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WATCH NOW: Ocean Casino Resort is ready to welcome guests back to Atlantic City

WATCH NOW: Ocean Casino Resort is ready to welcome guests back to Atlantic City

Only $5 for 5 months

ATLANTIC CITY — The expansive gaming floor at Ocean Casino Resort was once considered a liability for the property formerly known as Revel.

But, as most Atlantic City casinos prepare to reopen July 2 amid the ongoing global pandemic, Ocean’s wide-open floor plan and 50-foot high ceilings make for an almost ideal space to practice social distancing.

Combined with enhanced health and safety protocols for both guests and employees, Ocean executives said they believe the casino will be a safe environment when the doors open to the public next week.

“We’ve worked really hard on this,” Ocean CEO Terry Glebocki said of the casino’s heath and safety plan, adding that she and her team have been assembling it for months. “We have standing meetings every week, and we continue to refine.”

Gov. Phil Murphy said casinos could reopen at 25% capacity and that face masks must be worn by everyone on property. Further details about industry-wide protocols are expected to be released in the next couple of days.

Without specific details from the state, Atlantic City’s casinos are implementing their own protocols with the understanding that things could change at any moment.

Mike Donovan, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Ocean, said once Murphy made the announcement Monday, guests started calling to book hotel stays.

The pent up demand for casinos has been evident in other areas that reopened already and Donovan said Ocean, and Atlantic City as a whole, is ready for a busy Independence Day weekend.

“It’s been really crazy these past few days,” he said. ‘We’ve been getting 3,500 to 4,000 calls a day. So, we’ve seen a pretty good pace of bookings for those first few weeks in July with people wanting to get in.”

On Wednesday, Ocean executives hosted a tour of the casino floor and highlighted some of the changes guest and employees can expect upon returning.

Employees will be temperature screened once they enter the building and will be prohibited from working if they register above 100.4 degrees. Over the next several days, the employees will be trained on the new health and safety protocols.

Without specific guidance from the state, the casino will not be taking guests’ temperatures but is prepared to do so.

Throughout the casino, Ocean has placed distancing stickers on the floor and in elevators. There are also over 200 hand sanitizing stations, while signage with gambling-themed messages — “A clean hand is a lucky hand,” reads one — reminding people to practice good hygiene and keep their distance from one another.

Every other slot machine — Ocean had more than 1,900 operating before COVID-19 — is turned off and chairs at table games have been removed to discourage overcrowding.

The only Plexiglas dividers at Ocean are in high-volume areas, such as guest services and the hotel front desk. If the state requires more to be installed, Ocean executives said they are prepared to comply.

The valet at Ocean will be closed for now, with plans to bring food and beverage trucks on site and arrange an outdoor seating area under the porte cochere.

Restaurants are subject to the same 25% capacity limits as the casino floor and Ocean executives said they intend to offer as many dining options to guests as possible.

Pools will be open for hotel guests only. The HQ Dayclub/Nightclub will be closed, as will Ovation Hall.

Atlantic City’s nine casinos have been closed since March 16 to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. Glebocki, who was part of the team that opened Revel in 2012, said reopening a casino after it has been closed this long is “much more involved.”

“This is a complete restart,” she said. “This is quite the heavy lift, but we’ll absolutely be ready.”

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated with the correct employee screening temperature at Ocean Casino Resort. 

Contact: 609-272-7222

ddanzis@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressDanzis

Staff Writer

I cover Atlantic City government and the casino industry since joining The Press in early 2018. I formerly worked as a politics & government reporter for NJ Herald and received the First Amendment: Art Weissman Memorial NJPA Award two years in a row.

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