PLAINS TWP. — Chuck Halderman traveled from Tioga County and was one of the first guests to arrive when Mohegan Sun Pocono opened to the public Monday morning after being shut down for three months.
The casino officially opened at 10 a.m. but began allowing guests in at 9 a.m. to avoid crowded lines.
Halderman, 64, and his wife, Lea, wore masks and their temperatures were checked as they arrived. They met their friend, John Repko, 70, of Jessup, and headed toward the blackjack table, which is now surrounded by plexiglass, one of many safety precautions implemented throughout the casino.
David Parfrey, vice president of marketing for Mohegan Sun Pocono, said during phase one of the casino’s reopening, guests can only enter through the main valet entrance and the hotel valet entrance. The casino will be open 24/7 but sections of the gaming floor will periodically closed to allow for deep cleaning, he said.
Mohegan Sun Pocono invested approximately $300,000 in safety and sanitation measures, Parfrey said.
As soon as guests arrive, they walk through a temperature scan on a noninvasive thermal camera. Parfrey said anyone with a temperature of 100.2 degrees or higher will be retested to confirm. If the reading is still high, guests will be asked to consult with their physicians and return when they feel healthy.
Employees’ temperatures also are being checked as they arrive. About 70% of the approximate 1,100 employees at Mohegan Sun Pocono have returned during phase one of the casino’s reopening, Parfrey said.
With the casino being limited to 50% occupancy, employees are being called back in waves, Parfrey said.
Employees and guests are being required to wear masks, but they can lower them while eating, drinking or smoking in designated areas, he said. Smoking was temporarily suspended in all table games pits and Breakers will temporarily serve as a designated smoking area. If a guest arrives without a mask, the casino will provide one.
Signs and floor decals throughout the casino ask guests to maintain a safe distance of 6 feet of more. Hand sanitizer dispensers and disinfecting wipes could be seen across all sections of the casino.
Plexiglass dividers were installed at transactional locations. Various slot machines were turned off and the numbers of seats at table games were reduced to promote social distancing. The poker room remains closed.
Restaurants and bars throughout the casino also reduced seating to enforce social distancing.
Amenities open during phase one of the casino’s reopening include Bar Louie, Electric City Roasting Company, Johnny Rockets, Molly O’Sheas, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Rustic Kitchen, Sunburst Bar, Tony Luke’s and VIP lounges.
The hotel at Mohegan Sun Pocono will resume operations Sunday.
The casino’s popular Party on the Patio was supposed to begin in June but it was canceled for the summer.
Mount Airy Casino Resort in Monroe County also reopened Monday with multiple safety precautions.