One of Parker’s most popular tourist attractions reopened last week. The BlueWater Resort & Casino reopened Monday, Sept. 14. The BlueWater had been closed since March 20 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The BlueWater is an enterprise of the Colorado River Indian Tribes. It was one of many casinos and resorts in Arizona, California and Nevada that closed earlier this year due to the pandemic.
The management has stated this is a phased reopening. In the first phase, the casino gaming floor has reopened, but table games and bingo are still closed. The hotel remains closed, as do the theaters, the marina, the beach, and some of the bars and restaurants. The marina closure includes the boat ramp. The gift shop and the marina shop are also closed, and there are no conference or catering services.
All special events and activities have been cancelled until further notice. Events that were cancelled during the closure included a Mixed Martial Arts event and the Spring Classic boat races.
The Pioneer visited the BlueWater on Sunday, Sept. 20, to see what guests can expect. The BlueWater’s big sign on State Route 95 states they are open and welcomes back patrons. Electronic signs posted along Casino Drive leading to the entrance remind patrons that face masks and identification are required. No one under the age of 21 will be permitted to enter. The BlueWater states all persons over the age of 21 are welcome if they have temperatures under 100.4 degrees and are not showing any coronavirus symptoms.
Those who are visiting the BlueWater for the first time since the reopening will be directed as to where to park and what entrance to use by a guide posted in a shack at the intersection with the road to the Bluewater RV Park.
Parking is in the area that was reserved for valet parking. Only one of the entrances, the main one, is currently open. When patrons arrive, they must have their temperature taken with a non-invasive scanner at the door. They will not be permitted to enter if they are not wearing face masks, or if they have a high temperature or are showing symptoms of the coronavirus.
The BlueWater management did not permit photographs inside the casino. Once inside, patrons will find floor markings reminding them of social distancing requirements. While most slot machines are open, some have been closed to encourage social distancing. There are also hand sanitizing stations located on the gaming floor. The rules and policies regarding the coronavirus pandemic are posted throughout the casino gaming floor.
The Pioneer was unsuccessful in its efforts at contacting BlueWater management for comments on how the first week went. On their website and their Facebook page, the management thanked their patrons for their patience during the time the facility was closed.
During the time it was closed, the BlueWater was not inactive. Crews were cleaning and sanitizing the inside. The parking lot served as a location for mass coronavirus testing, emergency food distribution, and a distribution of face masks.
There is no word yet on when the hotel and other facilities will reopen. The BlueWater is the namesake for Best in the Desert Racing Association’s BlueWater Desert Challenge, which is scheduled to be held Oct. 22-25. In a press release dated Sept. 17, BITD said the Colorado River Indian Tribes had approved the event, as long as face mask and social distancing rules are observed. The press release went on to say the BlueWater is operating in a limited capacity, which means contingency, technical inspection and the event expo will likely be held in downtown Parker. They said a schedule will be provided at a later date.
For more information on the BlueWater and its limited reopening, visit their website, www.bluewaterfun.com.