James Gessner, Chairman, The Mohegan Tribe

James Gessner, Chairman
The Mohegan Tribe
Mohegan Sun, in Uncasville, CT; Mohegan
Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, PA; and additional Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment properties

The global pandemic caused by COVID-19 has touched each and every person across the globe as individuals, businesses, communities and tribes. The Mohegan Nation is not exempt from that. While we have been extremely blessed that we have not lost any tribal citizens to the disease to date, the hardships that each of our citizens are facing are strong and real.

Our source of revenue that provides critical services to our membership was cut off with the temporary closure of all of our gaming businesses including seven resort destinations in North America, and the closure of 70-percent of our non-gaming businesses. Since late May, we have begun slowly reopening our various properties, but even to date, some of our gaming and non-gaming properties remain closed.

Throughout this time, our Tribal Council remained focused on ensuring our tribal government remained open. While our Community & Government Center closed to visitors and the majority of our team members worked remotely and continue to do so, never was there a break in services provided to our tribal citizens. We remained focused on regular communication to our citizens making certain they knew we were in this together and here for them regardless of if it was in person or remote.

In addition to the economic impact, COVID-19 has impacted some of our annual tribal celebrations including the cancellation of all in-person events for our tribal family and our Wigwam Festival, which we look forward to each year.

However, throughout this, we remain focused on how truly blessed we are. Five of our seven resort destinations in North America have reopened under extremely strict health and safety guidelines developed by our leadership team in partnership with our Chief Medical Director and Tribal Health Department that meet and in many cases exceed state and federal guidelines. While our properties temporarily closed, the work did not stop. Our team worked tirelessly to develop and implement first-in-class standards and safety measures consistent with or exceeding guidelines by state and federal officials. We will continue to monitor and make changes as necessary to our procedures based off their guidance to ensure the highest level of safety for our guests and team members.

Similar stringent safety precautions have been implemented at all buildings on the Mohegan Reservation such as our Community Center and Fort Hill retirement living center to ensure the safety of every resident and visitor of the Mohegan Reservation.

I will end by saying that while we have always known it, this crisis has proven to us once again that we have the best team in the business. When faced with challenges, they step up each and every time. On every level – from the front line to senior executives of the tribe, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment and all of its properties, we offer our heartfelt appreciation for all of their efforts in continuing to protect our sovereignty, keep our tribal government running and to ensure the safety of every visitor to the Mohegan Reservation.