In response to evolving news of the COVID-19 virus, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation President Bernadine Burnette said the Tribal Council has decided to reopen the Fort McDowell Casino and the government offices for the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation on May 15. The reopening of the We-Ko-Pa Resort and Conference Center has not been determined at this time as tribal leadership awaits federal, state, and CDC guidelines and instructions.
“These unprecedented times call for action by everyone in our community,” reads a press release from Fort McDowell concerning the upcoming reopening of the casino and government offices. “The decision to temporarily suspend operations was done with the health and safety of our guests, team members and all Yavapai Nation tribal members.”
According to President Burnette, closing the casino was a decision the Nation took very seriously.
“This was a painful decision, as our casino is the economic lifeblood of our Nation,” Burnette said. “We are reliant on gaming revenue to support our tribal government and provide services to tribal members. The global coronavirus crisis threatens the physical health and economic welfare of all Americans. Addressing this crisis requires significant sacrifices from all of us. The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation will do its part to defeat this threat.”
According to the announcement, Fort McDowell has been actively following the guidelines and best practices set forth from the CDC, WHO and the Arizona Department of Health Services.
“While there have been no reported cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) at any of our properties as of today, this was a decision to protect our team members and our guests,” reads the April 28 statement.