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MKE Public Market and Potawatomi Hotel and Casino reopen with new safety measures

Posted at 6:54 PM, Jun 10, 2020

Some of Milwaukee's popular destinations are allowing visitors once again since the pandemic forced them to shut down.

Wednesday morning marked a milestone for the Milwaukee Public Market. It was the first time in nearly three months customers were allowed inside.

We wanted to avoid the main crowd like the huge slam if there’s going to be a lot of people today but also for the carrot cake," said Aaron Schmidt.
"I’ve been missing this place you know I come here every so often so coming back feels really good," said Melinda Salgado.

The market closed its second-floor dining area and expanded its outdoor seating. Facemasks are required for employees and highly recommended for visitors. If a guest needs a mask, they may contact the market office for one.

From signs to physical dividers, there are reminders to social distance.

"I feel like they’ve taken a ton of precautions in just making sure that everybody has safety in mind. It just feels great to have the energy back in the market," said Shannon Foltz who works the Foltz Family Market stand.

"So many mixed emotions. We know the hard work that we have put in here to get this place back open again, but we couldn’t be any happier," said Amil Alarcon who owns Margarita Paradise.

Five minutes away the slot machines are up and rolling at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino. This destination started a soft opening Monday and opened Wednesday to its club members only. Those members must make a reservation ahead of time and can bring one guest.

"Plexiglass between all the slot machines. We're adhering to all of the social distancing requirements. Shutting off machines next to each other. There won’t be any table games. No poker. No off-track betting or bingo," said Rodney Ferguson, CEO and General Manager of Potawatomi Hotel and Casino.

Restaurants are limited to take out. There are temperature checks at the door. Facemasks are required, and indoor smoking is banned. The hotel and casino also close every few hours for cleaning.

The CEO said their phased reopening centers on health and safety.

"If you come to Potawatomi feel safe and enjoy yourself at the same time," said Ferguson.

Whether it is the Milwaukee Public Market or Potawatomi Hotel and Casino, employees ask for patience with the changes.

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