CRIPPLE CREEK — After months of being temporarily shut down due to COVID-19, casinos in Cripple Creek will soon be able to welcome back gambling fans. On June 8, Teller County's variance request was approved by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. Along with a go ahead from the Division of Gaming, casinos say they are allowed to officially reopen on June 15 at 10 a.m.
Leslie Harris, director of marketing for Double Eagle Hotel & Casino, said,"We've been dead for so long. We haven't seen anyone."
The last few months have been rough for the small gaming town.
Matt Andrighetti, general manager of Wildwood Casino, said, "The revenue loss has been a big impact to the community. We have...around 1,500 employees in Cripple Creek that haven't been working for the past 2 1/2 months."
But thanks to the latest approvals from CDPHE and the Division of Gaming casinos say they can now bring back all of their employees and even hire additional people.
Harris said, "We're super, super excited. We've been waiting for this news for a long time."
Andrighetti said, "This is big for Cripple Creek."
The approval of the variance request means employees will have to wear a mask at all times. Customers will wear a mask upon entering a casino and they'll do a health screening. As far as other regulations Andrighetti said, "We can open up with slot machines only."
Harris said, "The major one is 175 people max on the casino floor."
It's to ensure that people maintain that six feet social distancing rule.
Harris said, "Elevators will be limited on the passengers that can go up and down the elevator at one time."
Also, if a certain amount of people in Teller County get sick with COVID-19 in a two-week period, casinos will have to implement a mitigation plan.
Andrighetti said, "We'll make sure that we open and we reopen responsibly."
Harris said, "We're planning for you, for your return. We want you to come back. We want you to feel safe."