Crown Perth prepares to open restaurants on Saturday

by Mia Chapman Last Updated
WA entertains the idea of its own Crown Resorts inquiry

Crown Perth’s restaurants will soon reopen, but its casino doors will remain closed.

WA Today reports that hospitality venues across Western Australia will reopen on Saturday, but will remain idle at the state’s biggest private employer, Crown Perth.

Some bars and restaurants will be back in the game at WA’s gaming mecca, but discussions between authorities and Crown Perth on when gaming floors reopen are ongoing.

Several venues at Crown Perth were close to fully booked ahead of phase three restrictions hitting just in time for the battered hospitality industry on June 6, but the resort’s chief executive officer Barry Felstead said only about half of the 5500 people employed pre-pandemic would be back at work initially.

A selection of restaurants and bars including The Merrywell, Nobu, Silks, Modo Mio, TWR and Bistro Guillaume will open their doors to the public for the first time in almost two months.

“We’ve got about 2100 food and beverage staff and we’re going to bring back several hundred of them for the first phase of opening up some of our restaurants,” Mr Felstead said.

Eight of Crown’s 35 restaurants and bars will operate from this weekend as part of the resort’s phased approach back to full operation.

The state of play on the resort’s gaming floors, which employ thousands of people and are a big component of Crown’s bottom line, was less clear.

“We’re looking to kick discussions off this week,” Mr Felstead said.

“Obviously we’re pretty keen to get the main part of the property open.”

Mr Felstead said a variety of health measures were in place for restaurants and also the casino for state health officers to consider.

He didn’t rule out the possibility patrons who wanted to gamble with cards and chips on blackjack tables, for example, wearing gloves if that meant those elements of the gaming floor could reopen sooner.

The sprawling design of bars and restaurants means several could open at once and still abide by the government’s 100/300 rule.

“Our restaurants are treated as separate venues; we can potentially open 10 or 11 restaurants with 100 people in each,” Mr Felstead said.

“The restaurants are spread out and we’ve had a lot of bookings already.

“People will come in, they’ll go to the restaurant – socially distanced of course – have their meal and that’s pretty much it.

“Obviously the casino isn’t open so there’s not much else to do other than the restaurants at this point in time.”

Accommodation options receive good interest

The top-range Crown Towers was open for bookings and several rooms were available, while the resort’s mid-range Metropol would be back online soon.

“We’ve had a very good demand for bookings without much advertising and a lot of interest in people coming to the restaurants,” Mr Felstead said.

A Crown spokesperson said staff had worked hard behind the scenes to implement measures to reduce infection when each of the resort’s restaurants reopened.

“Guests and employees will be required to comply with physical distancing measuring while on property, all in accordance with government requirements, which include venue capacity and density limits and spacing between tables,” they said.

“High frequency cleaning will be implemented across all areas of the entertainment complex with an emphasis on high-contact surfaces and frequently used areas, including cleaning all tables and chairs between each seating.”

Guests would also be asked to use hand sanitiser upon entry to restaurants and employees were required to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser at frequent intervals, with hand sanitiser stations placed across the resort.

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