Casino Rama to reopen Thursday after being closed for nearly 16 months due to COVID-19 – Barrie


Casino Rama in Orillia, Ont., will begin to reopen on Thursday after being closed for roughly 16 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The facility will reopen in three phases, the first of which will see the gaming floor reopen to visitors with capacity limits.

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“We’ve determined that we can accommodate 1,000 guests at a time,” Rob Mitchell, the communications and public affairs director at Gateway Casinos Ontario, said.

“The second phase will be the hotel and resort, so that’s the spa and the restaurants attached to the hotel.”

Mitchell said the target date to reopen Rama’s hotel and resort is Aug. 19. The final phase of Rama’s reopening, he added, will include the live concerts and entertainment centre.

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When Casino Rama reopens Thursday, Mitchell said masks will be mandatory and social distancing will be in place.

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“When you’re sitting at a machine, the two machines next to you will be down,” he said. “If that’s not the case, there will be a Plexiglas barrier.”

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Mitchell said the pandemic has had an “enormous impact” on the hospitality industry and that Casino Rama has been hit hard because it’s a hotel with live entertainment.

“We fell into Stage 3 of the province’s reopening protocol, so we’ve been shuttered essentially for 16 months,” Mitchell added.

He said Casino Rama is excited to be welcoming back guests and that employees are excited to be back at work.

“There’s just a real vibe of enthusiasm and excitement, and it’s almost a homecoming,” he said.

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