PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Casinos in the Valley have announced that they will temporarily close to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Gila River Hotels and Casinos, including Wild Horse Pass, Lone Butte and Vee Quiva announced that their closure started today at 4 a.m. and be in effect for two weeks.
Guests at Gila River hotels will be contacted for rescheduling and/or refunds.
Talking Stick Resort and Casino Arizona also announced a closure that would start today at 4 a.m. and go until March 31. The hotel said they will work with guests to provide an extended check-out period today. Guests who were booked to stay at the resort beyond March 18 will also be assisted with alternative accommodations. Guests with upcoming reservations will be contacted for refunds or rescheduling.
Desert Diamond Casino in Glendale remained open until late Wednesday night. The casinos near Tucson, Sahuarita, Why (Ajo) are closed, as well.
“In this unprecedented time, it is our duty to protect the community and collective action is needed to slow this virus," Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris Jr. said. "We are all in this together and I am proud to be a part of the vital Arizona Tribal Gaming community, which employs thousands of workers. I commend the other tribal casinos who are also making tough decisions for their own communities as well. It is in moments like these that our communities must rise to the challenge by relying on the shared values of compassion, collaboration, and generosity that have inspired us for generations.”
With direction from the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise Management Board of Directors Rudy Prieto, CEO of the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise, said, “This action is being taken to protect the safety of our team members, guests, and the community. We will do everything we can to support our team members, including ensuring that they continue to be compensated during the planned closure. It is important that we all do our part in this uncertain time and we want to thank our guests and Desert Diamond family for their patience and understanding.”
The Tohono O’odham Nation said the plan is to reopen in two weeks "pending any unforeseen circumstances."
KOLD News 13 contributed to this story.