Employees to be paid during closure
RIDGEFIELD — ilani Casino will temporarily cease operations at midnight Mon., March 16 and will remain closed through March 31.
The announcement was made by ilani President and General Manager Kara Fox-LaRose Monday evening. The Cowlitz Crossing Fuel and Convenience Store, located on the same property as the casino near exit 16 off of I-5, will remain open.
“Because the health and safety of guests and employees is our top priority, we have been monitoring the progression of COVID-19 and following guidance by both the CDC and local health officials for businesses such as ours,’’ Fox-LaRose said. “However, due to this emergent public health crisis, today I am sorry to share that we have reached the difficult decision to temporarily cease operations at ilani starting at midnight tonight and continuing through March 31st.
“Given the rapid evolution of the situation, this is clearly the most prudent step that we can take to protect our guests, our staff and their families, and as responsible members of a global community,’’ Fox-LaRose said.
The Cowlitz Crossing Fuel and Convenience Store will not only remain open and fully functional, it will also introduce full service at the pumps beginning on Fri., March 20 while also still offering a full-service deli menu available 24/7.
“We will continue to watch for new information and guidance from the CDC, local public health authorities and Governor Jay Inslee’s office and adjust our approach, if necessary,’’ Fox-LaRose said. “ilani is committed to operating in a manner that ensures the well-being of our guests and team members. This will remain our guiding light as we evaluate decisions going forward. We will be in touch regarding any updates regarding our anticipated re-opening on April 1st. In the meantime, please do everything you can to stay healthy and ensure the health of those around you.’’
Fox-LaRose also stated that the casino, operated by the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, would continue to pay salaries and benefits to employees during the closure.“Consistent with our values, we will continue to pay salaries and benefits to all of our team members,’’ Fox-LaRose said. “A limited number of employees and management will remain onsite to secure and maintain the facility.’’