Cherokee Nation has remained steadfast in its efforts to prioritize the health and safety of its tribal citizens, team members and guests above all else. We’re working with our partners at the state and federal levels to help the communities within our reservation and build back the local economy.
We have strived to find a balance between addressing public health concerns while still providing recreation and economic stability for our tribe and people.
We practice all of the same protocols for COVID-19 health and safety as we did before. It's been challenging, but we've enjoyed good revenue so far this year.
We streamlined and fine-tuned many services such as A and B shifts, as well as drive-thru membership meetings, which allowed the membership to still conduct business while keeping everyone safe and allowing the tribe to move forward.
Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 and its aftermath, our tribe and casino continue to be successful in addressing the needs and desires of our customer base on a day-to-day basis. As a result, we have been able to navigate the first four months of 2021 successfully.
Our Council declared a state of emergency back in March and had zero COVID-19 positive cases on our reservation until May 27, largely because of strict mitigation measures. Since then, we have seen two surges and a recent softening in numbers.
Initially, we closed down our casino for two and a half months, and after we reopened, we moved forward with tough restrictions. Prior to COVID-19, our legal occupancy was just under 800, and since we’ve reopened, we are only allowing 425 people in the casino at a time.
COVID-19 has impacted us financially, socially, physically, and emotionally. We have had the challenge of paying bills and taking care of our tribal members as well as employees, when no revenue was coming in due to business closures.
COVID-19 has had a reverberating effect on our tribe and community as a whole. The pandemic has changed the predictability of the workforce, supplies and resources. Operating hours and standard operating procedures have changed to keep our team members and community safe.
During this public health crisis, we worked tirelessly to communicate with both the tribal members and Rolling Hills Casino and Resort employees. Luckily, our planning processes considered such a disruption to our organizations, so we had virtual communications platforms already deployed allowing for operational continuity.