VERONA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — When Turning Stone shut down on Monday, March 16, it was the first and only time the resort and casino closed in its history.
Since that day, the Oneida Indian Nation has focused on reopening Turning Stone and its smaller casinos: Point Place in Bridgeport and YBR in Chittenango.
In May, the Oneida Indian Nation announced it would reopen its facilities on June 10, not long before Central New York and the Mohawk Valley regions enter Phase 3 of New York State’s reopening plan.
The Nation released a 26-page plan that outlines significant changes to casino and dining operations intended for a safe customer experience during the pandemic.
Key polices include:
- Masks required for all customers and staff
- Gloves required for front-line staff (like food service and dealers)
- Staff’s temperatures checked daily before being allowed into the facility
- Guests limited to New York State residents who live within a 120-mile radius
- No concerts, shows or mass gathering events
Because the Oneidas are a sovereign nation, they don’t need to follow the state’s phase reopening orders, but county leaders asked to provide input were impressed with their requested involvement.
Oneida County, home to Turning Stone, might have had the most active role in the process. County Executive Anthony Picente told NewsChannel 9 that his health department didn’t only review the final product, but included in the line-by-line construction of the plan and was invited to make suggestions.
Before being allowed into all three casinos, guests will need to show ID with an address and get their photo taken. That proves their residence is in New York State and within 120 miles and it helps casino staff save contact information in the event of a coronavirus outbreak at the facilities.
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