Crowds flock to Black Hawk, Central City as Colorado casinos reopen after 93-day shutdown | VailDaily.com
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Crowds flock to Black Hawk, Central City as Colorado casinos reopen after 93-day shutdown

Jason Blevins, Colorado Sun
A customer inside The Lodge Casino on Wednesday June 17, 2020, in Black Hawk. (Hugh Carey, Special to The Colorado Sun)

BLACK HAWK — It’s been more than three months since Colorado’s casinos closed to limit the spread of COVID-19, and Colleen and Deb Campbell of Johnstown are jonesing for the penny slots.  

“We are going through withdrawals and we are ready to get back and play,” says Colleen, who joined her mom among dozens of antsy gamblers waiting for The Lodge Casino to open at 8 a.m. Wednesday. 

The line moved quickly, thanks to a thermal scanning camera inside the door at The Lodge, which relayed every visitor’s face and body temperature to a computer screen. If a person was running hot, they were asked to step aside and rest for a moment before repeating the scan. Anyone with a fever was refused entry. Inside the casino, every other machine was dark, allowing players to remain separated. The table games were vacant, per rules issued by Colorado public health officials. An army of bottle-toting employees sprayed and wiped surfaces with abandon. 

“We put a lot of time and effort into getting this ready to go,” says J.J. Garcia, The Lodge’s general manager. 

Garcia studied the June 4 opening of casinos in Las Vegas and took notes. 

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