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Construction on new Wildwood Casino hotel continues as Teller County waits on request to reopen

 Wildwood Casino. Photo courtesy WickedThink Marketing.
Wildwood Casino. Photo courtesy WickedThink Marketing. (KKTV)
Published: May. 22, 2020 at 8:22 PM MDT
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Teller County is playing the waiting game on

County commissioners signed off on a variance application to the state back on May 8.

Businesses like Wildwood Casino are hoping to get the green light to open their doors.

"In light of the Teller County variance submission, Wildwood Casino is excited at the prospect of bringing employees and players back to the casino," representatives for Wildwood wrote in a statement. "We have been working diligently to prepare the casino for their return by implementing numerous additional safety measures. Our casino will promote social distancing, the use of safety-wear by employees and players, and a number of other health and safety precautions. We are operating in accordance with local and state guidelines, and we are committed to going above and beyond those guidelines to best protect our players. Through ongoing digital communication with players, we’ve identified and are implementing the safeguards that they noted as most important for a safe return to gaming at our casino. We look forward to businesses reopening with proper safety measures in place and at the appropriate time to ensure the safety of our community."

As of Friday,

For the time being, construction on a new Wildwood Casino hotel is continuing. Despite the news this week Saratoga Harness Racing, Inc. and American Gaming Group, LLC, the owner of Wildwood Casino, decided to terminate the previously announced acquisition of Wildwood Casino. Both organizations cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason.

“At this time, we believe it’s in the best interest of both companies, and our respective casinos, to cancel the deal so we can focus on doing what’s best for our casinos and our players,” Joe Canfora, the owner of Wildwood Casino, said. “At Wildwood, we’re taking this time to develop and implement an entire health and safety strategy that goes above and beyond state and local guidelines to better protect our players and provide a comfortable, safe environment for gaming.”

Construction for Wildwood’s 104-room, $14-million hotel has continued throughout the crisis and will continue, Wildwood Casino’s General Manager Matt Andrighetti said. Wildwood’s sports betting will be launching soon. And, Wildwood is rebranding their in-casino restaurant, Joe’s Diner, to feature a new theme, design and menu to cater to players and provide great seating for Wildwood’s sports betting players.

On May 13, county commissioners and the sheriff sent out the following message:

"The Teller County Commissioners and the Sheriff recognize that some of the restrictions in the Governor’s Safer at Home Order are harming local businesses and that some in our County are frustrated with these restrictions. We also know that the overwhelming majority of people in our community are law-abiding folks and support our efforts to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people in our County are going through hard times, including our friends, neighbors, co-workers, and families. We realize a balance must be struck between protecting the public health and protecting our long-term economic health. When we are able to start to reopen our economy, this balance requires each of us to commit to being personally responsible, taking personal safety measures, respecting others, and complying with current laws and orders. In support of our local business owners, employees, and residents, on May 8th, Teller County submitted a request to the State for a variance from the Safer at Home Order to help our economy start to reopen and recover. We solicited input from local businesses and community members and spent considerable time and effort with the variance request to demonstrate the unique circumstances in Teller County that justify the granting of a variance from the Order. We are hopeful the State will recognize that Teller County can be trusted to reopen our local economy and that our residents will continue to be responsible and safety conscious as we do so. As we have said from the beginning, we will get through this together. We hope to return to normal as quickly and safely as possible. Thank you for your patience, support, resilience and, most of all, for staying #TellerStrong.

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