Wild Horse Pass and other Gila River Hotels & Casinos properties are extending their closure through April 30. The closure initially was to end April 1.

Besides Wild Horse Pass, it affects Lone Butte and Vee Quiva casinos. Employees will continue to be paid and receive benefits during that time.

“As a gaming and hospitality leader in Arizona, we look forward to reopening our doors and providing the ultimate entertainment experience four our guests in the Valley,” said Kenneth Manuel, CEO for Gila River Hotels & Casinos. “However, our priority is the health and wellbeing of the community, and we are doing our part to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus at this time.”

Like Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, the organization has had to postpone or cancel events and concerts. Because the casinos are owned by sovereign nations and not subject to local government, the closures are voluntary.

Harrah’s Ak-Chin announced Tuesday it was extending its closure but has not set a reopening date. While many Harrah’s properties put employees on furlough, the Ak-Chin Community provided payroll and benefits for two weeks and then renewed that for an additional two weeks.

The Community Council also voted to extend the pay of employees of UltraStar Multi-tainment Center  another two weeks.

“It is hard to express UltraStar’s profound thanks and appreciation to the Ak-Chin Indian Community and Council for their decision of another two-week extension of payroll and benefits to the UltraStar team,” General Manager Adam Saks said. “In today’s environment, the burden of leadership is extremely heavy. The Ak-Chin Indian Community has shown a willingness to put the health and wellbeing of their personnel above the immediate financial consideration. It is that type of heart that makes this Community so special and an honor to be a part of.”

It is unclear how long Ak-Chin and Gila River will continue to pay salaries if they are not able to reopen their properties in May.


Leave a Reply