Grand Traverse Casinos Stay Open, Announce New Safety Measures

Grand Traverse Casinos Stay Open, Announce New Safety Measures
By Bryce Derouin

Grand Traverse Resorts announced its Turtle Creek and Leelanau Sands casinos will remain open with new safety measures at both facilities.

In consideration of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recent state order, both casinos have made the following changes:

  • Hours of operation will be reduced to 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m.-2 a.m. for Friday and Saturday.
  • All bars and restaurants will be temporarily closed and food and beverages will not be allowed on the gaming floor.
  • Table games at both casinos will only be available Thursday through Sunday with a continued maximum of three players per table.
  • Sports betting will still be available at both casinos.

“The COVID-19 safeguards that we have established and enforced throughout this year have proven to be effective in protecting our employees and guests,” Michael Schrader, CEO of Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos, said in a news release. “With these new temporary safety measures in place, we feel very confident in our decision to remain open at this time.

“Our COVID-19 Health and Safety Response Team has done an outstanding job of continually monitoring the health and safety at both of our casinos and they will continue to provide ongoing review and enforcement of our sanitization and safety measures. Our employees and guests can feel confident that we are doing everything possible, day-in and day-out, to stay safe and to stay open.”

New Measures From 1st Shutdown

Turtle Creek and Leelanau Sands Casinos voluntarily closed during the first statewide shutdown in March 2020. The facilities enforced new safety measures that went into effect when both casinos reopened on May 29. They included:

  • Mandatory temperature screenings.
  • Properly worn and approved mask requirement. Gaiters, bandanas or masks with valves are not permitted.
  • Capacity limitations and social distancing of all gaming machines and tables.
  • Nightly closure and deep cleaning.
  • Installation of plexi-shields in close contact areas.
  • Hand-sanitizing stations.
  • Indoor smoking restrictions.
  • Temporary closure of valet services, buffet dining and self-serve beverage areas.

Tribal Casinos Stay Open At Own Discretion

Unlike Detroit’s three commercial casinos, tribal casinos are not required to adhere to the MDHHS’ state-ordered shutdown. Tribal casinos can individually decide whether to remain open or to close.

Only six tribal casinos have decided to close, all in the Upper Peninsula. Bay Mills Resort and Casino in Brimley and all five of Kewadin Casinos’ facilities will shut down. Kewadin has casinos in Sault Ste. Marie, Christmas, Hessel, St. Ignace and Manistique.

Bay Mills plans to reopen on Dec. 8, while Kewadin will return to operations on Dec. 9.



With a decade in the media and gambling space in Michigan, I aim to bring you the latest news and developments in Michigan online casino and sports betting.

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