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Chumash Casino Resort set to furlough majority of workforce; remains closed through April

Chumash Casino Resort set to furlough majority of workforce; remains closed through April

  • Updated
Chumash Casino Resort

Off-track wagering will be allowed at the Chumash Casino Resort if the U.S. Department of the Interior ratifies an amendment to the state's gaming compact with the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, although the tribal chairman says there are no immediate plans to add that to the casino's gaming mix.

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians has extended the closure of its properties — Chumash Casino Resort, Hotel Corque, Root 246, Hadsten House, and Kitá tasting room — an additional 30 days and will furlough the majority of its workforce in the coming weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The initial closure began March 15 and was set to extend through the end of this month. Now, the properties will remain closed through April. 

“We believe that closing our operations when we did was the right thing to do for the safety and well-being of our team members, guests and the greater community,” said Kenneth Kahn, tribal chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. “Extending the closure falls in line with the serious measures our local, state and federal agencies have taken to help protect the population and not overwhelm the heroes working in clinics and hospitals throughout the nation.”

Acknowledging that the pandemic has taken a toll on hospitality, tourism, retail and gaming industries across the nation, Kahn said that during the initial shutdown, employees continued to receive compensation.

Now, tribe officials will furlough the majority of its workforce while maintaining health benefits for those employees. 

"At this moment, our tribe has faith that the extreme steps our country is taking to fight COVID-19 will save lives, help us get back to normalcy and give our enterprise an opportunity to grow and flourish once again,” he said.

Tribe members will continue to assess a time frame for reopening as new information becomes available. 

Lisa André covers Valley Life for Santa Ynez Valley News. 

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The Chumash Casino Resort officially reopened at noon Wednesday. Kenneth Kahn, tribal chairman for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, said the resort has tapped into its resources to purchase high-tech equipment and materials to modify the way they do business because of the pandemic.

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