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Royal River Casino & Hotel Reopening with New COVID-19 Prevention Protocols

To Our Valued Guests, Team Members, and Community:

After over a month of planning and dozens of taskforce meetings, the Royal River Casino & Hotel (“Casino”) along with the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe (“FSST”) is excited to announce the reopening of the Casino to the public at 8:00 A.M. on May 29, 2020.

The COVID-19 Task Force was formed by the FSST Leadership and consists of the FSST Executive Committee, FSST Tribal Clinic Medical Staff, Casino Executive Team, FSST CFO, FSST Housing, FSST Social Services, FSST Attorney General’s Office, and FSST Police Department. Together the Task Force focuses its efforts on ensuring that all decisions pertaining to the COVID-19 Pandemic are being made using all available information and resources to protect the health and safety of our guests, team members, tribal membership, and surrounding community.

After making the decision to close the property on April 1, 2020 the Task Force continued studying the data and started developing a strategic plan for how to successfully reopen the Casino with proper social distancing and preventative protocols.

When the Casino reopens to the public, guests are going to notice many new features upon visiting. It is our top priority is the health and safety of all guests, team members, and the community. In maintaining this priority, the casino has developed an extensive Reopening Plan which was approved by the FSST Executive Committee on May 12, 2020. It is the belief of Casino as well as the FSST Leadership that honesty and transparency are of upmost importance during this pandemic. In order to provide the level of honesty and transparency that we believe is necessary to ensure our guests and team members feel safe during their time on property the extensive reopening preparedness plan in its entirety is being published and made available to all members of the public, media, industry peers, and surrounding government. It may be subject to change with additional advice that develops from the CDC or other applicable government agencies.

One of the first steps being taken is to have a Soft Opening to a small number of invited guests over Memorial Day weekend. The property will remain closed to the public but will welcome back invited guests to experience the new protocols that are being put in place and allow the team members and executive leadership a chance to gather feedback and make any necessary adjustments before fully reopening on May 29, 2020. The Property will also be opening our doors to our media partners from May 26-28 to provide them a chance to see the protocols in action as well as showcase to the public what they can expect to experience when the property reopens.

We recognize that the information pertaining to COVID-19 continues to rapidly change and stay committed to adjusting our operating plan on a continued basis to ensure we are using the most up to date and relevant data and health protocols.

Hospitality is our business, and it is important to us that you feel confident when choosing the Casino as your entertainment and travel destination. The following is a brief snapshot of the protocol we are implementing to provide peace of mind throughout your visits:

Social Distancing

The Casino has partnered with e-gads to install their My Own Space (MOS) paneling system between all slot machines as well as at table games to provide each guest with polycarbonate shielding from other guests playing in their general vicinity.
All high volume locations where queuing takes place will be clearly marketed to ensure six feet of distance between parties.
Team Member’s Responsibilities

All team members are receiving extensive training on the new cleaning and social distancing protocols. Team Members will also be receiving a health screening to include temperature checks before each shift. In addition to the health screening all team members are being issues Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”) including face masks, clear face shield, and gloves that they are required to wear at all time while on property.

The Guest Experience

Guest entrance points will be temporarily limited to the main casino and hotel entrances. A team member will greet each visitor to the property. Visitors will be screened and asked to use hand sanitizer and offered a mask and gloves to wear (which will be provided by the property). Appropriate signage will also be prominently displayed outlining proper mask usage and current physical distancing practices in use throughout the property. Valet services will be suspended until further notice.

Environmental Cleaning Practices

The Casino has always been committed to upholding the highest standard of cleanliness by continuing to work closely with industry partners who are global leader in the custodial industry. Our partners are committed to sharing best practices and the latest products that may be useful to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Prior to the Soft Opening of the property, the Casino has contracted with Intek Cleaning and Restoration to fully disinfect and sanitize all areas of the casino and hotel utilizing their industry leading Steramist System. While we want to reiterate that there has been no exposure of the COVID-19 Virus at the Casino. We want to take every precaution possible and will continue to contract with Intek to disinfect and sanitize the property as needed in the future.

We have also increased the staffing levels as well as made our custodial products and protocols accessible to all team members to expand the effort to increase the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing all touch points across our property. The touch points include:

  • Faucets and toilet flush levers
  • Doorknobs and locks
  • Entrance and exit doors and door handles
  • Handrails
  • Slot machines handles and armrests
  • Elevator buttons
  • Light switches

As well increasing the placement of hand sanitizer dispensing stations in high-traffic, visible areas. We will also make sanitizers available to guests wishing to wash down their machine prior to gaming.

Operational Changes

The Casino’s River Bend Restaurant has discontinued the operations of the buffet service and switched to menu only dining to further prevent to opportunity for the COVID-19 Virus to contaminate our property and threaten the health of our guests or team members.
The Casino has closed its pool and spa facilities and will maintain the closure of these facilities until which time the public risk for contraction of COVID-19 has decreased.

The Casino has discontinued our Birthday Booth Promotional Operations. Guests visiting the property with birthday in the month are still able to stop at the Guest Service Center to be enrolled in a Special Birthday Promotions on our Promotional Kiosks for a chance to win up to $1000 in Free Slot Play.

The Casino has suspended the entertainment through June 30th. This includes rescheduling the Tribute to Johnny Cash show to July 11, 2020. Tickets from the March date will be honored for the July 11 show. The BuckCherry show for May 9, 2020 has been rescheduled for September 11, 2020. Tickets purchased for the May show will be valid for the September 11 show. Flandreau Rodeo Days that was scheduled for June 5-6, 2020 had been rescheduled for August 7-8, 2020. In the event guests are unable to attend the rescheduled dates for the shows refunds can be received by visiting their point of sale.

All Promotions and Direct Mail Offers are subject to change based on the need for the Casino to continue to ensure the highest level of protective protocols for our guests.

We do not take any operational change that affects the experience of our guests lightly and will monitor these changes to restore to normal operations at the earliest responsible time. As we continue to monitor developments and navigate through these challenging circumstances, we want you to know that you can rely on us to always put your health and safety first. Thank you for trusting in Royal River Casino and the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribal Nation.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

James McDermott, General Manager, Royal River Casino & Hotel

Anthony Reider, Tribal President, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe


Flandreau Santee Sioux


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