Harrah’s plans to reopen its casinos beginning May 18


Harrah’s has announced it will begin a gradual reopening of its local casinos in Cherokee and Murphy beginning Monday, May 18.

Both Harrah’s Cherokee and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino closed their doors on March 18 amid statewide stay at home orders and rising concerns over the spread of coronavirus.

With North Carolina starting to ease restrictions, Harrah’s has announced it too will begin with its first phase of reopening. In a press release, the company said that extensive health and safety precautions will be in place.

During the first phase of reopening, areas like the gaming floor, hotel and some restaurants will reopen with limits on occupancy. Other areas where social distancing isn’t possible like the space, valet, poker, buffet and concerts will remain closed during the initial reopening.

At first, access to the casinos will be by invitation only with small groups of customers receiving invitations as early as May 13. Members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will also be able to access the casinos as soon as they reopen.

Casino employees were furloughed during the closure in March, remaining on payroll through mid-April. Before beginning work, each employee will complete a screening and temperature check and will be required to wear a facemask, according to the company.

Reflecting on the closure, Brooks Robinson, Senior Vice President and General Manager said "This is uncharted territory for the casino industry, but what is clear is that when we return to work it will not be exactly as it was prior to closing. We look forward to welcoming back our guests and team members, also understanding that social distancing is going to be a part of our business and lives for a while."