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Hard Rock Sacramento reopens for gaming, dining | Update

As part of the Safe and Sound Program, all guests and employees will be required to wear facemasks and will have their temperatures taken upon entering the casino.

WHEATLAND, Calif. — Game on! Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain is reopening for gambling and dining on Thursday.

Hard Rock Fire Mountain is following suit with casinos in Redding and San Diego that have already opened, despite California being in phase two of its four-step plan to lift its stay at home order.

“Few things are more rock ‘n roll than a long-awaited band reunion, and we’ve missed our loyal guests these past few months,” said casino president Mark Birtha.

RELATED: Some California casinos roll the dice on reopening while others wait

In a press release about the reopening, Birtha said the casino will kick off its “You Sang, We Listened” program that aims to implement enhanced operations based on guest feedback as well as “Hard Rock International’s proprietary Safe and Sound program.”

“[The program] ensures our hygiene and sanitation practices meet and exceed the recommendations of the CDC and other health officials from Yuba-Sutter counties and the state of California,” Birtha said.

As part of the Safe and Sound Program, all guests and employees will be required to wear facemasks and will have their temperatures taken upon entering the casino. Hand sanitizer stations will be placed all around the casino and “enhanced” cleaning and sanitation protocols will be implemented. Occupancy within the casino will also be reduced, although officials did not say by how much. Tap here to read more about what safety protocols are being implemented.

“Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our guests and team members. We take seriously our responsibility to do this right,” Birtha said.

Casinos are not scheduled to reopen until stage three of California’s plan, but the Sacramento Bee reports that tribal nations are sovereign and legal experts contend they can open without the state’s permission.

Tribal leaders argue the casinos are on sovereign land so the state can't enforce any restrictions.

Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom appealed to a group of Native American Tribes.
In a letter, he reminded them that more than 75,000 Californians have tested positive for coronavirus in 54 of the state's 58 counties. 

"I urge tribal governments to reconsider and instead make those determinations based on how they align with the current local public health conditions and the statewide stage of reopening," Newsom said in the letter. Adding that the virus, "does not recognize jurisdictional boundaries, and it is in the best interest of public health to move toward reopening in concert."

However, Hard Rock officials say hygiene and sanitation practices exceed CDC requirements.

“We know we have a program in place, it's been vetted and approved. We believe we are ready to go and so it's best for our 1,300 team members, many of them live right here in Yuba County,” Birtha said. “It's important for us to get our doors back open and support our economy and take care of our guests.”

The Hard Rock opened its doors at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

“We worked very closely with the Yuba Public Health Department and submitted our plans to the governor’s office, they do allow for the attestation policy,” Birtha said.

Cache Creek Casino Resort announced it hopes to open in June, however, officials with the tribal casino say no date for re-opening is set. The casino is currently finalizing health safety plans for when gamers do come back.

“Our priority is to open the business with every reasonable precaution,” Cache Creek General Manager Kari Stout-Smith said in a video message posted to Facebook on May 14.

Read more about California's Roadmap for Reopening on ABC10

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