Empire City Casino in Yonkers said its reopening to the public is planned for September 21. This followed Governor Cuomo’s announcement that casinos and video lottery terminal facilities would be allowed to reopen starting September 9 with a 25 percent occupancy limit and other safety measures.
“This has been an unimaginably difficult and challenging time, and as we reopen our doors and welcome back team members and guests, we owe our gratitude to all health care and essential workers and those providing resources to the community,” said Bill Hornbuckle, president and CEO of MGM Resorts.
“It’s been several months since we were forced to close, so it is with strong emotion that we welcome our team members back to work. Health and safety remain our first priority, and our commitment to New York has never been stronger.”
Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester, said the announcement was welcome news.
“Empire City’s reopening is another sign that we are returning to normal. As one of our largest employers in Westchester and the largest employer in Yonkers, MGM Resorts contributes millions of dollars to the local economy. Its return will be a shot in the arm for Yonkers and Westchester.’’
Empire City has put into place a number of safety measures as required by the Governor’s order including enhanced air filtration systems, mandatory masks and 6-foot distance between machines.
Empire City said it will be observing the 25 percent capacity limit of the first-floor public spaces, inclusive of employees and guests. It said that while the gaming floor of slots and electronic table games will be open, numerous machines have been disabled and chairs have been removed to promote social distancing. It said its Pub, Empire City Chophouse, and The Big Kitchen international food court will be open for dining, with no food or beverages on the gaming floor. Bars on the property will remain closed. It says that only the Yonkers Avenue entrance to its property will be used. The Central Avenue general parking entrance and Clark Street valet entrance will remain closed. Free self-parking will be available for guest, but valet parking and shuttle service will not be operational for the time being.
Empire City also says it will be following safety protocols devised by its parent, MGM Resorts. These include such items as screening and temperature checks for employees and guests, handwashing stations on the casino floor and use of electrostatic sprayers to disinfect public areas.