By Marissa Johnson
O’odham Action News
Businesses across Arizona are gradually reopening as the governor ended the stay-at-home order and the quarantine due to COVID-19 is easing up. As the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community enters phase 1 of the “Return Strong” initiative, the entertainment portion of SRPMIC has a whole different set of challenges. Discover Salt River Division Manager Blessing McAnlis-Vasquez explained that their plan is to reintroduce people to the entertainment and restaurants that the Talking Stick Entertainment District has to offer.
“Recent tourism research tells us that what consumers have missed most over the last several months is time with family and friends and visiting their favorite local hotspots,” McAnlis-Vasquez said. “As the Community begins to navigate ‘the new normal,’ we want to remind everyone that there is so much to see, explore and experience here in Salt River. You don’t have to go far to eat your favorite meal, see your best friend or try something new. Being at home for two months may have you itching to try something a little more bold. Our tourism office’s name is Discover Salt River, but since we’ve all been away for a while, we invite everyone to take time to ‘Re-Discover’ what makes our Community such a great place to play.”
Adjusting to the new normal, many businesses have implemented ways to ensure people’s safety by arranging their social areas differently. Salt River is no different.
“Every business in the Talking Stick Entertainment District is a little different in their approach to safety precautions, but from a guest perspective, most experiences are similar,” McAnlis-Vasquez said. “Social distancing practices are in place at all locations, but vary from seating guests at every other table and distancing counter/bar stools with 6 feet between each group to closing down every other bowling lane at Mavrix or physically installing a barrier between the golf bays at Topgolf. Marriott hotels and Octane Raceway have both started using a sanitizing machine that looks like a leaf blower, and all properties have now started sharing cleaning protocols with guests to help them better understand their commitment to health and safety.”
As the Talking Stick Entertainment District is re-opening, it is important that guests participate in making sure they are taking the right precautions when going out in public. Whether they are eating in a restaurant or staying in a hotel, it is important to practice social distancing and to wash one’s hands often. The more precautions that are taken, the more Talking Stick Entertainment District will be able to provide both safety and enjoyment.