Plexiglass installed at the hotel guest check in area.
By LORI ANN EDMO
FORT HALL — The Shoshone-Bannock Casino Hotel is reopening May 19 with the gaming floor opening at 7 a.m. and close at midnight daily for thorough sanitizing.
Shoshone-Bannock tribal members and invited guests are welcomed on May 18 at 7 a.m. Tribal identification is required and invited guests have been notified according to a press release.
“We are monitoring the current situation and our concern is for the safety of our team members and guests,” Colista Eagle, interim chief executive officer said. “We believe we have done our due diligence, created processes and implemented protocols that will provide a safe space for entertainment.”
Eagle said they had to have an approved safety plan in place prior to reopening because of the COVID-19 virus pandemic. The safety plan had to coordinate with the National Indian Gaming Commission checklist that had to be sent to them Eagle said and the casino staff had to gain approval from the Fort Hall Business Council and Gaming Commission.
Eagle said the casino security and the safety coordinator worked on a plan to keep everybody safe. Casino and hotel employees had to train on personal protective equipment (PPE) and blood borne pathogens that is an annual requirement. Once the casino hotel is reopened, employees will have to wear masks on the floor and gloves when appropriate.
Other safety measures include installing plexiglass at the hotel check in desk, Player’s Club, Sweet Grass Coffee Bean, Camas Grill and Deka Gahni Deli.
Deka Ghani Deli plexiglass.
Guests must stop at all required security checkpoints upon arrival. Face masks are required for all guests to enter the property. No smoking on the gaming floor but they will have a designated area inside the High Stakes Bingo Hall.
• Temperature checks will be required for all guests at entrance checkpoints.
• Guests should be prepared to wait to enter the building upon arrival if the Gaming Floor is at capacity.
• All players must always be playing with a Players Club card, until further notice.
• Physical distancing will be required throughout the property. Floor stickers will be placed on the floor and at all locations where lines will form.
• If a guest is not feeling well, they are asked to visit at another time.
• Camas Sports Grill is available for to go orders only, until further notice.
• Consuming food on the Gaming Floor is prohibited, until further notice.
• Stampede Lounge occupancy will be limited to 50% or below.
• Hotel room occupancy will be limited to 50% or below. They will open on May 18 and reservations are now being accepted.
• Cedar Spa will be open on May 18 and are now accepting reservations for services. Not all services will be available, and guests are encouraged to inquire directly.
• Buffalo Meadows RV Park is tentatively scheduled to open on May 30.
• Sage Hill Casino, Bannock Peak Casino and High Stakes Bingo will remain closed until further notice.
• Team members are required to maintain strict handwashing schedules.
• Team members are not allowed to be on property if they are ill.
Environmental Services team members will be utilizing sprayers (and eventually electrostatic sprayers) to apply hospital-grade disinfectant on high-touch surfaces during the off- peak hours. The technology, which uses the highest classification of disinfectants recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, will treat known pathogens. Training will take place to ensure the hygiene and sanitation practices of SBCH meet or exceed regulatory requirements and the recommendations of the CDC.
Currently no one is allowed inside of the facility except employees. However, maintenance staff have been working on the grounds. Vandalism occurred at the Buffalo Meadows RV Park during the closure so they’ve closed it off and put in a gate. They also replaced waterlines in the RV Park because of longer RVs running over them. She said they took out the last island – the plan was to pave over it but because of reductions in revenue they’re bringing in gravel.
Eagle said the annual Memorial Handgame Tourney was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
By ROSELYNN YAZZIE
FORT HALL — The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Program received $25,000 to combat food insecurity in the Shoshone-Bannock community, which includes neighboring communities of Blackfoot, Pocatello and American Falls.
The money comes from the COVID-19 Fund for Idaho, which distributed more than $1 million in four weeks for organizations throughout Idaho that are helping low-income individuals and families experiencing homelessness or housing instability, food insecurity and/or domestic violence along with those in need of physical or mental healthcare, and childcare.
The program was sent an invitation to apply since they received previous grants from them before.
Shalynn Kellogg, Tribal Housing Opportunities Program Manager, explained they were starting to see a lot of people coming in for small loans of $300 to $500 for food because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We just didn’t feel right as a CDFI for giving loans for food,” she said.
They applied for a grant for $5,500 but the Idaho Community Foundation called them back to see if they could utilize more money and the said yes, awarding them $25,000.
They will base divvying up the funds based on household size, for example one or two people may get $150 to $200, four people or below will receive up to $300, and so on, up to $500.
The first priorities will be for those most at risk for COVID-19, so elders, those who have lost income because of COVID-19, diabetics or those with a compromised immune system. The first three days will only be set for taking applications from at-risk applicants and all others can apply after that.
There are no age restrictions, the only requirement in the grant will be to sit down and do a budget session. Approval will not take too long and the grant funds will be given through a food voucher to Tribal Enterprises or Winco Foods.
The CDFI COVID applications will be available next week. Applications can be requested by email to Shalynn at email@example.com or they can call her at 478-3936 to set up an appointment to come in, because of social distancing precautions.