Michigan: Upper Peninsula casino plans phased reopening starting May 6 despite governor’s order

HARRIS, MI – While non-tribal casinos have been ordered to remain closed through May 28 to curb the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, at least one tribal casino in the Upper Peninsula will begin a phased reopening next week.

On Wednesday, May 6, Island Resort and Casino in Harris, which has been closed since March 21, will reopen its slot machines, select to-go food service, some bars, bingo and retail, according to an announcement on Friday, May 1. On Friday, May 8, its golf courses will open. Its hotel will reopen on Wednesday, May 13.

The casino is owned and operated by the Hannahville Indian Community and - like all tribal casinos in the state - is not under the jurisdiction of the Michigan Gaming Control Board. That means Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s recent executive order that keeps casinos under the MGCB, and other places of public accommodation, closed through May 28 does not apply. Up until now, casinos had, for the most part, voluntarily followed the state’s lead when it comes to coronavirus precautions.

Michigan casinos under the MGCB are in Detroit: Motor City Casino, Greektown Casino and MGM Grand. Under the order, those casinos will be required to remain closed through May 28.

Island Resort and Casino is taking some precautions as it prepares to welcome guests. People feeling sick or with underlying health conditions are advised to stay home, the announcement says. The resort will only allow patrons 18 and older, and everyone’s temperature will be checked upon arrival – those with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher will not be admitted. The resort is encouraging employees and guests to wear face masks; they will be available throughout the property. Plexi-glass barriers are in place to separate guests and employees where possible, the announcement says. High-touch areas will be sanitized “consistently.” Hand sanitizer dispensers will be placed throughout the casino. Everyone is advised to keep a 6-foot distance between themselves and others.

See you Wednesday, May 6! As always, we strive to provide superior service and quality entertainment for our guests. To do this in the safest manner while keeping the health of our guests and employees the number one priority we have outlined these guidelines and expectations to ensure a healthy return.

The casino is near Escanaba in Menominee County, which, as of April 30, has had five confirmed cases of coronavirus and no deaths. The state has had 41,379 total confirmed cases and is has killed 3,789 Michiganders.