The Motor City Casino and Hotel announced tonight dramatic changes for the venue designed to protect patrons from the coronavirus while also seeking to avoid a shutdown in overall operations.

In response to Gov. Whitmer’s executive order barring congregated crowds of more than 250 people in any venue, the popular casino will create 10 distinct areas within the multi-level facility where gamblers will be monitored by casino personnel and limited to a 250-person capacity.

To make this promise within the sprawling gambling floors featuring slot machines, card games and “craps,” Motor City will construct temporary walls to section off various areas of the casino floors.

Motor City, located on the Lodge Freeway at the outskirts of downtown Detroit, will make other significant concessions to address concerns about close-in patrons that fail to meet federal officials’ recommendations for “social distancing.” Closures will begin on Monday and last until at least April 5.

The sprawling food buffet that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner will close. The Sound Board theater, home of numerous concerts by prominent artists, will be shut down with all shows postponed for an indefinite time period. The casino/hotel’s spa will be closed. The luxury restaurant at the top of the hotel, Iridescence, will also close temporarily. And the bars at the new sports-betting area will go dry.

A major stimulus to the Detroit economy, Motor City Casino hosts more than 5 million guests per year and employs about 2,600 workers.