Foxwoods Casino Resort Shutters Two Hotels, Furloughs Approximately 100 Employees

Posted on: December 8, 2020, 02:02h. 

Last updated on: December 8, 2020, 02:41h.

Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut has temporarily closed two of its hotels because of low demand as a result of COVID-19.

Foxwoods casino hotel close Mohegan Sun
Foxwoods has closed Fox Tower (far right) until customer demand warrants its reopening. (Image: Foxwoods)

The tribal casino resort owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation announced this week that the Fox Tower and Two Trees Inn are both closed for the time being.

Fox Tower offers 825 rooms. Two Trees Inn, which is located separately from the main resort about four-tenths of a mile away, has 290 rooms.

Much like other industries, the continued spread of COVID-19 continues to impact our resort due to rising cases and new travel guidelines in place,” said Foxwoods Interim CEO and President Jason Guyot.

“As a result, we are making some temporary updates to our overall resort offerings and moving towards winter hours and operations. This includes reduced hotel capacity and gaming offerings across some areas of the resort,” the executive added.

Foxwoods says the Fox Tower closure resulted in “less than 100 team members” being furloughed.

Foxwoods’ Grand Pequot Tower, Great Cedar Hotel, and the Villas remain available. Grand Pequot has 785 guestrooms, Great Cedar 317, and Villas 23.

Mohegan Sun, the other tribal casino resort in the Nutmeg State, has not announced any closings for its accommodations.

Mohegan is no longer limiting guest accommodations only to residents of New England states. Foxwoods, however, is limiting guests from states on the Connecticut Regional Travel Advisory to a maximum 24-hour stay. Patrons who test negative for COVID-19 three days prior to arrival can stay longer.

Revenue Decline

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are operating at a maximum 25 percent capacity, a limit each tribe self-imposed on their respective casinos. As tribal enterprises, the casinos are not required to adhere to state-mandated health restrictions.

Limited regional travel has nonetheless hurt the casinos. Slot machines at Foxwoods won just $26.1 million in October, a year-over-year decline of 24.4 percent. Mohegan Sun’s terminals kept $35.8 million — down 18 percent.

Since reopening June 1, Foxwoods has kept $147.5 million of gamblers’ slot money. That’s a 19.5 percent decline compared with the same five months in 2019. Mohegan Sun’s slot haul is down 7.4 percent to $214.7 million.

Things Better in Florida

While Connecticut’s tribal casinos are struggling amid the pandemic, the Seminole Tribe of Florida is looking to hire hundreds of workers for its Hard Rock Tampa casino. The resort held a career fair this week, with job offers made on the spot.

Unlike in Connecticut, Floridians are going about their lives in a much more normal, pre-COVID-19 manner. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has urged residents in the Sunshine State to wear masks. But many are not. There are also no state-imposed restrictions on restaurants and bars.

DeSantis signed an executive order earlier this year that says local officials cannot restrict restaurants to operate at less than 50 percent of their indoor capacity.

Seminole Hard Rock & Casino Tampa is in need of more workers, as business is strong. Seminole casinos in Brighton, Coconut Creek, Immokalee, and Hollywood are additionally hiring.