On June 15, the 200-room hotel at the Soboba Casino Resort reopened at 50% capacity with some adjustments to its prior practices. Staff is developing a timeline to gradually increase the occupancy levels as things change in the guidance procedures they are closely following. A full reopening of the resort is highly anticipated in the not-too-distant future.
The casino has seen a steady stream of guests since it reopened on May 27. Visitors seem happy to have a place to go to enjoy good fun and get a chance to go home with more money than they had when they arrived. Staff at the restaurants and Cabaret Bar have also welcomed back many familiar faces and some new ones as well.
“We started getting many requests from our guests to reopen our hotel to make their time at the resort even more enjoyable,” Hotel Director Grant Hirata said. “Some guests playing golf at our Soboba Springs Golf Course were especially interested in knowing when they could stay over to accommodate an early morning tee time.”
The golf course was given the go-ahead to reopen on April 25 and has experienced sold-out tee times every day since then. Michelle Woodfin, who has been the front office manager since the hotel was built, said there have been some necessary changes to the hotel experience but expects guests will still enjoy the lush accommodations and great customer service that is offered.
With a strong customer base coming from Orange and Los Angeles counties, some casino guests enjoy being able to avoid the drive home after a long day of play. SCR is popular among this group because it means not having to go all the way to the desert for fun. The added safety standards in effect at the hotel continue to offer them a little bit of luxury, closer to home.
“We have temporarily discontinued services that require our staff to enter a guest’s room after the guest has checked in; these include stayover/turndown services from housekeeping,” Woodfin said. “Maintenance will only do room repairs after guests have departed and in-room dining, and Bell Attendants will not be entering the rooms to make deliveries.”
Additional precautions being taken include the removal of certain amenities from the room and making them available upon request only, keeping rooms vacant for 24 hours after departure before disinfecting the rooms, and rooms being sealed after they have been disinfected to reassure the guest that no one has entered the room since the disinfection was completed.
“The arrival and departure process may take a little extra time than our guests are used to because our Bell Attendants are disinfecting luggage prior to handling,” Woodfin said. “Previously, a Bell Attendant would escort our guests to their room. Now they will deliver the luggage once the guest calls for it from their room.”
Front Desk Attendants are disinfecting the counters and credit card readers between each guest. They also disinfect all returned keys. All guests are having their temperature checked upon arrival, as is the case at the casino entrances. Anyone who exhibits a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher can cool off and try again but if their temperature does not fall within the allowed variance at that time, they will be asked to leave.
“We are currently working on a plan for reopening the pool; it is not open at this time,” Woodfin said.
In the weeks leading up to the hotel’s reopening, much was done to deep clean all the rooms and common areas of the resort. During the closure all rooms were treated with an electrostatic treatment, thoroughly sanitizing all rooms and public areas of the resort. All rooms had their amenities removed and either translated into a digital version or sanitized and individually bagged. Once sanitized, all rooms were sealed with a tamper evident seal showing the room has been sanitized and the date of sanitization.
The hotel employed approximately 250 workers prior to the shutdown and Woodfin said all employees have been contacted to return to their previous positions.
“We are looking to hire more team members as the COVID-19 changes we have made provide new opportunities for additional roles to be filled,” Woodfin said. “We are still hospitality focused, just with extra precautions to ensure the safety of our guests and our team.”
For more information or to make reservations to “Stay and Play,” please visit, www.soboba.com or call 951-665-1000 or 866-476-2622. The Soboba Casino Resort is at 22777 Soboba Road in San Jacinto.
Photos Courtesy of the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians