of the pool deck.
About the Author
Sean Rowley was hired by the Cherokee Phoenix at the beginning of 2019. Sean was born a long time ago in Tulsa, where he grew up and attended Booker T. Washington High School as a freshman before moving to Pawnee County and graduating from Cleveland High School in 1987. 

He graduated sans honors from Northeastern State University in 1992 with a bachelor of arts in mass communication with emphases in advertising and public relati ...
david-rowley@cherokee.org • 918-453-5560
Sean Rowley was hired by the Cherokee Phoenix at the beginning of 2019. Sean was born a long time ago in Tulsa, where he grew up and attended Booker T. Washington High School as a freshman before moving to Pawnee County and graduating from Cleveland High School in 1987. He graduated sans honors from Northeastern State University in 1992 with a bachelor of arts in mass communication with emphases in advertising and public relati ...

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