TWENTY NINE PALMS – In response to the continuing public health concerns regarding the potential spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians has extended the temporary closure of the Spotlight 29 and the Tortoise Rock Casinos.
The Tribe will continue to monitor the ongoing public health crisis to evaluate the potential reopening date.
“The health and safety of our guests and employees is of primary importance to us,” said Tribal Chairman Darrell Mike. “We are observing the California-wide shelter in place mandate and until we receive notice that the current operating guidelines have been lifted, all non-essential operations and enterprises will remain closed. We will continue to ensure our properties are ready to reopen once an appropriate and safe date has been set.“
Employees that are no longer working will receive another two-week equivalent paycheck drawn from their accrued vacation time. The Tribe is also fronting any amount less than 2-weeks equivalent so all will receive a full 80-hours pay. In addition, each employee will receive a $100 gift card to help with household needs including food and supplies. The company health plan is prepaid through the end of April and will be continually revaluated and revised as the closure continues. The company will also pay for up to two Teledoc co-pays for those who need medical consultation over the phone.
In addition, employees with children at home will receive a special at-home activity pack consisting of educational and entertainment items like crayons, coloring books, cards/card games, word puzzles or word finds, and other fun activities.
The company’s Human Resources department has been made available Monday through Saturday to all employees seeking information about benefits and initiatives. An employee website has been created where employees can view pertinent information about company news, COVID-19 updates, resources on financial assistance options, and other crucial information.
Out of the over 700 employees at both casinos, approximately 160 are continuing to work essential positions like Public Safety, Facilities, Housekeeping, Human Resources, Marketing, and Executives. During this closure, the company is addressing important issues including a 100% deep cleaning of the properties, securing assets and construction projects. Those still working still receive a regular paycheck in line with company payroll standards.
“We realize these are trying times for all of us, and we continue to remain committed to doing our part to contain this outbreak,” continued Chairman Mike. ”We are extremely thankful for the many Team Members that have continued working on the deep sanitization of all our facilities and securing the operations until our reopening. For those employees now at home, we are happy to supply the gift cards and activity packs to help ease this situation. Together we will remain #29Strong.”
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