March 18, 2021
From the Desk of Johnny Winokur
General Manager, Shoalwater Bay Casino
One year ago today Shoalwater Bay Casino was compelled to close in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We returned for our re-opening 72 days later on June 29th and we haven’t looked back. We re-opened with the best and most rigorous safety protocols of any casino in the State of Washington. As our guests, you responded with dozens of letters and comment cards telling us you appreciated our efforts and you felt safe playing here. We kept cleaning and you kept coming. Your support has kept 100 people working throughout these trying times and we are grateful to all who have come through our doors.
If the pandemic has shown us anything it has highlighted the need for support. Support from our friends, from our families, from our co-workers, from our communities. The support came at us from all directions. As our guests you supported us. You worked with us as we all adjusted to an environment none of us had ever faced before. You wore your masks and gloves. You stayed six feet apart. You politely raised your voices so we could hear you behind our plexi-glass shields. Without you I would not be writing this letter.
Our Tribal Council supported us and our guests by ensuring our protocols met their standards for public safety and were in step with the rigorous safety procedures they had in place to cope with the threat. The Willapa Bay Enterprise Board has supported us every step of the way by keeping communication lines open with State and local health authorities and providing financial support in our efforts to obtain the new equipment necessary to provide a clean and safe environment for everyone.
Our guest and team member safety protocols remain the gold standard in gaming throughout the United States. These protocols will remain in place until our Tribal Council and the Willapa Bay Enterprise Board deem it safe to return to pre-COVID-19 operating procedures. Gloves and masks are required at all times and social distancing is strictly enforced to include spouses, family members and those who travelled with you to the casino in the same vehicle. Our maximum capacity has been reduced and there is no smoking allowed inside the Casino.
As we move forward we all have our eyes on the prize – life, back to normal. In the mean time I want you to know our effort to keep you safe goes on. We will continue to do our part to fight the spread of the pandemic and we hope you will too. We are, after all, in this together.
All my best,
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