(Laguna, New Mexico) – Laguna Development Corporation (LDC), the primary business entity for the Pueblo of Laguna, has annouced plans to re-open Route 66 Casino Hotel and the Route 66 RV Resort to the general public on Saturday June 27th. The company’s Dancing Eagle Casino will remain temporarily closed. Both properties have been closed since March 18th due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The public re-opening at Route 66 will be preceded by a three-day “invitation only” opening for invited guests.
According to LDC President and CEO Maxine Velasquez, the openings will occur after more than 12 weeks of planning. “Under direction of the Pueblo of Laguna and the COVID-19 guidelines by the State of New Mexico, we are excited to announce the re-opening of one of New Mexico’s most popular gaming destinations. Operations will be limited as we carefully consider all aspects of welcoming our guests back under strict health and safety protocols. We have instituted a series of recommendations from federal and state regulatory agencies as well as New Mexico and Laguna officials. COVID Safe Practices, including the wearing of masks by guest and employees, will be strictly enforced. Extensive employee training and a re-configuration of our casinos and restaurants have prepared us to welcome customers back to enjoy the quality, service and value they’ve come to expect from us for more than twenty years.”
The announcement comes after the Pueblo of Laguna agreed to amend the Executive Order issued in March that has closed most of the Pueblo to visitors to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. According to Pueblo of Laguna Governor Wilfred Herrera, “We have worked with the LDC team to ensure they have taken every precaution and instituted all available mitigation measures to protect our guests, employees and tribal community as we get back to business. LDC is a critical part of the revenue that goes to ensure the health and welfare of our tribal members, its programs and services.”
The re-opening of limited, casino, restaurant and hotel operations in line with capacity restrictions currently in place in the State of New Mexico will initially allow more than 500 of the 746 employees, placed on temporary furlough since April, to come back to work. “As operations are ramped up over the next several weeks, we anticipate bringing back all the employees who were furloughed,” said Velasquez.
Both Route 66 and Dancing Eagle will meet or exceed the industry-wide standards to protect its guests and employees. Capacity restrictions will be in place in casinos, restaurants and the hotel located at Route 66. Venues where large groups would gather will remain temporarily closed including Legends Theater, banquet/conference meeting rooms, Kids Quest/Cyber Quest and swimming pool areas.
All visitors will be temperature screened upon entry. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4F or higher will not be admitted. All guests and employees will be required to wear masks while on property.
At Route 66 several restaurants will be open including the Stadium 66 Sports Bar and Grill, Johnny Rockets, the 66 Snack Bar and Thunder Road Steakhouse and Cantina. Buffet 66 will remain temporarily closed.
The 154-room hotel at Route 66 Casino will re-open at 50% capacity with additional cleaning and sanitation in place including a complimentary PPE package for each hotel guest.
The 100-space Route 66 RV Resort will re-open at 50% capacity.
The Route 66 Casino/Hotel and RV Resort are located off Interstate 40 Exit 140 west of Albuquerque.
According to Governor Herrera, “LDC has regularly communicated with the Pueblo over the past several weeks to make sure they were ready once conditions allowed us to consider re-opening. The health and safety of guests, employees and the community remain our #1 priority.”