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Route 66 Casino Hotel ready to reopen

Route 66 Casino Hotel reopens on Saturday, June 27.
(Courtesy of Route 66 Casino Hotel)


The Pueblo of Laguna is set to open some of its properties including its largest casino.

Route 66 Casino Hotel and Route 66 RV Resort open to the public on Saturday, June 27. The properties are located off Interstate 40, exit 140, west of Albuquerque. Dancing Eagle Casino will remain temporarily closed. The properties have been temporarily closed since March 18 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Laguna Development Corporation news release.

A three-day invitation only opening at Route 66 Casino Hotel will take place prior to opening to the general public. Route 66 Casino Hotel guests will be able to dine, play and stay at a limited capacity. Stadium 66 Sports Bar and Grill, Johnny Rockets, the 66 Snack Bar and Thunder Road Steakhouse and Cantina will be open. Buffet 66, Legends Theater, banquet/conference meeting rooms, Kids Quest/Cyber Quest and swimming pool areas will remain temporarily closed.

The 154-room hotel will re-open at 50% capacity with additional cleaning and sanitation in place. Each hotel guest will receive a complimentary personal protective equipment package. The 100-space Route 66 RV Resort will also reopen at 50% capacity.

All patrons will be temperature screened upon entry. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4F or higher will not be admitted. All guests and employees will be required to wear masks while on property.

Openings are a result of 12 weeks of planning.

“Under direction of the Pueblo of Laguna and the COVID-19 guidelines by the State of New Mexico, we are excited to announce the re-opening of one of New Mexico’s most popular gaming destinations,” said Maxine Velasquez, Laguna Development Corporation (LDC) president and chief executive officer, in the news release. “Operations will be limited as we carefully consider all aspects of welcoming our guests back under strict health and safety protocols.”

A series of recommendations from federal and state regulatory agencies as well as from New Mexico and Laguna pueblo officials have been implemented.

“Extensive employee training and a re-configuration of our casinos and restaurants have prepared us to welcome customers back to enjoy the quality, service and value they’ve come to expect from us for more than twenty years,” Velasquez states in the news release.

The reopenings allow more than 500 of the 746 employees placed on temporary furlough in April to return to work.

“We have worked with the LDC team to ensure they have taken every precaution and instituted all available mitigation measures to protect our guests, employees and tribal community as we get back to business,” said Pueblo of Laguna Governor Wilfred Herrera in the news release. “LDC is a critical part of the revenue that goes to ensure the health and welfare of our tribal members, its programs and services.”

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