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Wind River Hotel & Casino announces new reopening date
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Wind River Hotel & Casino announces new reopening date


A man plays slots at the Wind River Hotel and Casino in Riverton in 2014. The casino has planned its delayed reopening for this week.

The Wind River Hotel & Casino has announced plans to reopen Friday after closing in March because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The casino had announced plans to reopen July 22 but delayed that opening because of “extenuating circumstances.”

“The safety of our customers and employees remains our number one concern,” CEO Brian VanEnkenvoort said then.

The “grand reopening” will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, the casino announced in a Facebook post Tuesday with the message “Let’s try this again...”

Face masks will be mandatory.

In a later post, the casino said the hotel and Red Willow restaurant would also be reopening Friday.

The casino previously announced numerous safety measures for its return:

  • Everyone entering the building was to first have their temperatures checked;
  • Six feet of distance between pe
  • ople was required, and touching — including handshakes — was to be avoided.
  • People were asked to wash their hands frequently, use hand sanitizer stations, avoid touching their faces, properly cover coughs and avoid frequent cellphone use if they weren’t regularly disinfecting them.

The new announcement does not specify whether these same requirements will be in place Friday.

The casino is a major economic driver for its owner, the Northern Arapaho Tribe. The casino is considered Fremont County’s largest employer.

The Wind River Hotel & Casino, Little Wind Casino, and 789 Casino and Smokeshop initially closed March 16, less than a week after the first coronavirus case was confirmed in Wyoming.

Fremont County still has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other Wyoming county (429), though it has also done far more testing. Twelve of the state’s 28 coronavirus patients who have died were Northern Arapaho tribal members.

Just under 17% of the state’s confirmed coronavirus patients are American Indian, according to Wyoming Department of Health data, but just 2.7% of Wyomingites identify as American Indian/Alaska Native, per 2019 census estimates.

Follow managing editor Brandon Foster on Twitter @BFoster91

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Managing Editor

Brandon Foster is the Star-Tribune's managing editor. He joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 as the University of Wyoming sports reporter after graduating from the University of Missouri and covering Mizzou athletics for two years.

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