Barrie, Ont. –
Casino Rama employees welcomed back gamblers for the first time in 16 months.
“Thursday is the day, and we couldn’t be any happier,” said Rob Mitchell, director of communications at Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited.
“It’s almost like a homecoming both for our guests and our employees,” Mitchell added.
The casino reopened its doors Thursday with enhanced safety measures in place.
Upon arrival, guests will have to fill out a contact tracing form and are required to wear a face mask and remain socially distanced from others.
Plexiglass has been installed on tables and some slots to maintain safety measures for employees and customers.
“For those who may be familiar with six spots on a Black Jack table, to make sure we get the plexiglass in between, we are often dealing to three, maybe four, positions, and the dealers will have plexiglass in front of them,” said Glenn Trickey, vice president of gaming operations.
Poker tables remain off-limits because of the close-proximity of players.
Trickey said they have a target date of Aug. 19 to reopen the property’s hotel. “Which will then introduce the Weirs Restaurant for breakfast and then hopefully in the fall, if regulations allow, reintroduce concerts sometime later in the fall.”
According to Mitchell, the lengthy closure during the pandemic allowed Gateway Casinos to “take a look at the gaming floor.”
Crews moved machines and tables to optimize space and lessen the amount of congestion in the casino.
“It’s much more accessible now. It’s easier to navigate the floor to access amenities,” Mitchell said. “We have a very, very diverse variety of play that our patrons can enjoy, so we are quite please with the refurbishment.”
The casino will limit capacity to 1,000 people to ensure social distancing.