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Gaming commission provides casinos with reopening guidelines

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Slot machines will be turned off or moved to provide 6-feet between machines. (Photo by Antoine Taveneaux - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, )https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15925825

The Mississippi Gaming Commission sent a letter Friday to casinos around the state outlining its guidelines for reopening casinos during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reopening day is Thursday, May 21.

The six-page letter goes into great detail covering hygiene, social distancing and occupancy limits. You can read the complete letter here, but some of the highlights are:

  • Properties are limited to no more than 50% of maximum occupancy.
  • All entry points must allow for screenings, which will include the following questions. (Employees will be asked the same questions at the beginning of their shifts.)
    1. Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
    2. Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath or sore throat?
    3. Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
    4. Have you had new loss of taste or smell?
    5. Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours?

If guests or employees answer “yes” to any of the questions, they will not be allowed to enter.

  • During the screening, guests will be asked to use hand sanitizer and encouraged to wear a mask (provided by the property) while on property.
  • Employees will be required to wear masks while on the property.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be provided at all entries and throughout the floor.
  • Any areas where lines can form will be marked for 6-foot intervals.
  • Valet discontinued, unless the property has a specific plan.
  • No entertainment or special event gatherings.
  • No promotions or table game tournaments.
  • VIP areas and Poker Rooms will remain closed.
  • Player’s Club will be open.
  • Casino gyms and spas will be allowed to open under the same rules for those facilities issued earlier by the state of Mississippi.

Table Games

  • Three chair/guest limit per table. Only chairs on either end and in the middle of the table will be provided.
  • Three players maximum on each side of a dice table.
  • Guests will be encouraged not to touch the cards in card games.
  • Staff will sanitize table game rails and chairs after guests leave.
  • Poker rooms will remain closed.

Slot Machines

  • Machines will be turned off or moved to provide 6-foot minimum between slot machines.
  • Slot machines will be sanitized at least once every four hours
  • Slot floor will be deep cleaned daily

Food and Beverages

  • Food may be offered subject to restrictions in executive order 1478.
  • Beverages may be offered to guests on the playing floor.
  • Food service stations, carts, counters, rails and trays must be sanitized at least once per hour.

Hotel

  • Housekeeping room services will be provided at checkout only, or upon request by the guest.

Read the complete gaming commission letter (PDF).

Business

Vicksburg entrepreneurs got the basics of business ownership at boot camp

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Kendra Reed and Willie Johnson were among the dozen entrepreneurs attending the Vicksburg Entrepreneur Boot Camp. (photos submitted)

Last week participants graduated from the first Vicksburg Entrepreneur Boot Camp where 12 individuals received information to start or expand their own businesses.

Myra Harris, who recently started a company making masks, joined the boot camp shortly after her grandchildren informed her of the opportunity.

“They provided all the resources you would need to start your business, and they also made themselves available after class just in case you had any questions,” Harris said.

Vicksburg Entrepreneur Boot Camp participants. Top L to R: Marcus Dufour (Vicksburg Warren Partnership), Tim Sanford, Cathy Sanford, Olivia Foshee, Amy Warren, Patricia Anderson, Willie Johnson, Myra Harris, Ginger Donahue (Regions Bank) and Pablo Diaz (Vicksburg Warren Partnership). Bottom L to R: Gwen Green, Kendra Reed, Rob Burnham (Instructor), De’Jonae Curtis and Anthony Curtis. Not pictured William Wooten. (photo courtesy Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce)

Retired businessman Rob Burnham facilitated the class and helped the participants plan out their businesses, assisting with marketing, accounting and distribution. Marcus Dufour and Pablo Diaz from the Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce hosted the class, bringing in successful entrepreneurs as speakers including Kevin Roberts who owns Fit Chef Catering in Vicksburg.

“Every speaker gave us the opportunity to ask questions, and it definitely gave me the information I need to open a business, and I would recommend the class 100%,” said participant Willie Johnson.

Johnson was born and raised in Vicksburg. He’s now retired from the military and looking to launch a consulting business, which is what led him to attending the boot camp.

By having capable individuals at the boot camp such as James Harper from the Small Business Development Center at Hinds Community College, the participants were able to learn about available grants and other resources for entrepreneurs.

Starting a business can be stressful for first time entrepreneurs, but the boot camp provided planning advice to the participants, breaking down the information that participants need to launch their businesses.

“In the business process of starting and running a business, owners get very busy running the day-to-day aspects,” said boot camp participant Kendra Reed. “Entrepreneurship Bootcamp gave me the chance to step back and plan through the whole process to prepare my new company to be successful.”

Reed is the owner of Delta Dirt Shirt, and she was proud to be a graduating member of the camp.

Now that the camp has ended, the participants are in competition for a $1,000 seed grant for the best business plan presentation. A winner will be announced Dec. 8.

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Business

Fun Lanes bowling alley has reopened

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(photo by David Day)

Fun Lanes bowling alley in the Uptown Vicksburg mall has reopened.

The bowling alley closed earlier this year after former General Manager Patrick Belden unexpectedly died as a result of a car crash. While the bowling alley has the same owners, they have made some improvements. A statement on the Uptown Vicksburg Facebook page explained:

“Fun Lanes Bowling has made renovations and is now under new management. Fun Lanes wants to let everyone know that they have a renewed goal of being a family-friendly, safe location for the people of Vicksburg and the surrounding area to come out and enjoy the sport of bowling. Fun Lanes at Uptown Vicksburg, come on out and check us out. You will be glad you did.”

(photo by David Day)

The bowling alley had become a hotspot for police activity due to the large crowds that gathered there for late-night, weekend DJ parties. While the parties were a major success and there were almost no problems reported inside the bowling alley, the large crowds outside sometimes became disruptive.

Tony Lemus, Fun Lanes acting general manager (photo by David Day)

“We are committed to a family friendly atmosphere and look forward to providing Vicksburg with a great, fun and family friendly atmosphere” said acting General Manager Tony Lemus.

The hours of operation have changed. Fun Lanes is now open Mondays through Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays from noon to midnight, and Sundays from noon until 9 p.m.

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Wingstop coming to Vicksburg

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A job listing on an internet job site indicates a Wingstop will be coming to Vicksburg soon.

Indeed.com has listing for all positions, including a general manager, for a local store.

Wingstop is a chicken wing restaurant with a wide selection of side items including VooDoo fries. It was started in Garland, Texas, in 1994 and has expanded to over 1,500 restaurants according to the website. The chain has locations worldwide including in the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

The closest Wingstop to Vicksburg is in Clinton. The Starkville location is owned by a franchise called Boss Wings. The staff at that location could not confirm the Vicksburg location and calls to corporate management were not returned.

Jeff Richardson, city planning director, confirmed Wingstop had applied for a building permit earlier this week.

“I believe it was Tuesday,” he said. “It seems like they are going into an existing structure.”

Richardson did not disclose the location but indicated the new Wingstop would be in a strip mall area. There is no indication of the opening date but the job listings would indicate in the next three to five months.

 

 

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