The Deadwood City Commission voted on Monday to permit the reopening of casinos and other businesses in the city. The order goes into effect at 8am on Thursday, May 7.
This decision makes Deadwood the first US commercial gaming market to reopen after the entire sector was ordered closed by state and local officials across the country in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Deadwood businesses must comply with guidelines published by the city that cover sanitation and social distancing.
The commission voted on March 26 to temporarily close the city’s casinos, bars and other nonessential businesses by 5pm. Several casinos, including Saloon No. 10, Bullock Hotel, Deadwood Gulch, The Lodge, Silverado-Franklin and Deadwood Mountain Grand, had already shuttered voluntarily when the order was created. Many others open until the end offered limited services.
Slots and table games permitted
The original proposal only permitted slots in the first phase. The Deadwood City Commission voted to allow its casinos to deal table games. Social distancing requirements, as suggested by health and gaming industry experts, must be followed. No specific number is given for the number of players at a table game.
Deadwood casinos announce reopening plans
Silverado-Franklin announced that it will open on Thursday. Its live table games will permit two players during the first phase. Silverado will not open its poker room at this time. It is unknown if any of the other three Deadwood poker rooms will open when casinos may.
Hickok’s, located next to Silverado, also stated it will open on May 7. Hickok’s is slots-only. This includes video blackjack and Three Card Poker towards the rear of the casino.
No other Deadwood casinos made a reopening announcement at press time. Deadwood Gulch announced on April 15 that it would not reopen again until at least May 16.
Other Deadwood casinos with reopening dates announced, according to Deadwood.com:
- Cadillac Jack’s
- Deadwood Mountain Grand
- Deadwood Station
- Gold Dust
- The Lodge
- Tin Lizzie
The Buffalo Bodega will open on March 8. Gold Country will welcome guests starting on May 13, while the Bullock Hotel will do so on May 15.
Live poker will be spread at grand reopening time
Cadillac Jack’s confirmed that it will open its poker room with the rest of the property. The seats will be limited. Based on its other guidance, it seems likely the tables will be five-handed. Silverado will not open its poker room at this time. Saloon No. 10’s reopening is still more than a week away. The Lodge has not yet announced its poker plans.
Getting to Deadwood could be difficult
There were reports by casino employees that Deadwood was attracting out-of-state tourism up until its last day open due to it being the last commercial gaming market with the lights on. This seems likely to repeat itself as Deadwood becomes the first gaming market open.
Tourists outside the region considering a visit should know that Deadwood has no airport. Flying into Rapid City is the only realistic option. It is about one hour from Deadwood by car. Visitors will need to rent one or pay a driver over $100 round trip.
The current collapse in air travel leaves few options in and out of Rapid City’s airport. It appears that there are only three flights per day out of the region. Two connect with Denver on United Airlines. The other is American Airlines out of Dallas. Flights are priced around $200 each way on any given day.