Updated: July 31, 2020 06:57 PM
Created: July 31, 2020 05:23 PM
SARATOGA SPRINGS - Saratoga Casino closed its doors on March 16. Since then, they've been working on new ways to keep the facility virus-free and safe for guests and staff members.
Saratoga Casino General Manager Alex Tucker is eager to reopen and feels they've taken the steps to do it right.
"We have the precautions in place to open safely and to provide an outlet for our guests that so many of them are looking for," said Tucker.
Their reopening plan, which they call "Safe Bet," has been sent to the state for approval, but they've already put much of it in place.
They will use just one entrance and exit to keep better track of numbers of guests.
Everyone takes their temperature and has their ID scanned in case contact tracing is needed.
Only half of the 1,300 machines would be operating. Many chairs have been moved out, and signs and Plexiglas are up.
They have the MERV-13 filters to clean the air, and they've stationed touchless hand sanitizers every few steps.
Tucker says masks will have to be worn at all times.
They plan to close at 1 a.m. every morning to allow time for daily deep cleaning. Pre-COVID-19, they closed at 5 a.m.
"We feel very confident that we can provide a safe environment."
The hotel is open and so is Morton's Steakhouse, but the casino remains closed, and 400 employees are still furloughed.
"We've had to make some very tough decisions," said Tucker Friday. "We know there's going to be an end to this, and we want to be there."
The casino's "Safe Bet" program is in the hands of the state now.
Tucker says once it's approved, they'll only need a few days to get staff back and reopen.
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