Deadwood set to open following South Dakotas “Back to Normal” plan

DEADWOOD, S.D. — In the wake of Governor Noem’s “Back to Normal” plan, the city of Deadwood voted in favor of opening the town again.

The town has been in a frenzy, deep cleaning in preparation for opening 8 a.m. Thursday May 7, 2020. While all businesses will not be opening, those that are, intend to follow CDC guidelines to keep employees and customers safe. Deadwood Mayor Dave Ruth Jr assembled a task force consisting of local health and business leaders to plan what an opening would entail.

“We looked at the CDC recommendations and the guidelines. Some areas in the gaming industry where we can heighten those restrictions, not really restrictions, but guidelines if you will, so they can be safer, because there are instances where close quarter contact happens in gaming, so we wanted to make sure that as the customer, the visitor comes, they see what they expect, with some changes.”

Deadwood regularly draws a crowd, and expects for the turnout for the opening to be large. Mayor Ruth says even during the shutdown it was not rare to see out of county and state license plates. As for local businesses, they are excited to get back to work providing entertainment for their visitors. Manager of the Franklin Hotel, John Rystrom said, 

“Since the time that Deadwood closed, we had a crew here daily cleaning. We kept some of the employees remained on. And we have been doing nothing but cleaning, deep cleaning everything, sanitizing everything, and the last week or so, we’ve been building procedures to make sure that everybody is safe.”

The Silverado Franklin Hotel and Casino is ensuring employees wear masks and social distance. The establishment will be issuing several masks to employees and will make changes to table arrangements in both the casino and restaurant. Tables will only allow up to 6 people from one household, as well as be placed 6 ft apart, and buffets will operate cafeteria style. Collectively, establishments and businesses will be working to enforce sanitary standards.

“You’ll see heightened cleanliness in all the casinos because quite honestly, all the operators in town want to make sure that it is safe, it is friendly, and that we don’t see a gigantic spike so that we have to consider closing again. We need this to be sustainable so that people know that they can come to Deadwood, be safe, and get the entertainment that they expect to receive,” says Ruth Jr.

While this is one step closer to things returning to normal, it can’t be stressed enough to stay at home if you feel sick or are uncomfortable.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News