COOS BAY — For the first time in two months, the Mill Casino was once again busy.
“We had a few extra folks than we normally do and everybody really worked well with the staff and there were no problems,” said Mill Casino communications director Ray Doering.
“It was a good opening, or re-opening and that was the big thing that we opened, preparations we made worked out well, everybody got into the swing of things and it was a good time."
After a two month closure due to COVID-19, the Mill Casino opened its doors on Monday. The Mill Casino declined to share numbers on the amount of people who played on its opening day, but a full parking lot and lines in the morning indicated a positive reception.
“We did have a few people in line and some of the people that have been here since the beginning made a comment that it reminds them of opening day when the place first opened,” said Doering on Tuesday morning. “Coincidentally, today is the anniversary. It’s the 25th anniversary of us opening.”
Through the reopening process, the casino has outlined a list of new health protocols to keep customers as safe as possible. The maximum number of people in the casino at one time is set at 300, all employees will wear masks and patrons have to have a mask (the casino will provide masks) but do not have to wear it.
No table games will be offered initially and there will be distancing measures in place for slot machines.
Last Friday businesses around Coos County, and the state, entered into Phase I of the state’s reopening plan. The Mill Casino does not fall into this jurisdiction.
“It’s not the state that closed the casino, it was the decision of each of the tribal governments. I think all of the tribes are looking at the guidelines and policies and looking to implement a reopening,” said Brenda Meade, Chairman of the Coquille Indian Tribe.
“So we looked at the guidelines similar to Walmart or Safeway will do for capacity to ensure that the social distancing measures are in place.”
Despite the opening, local public health officials pointed to Phase I information provided by the state for how to best reopen.
“The Mill Casino is really not under our per view, they are a sovereign nation and they can work off of federal guidelines and don’t necessarily have to adhere to the state ones,” said Eric Gleason of Coos Health and Wellness. “That being said, we would still recommend no more than 25 people with the ability to maintain six-foot distancing.”