The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians announced Friday it will extend the closures of its casinos and other properties in Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage until April 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The extended closures include both Agua Caliente Casinos, the Indian Canyons Golf Resort in Palm Springs and Tahquitz and Indian Canyons, popular hiking areas south of the golf resort that normally draw heavy tourist traffic, according to tribe spokesperson Kate Anderson.
Beginning, April 1, employees will be paid by using their accrued vacation time. The move allows casino workers to continue to receive health benefits through April 30, Anderson said.
On March 17, the tribe declared a reservation-wide state of emergency, similar to those issued by the state of California and the federal government, Anderson said.
The tribe’s decision — a reversal of its previous stance — came after the Palm Springs City Council directed staff to draw up a formal letter to be sent to tribal, state and federal officials urging the tribe to close its Palm Springs casino following the tribe’s announcement March 16 that it would not be closing its two casinos.
“Stay healthy and safe during this challenging time,” Tribal Chairman Jeff L. Grubbe said. “We remain hopeful and are eager for the day we can reopen.
“Since time immemorial, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has been resilient in overcoming major challenges and obstacles. We will get through this together, Coachella Valley.”
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