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Grand Casino temporarily closes 2 locations; Canterbury Park temporarily closes

Fortune Bay Resort Casino also announced closings of several areas on its property.

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Vehicles are scattered across the parking lot Monday, March 16 at Grand Casino Mille Lacs in Onamia, Minn. Forum News Service
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ONAMIA, Minn. — Grand Casino announced that starting at 4 p.m. Monday, March 16, it is temporarily closing Grand Casino Mille Lacs and Grand Casino Hinckley in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19.

In a news release, Grand Casino said that it plans for a 14-day closure, but will assess conditions before a firm re-open date is announced. It also said that there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at either casino.

"We developed a cross-functional COVID-19 preparedness team that meets regularly," Joe Nayquonabe, CEO of Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures said in the news release. Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures is the parent company that owns Grand Casinos.

"Since Governor (Tim) Walz's announcement, we have reflected on the leadership that businesses like ours must demonstrate during a time like this and decided to temporarily close our casino operations in order to keep that protection in place."

The casinos will provide lunch to students in need who attend public schools in Onamia, Isle, Hinckley-Finlayson, McGregor and Nay Ah Shing lower and upper schools.

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During the temporary closure, the casinos will continue to pay both salaried and hourly positions.

Canterbury Park in Shakopee also announced that it was temporarily closing all of its operations beginning at noon Monday, March 16. On its website, Canterbury Park said that it is "paying all team members two weeks wages while state and federal officials finalize assistance packages, and will work to support those with particular challenges through our Employee Emergency Fund."

Fortune Bay Resort Casino in Tower announced on Monday that it is temporarily closing its pool, sauna, fitness center, arcade and its North Star Lounge/Live Entertainment. All of those are closed until further notice.

Other casinos in Minnesota have posted statements on the virus and how they are taking precautions to stop the spread of disease and said they are taking guidance on COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control.

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Related Topics: TOURISM
Mick Hatten is a reporter and editor for Forum News Service and helps manage TheRinkLive.com, a website dedicated to hockey. He began working for Forum Communications in November 2018 and has covered St. Cloud State University hockey since 2010. A graduate of St. Cloud State, he has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist and has been a youth hockey coach since 2014. mhatten@forumcomm.com
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