January 23, 2021 3 min read


Foxwoods’ Owners Re-Open El San Juan Casino in Puerto Rico

El San Juan Casino at the Fairmont El San Juan Hotel in Puerto Rico is on course to re-opening following a media announcement from the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe.

Casino Re-Opening Announcement

The Native American tribe from Connecticut alerted the media about a scheduled for next week news conference which would take place in the hotel’s grand ballroom Tuesday and would be accessible via Zoom. Tribal officials did not provide further detail regarding the announcement related to the reopening of the casino at the hotel in Puerto Rico.

Located in the beach neighborhood of Isla Verde in San Juan, the Fairmont El San Juan Hotel initially opened doors in 1958 and, according to public records, at one time was a top holiday destination. But after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in 2017, the popular hotel was damaged and had to shut operations.

The casino at the 388-room hotel closed doors preemptively before the hurricane and remained shut ever since, while the hotel underwent a $65 million renovation and following the joint efforts between the hotel and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) re-opened in December 2017, earlier than it was initially anticipated.

The tribe which owns the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut had made several attempts to go outside of its home state over the years, pursuing casino projects in Philadelphia, California, Kansas and Massachusetts, but with no success.

In 2016, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation made an announcement that it would provide funds and the Foxwoods brand to a casino resort in Biloxi, Mississippi, but the project never materialized.

Foxwoods Resort Casino

The tribe’s Foxwoods Resort Casino, which grabbed the USA Today’s Reader’s Choice Award as the best casino property in the country outside of Las Vegas, experienced a downturn in the financial year that ended September 30, 2020, due to the material impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The casino resort shut operations late in March to contain the further spread of the virus and placed 1,200 union dealers and 4,000 other workers on furlough immediately, refusing to pay for unpaid leave.

Then, in May, Foxwoods announced it would discontinue the payment of health benefits for its furloughed workers and would commence layoffs from May 31 onwards.

Later in the month, the Mashantucket Pequot tribe announced intentions to re-open its casino gaming complex from June 1, despite opposition from Gov. Lamont who labeled the idea as risky.

As a result of the two-and-a-half months of non-operations, Foxwoods Resort Casino posted 31.6% drop year-over-year in net revenue for the fiscal 2020, despite the drastic measures the tribe undertook to keep costs at a minimum.

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