Isleta Resort & Casino extends operation hours, plans to be open 24/7

Isleta Resort & Casino extends operation hours

Isleta Resort and Casino is bringing back pre-pandemic favorites, including plans to be open 24/7.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Isleta Resort and Casino is bringing back pre-pandemic favorites, including plans to be open 24/7.

“It creates a level of excitement by not just the team, the entire Pueblo and the surrounding area,” said Karl Waitner, chief executive office of Isleta Resort & Casino. 

Executives with Isleta Resort and Casino say the future is bright. The popular spot is expanding hours, reopening a restaurant, adding new games, and more.

“Recently, we went to 24-hour operation over the weekend: Friday, Saturday into Sunday morning or Sunday through Sunday night. Based on the overwhelming success that we had on those nights, we’ve decided to increase by a day. So, we’ve added Thursday. So now, we opened Thursday morning at 7 a.m. We don’t close again until, technically, Monday morning at 2 a.m.,” said Waitner. 

Waitner says they’re getting closer to 24/7 days at its casino – something we haven’t seen since the pandemic.

“We decided that it was time, you know, after COVID shutting us down completely, basically the entire gaming industry. This is our first shot back head going 24/7. It’s been very, very successful,” Waitner said. 

Waitner says their foot traffic is back to pre-pandemic levels. They plan to fully expand their hours soon.

“We felt that it made sense to make that that jump to the Thursday as well right away. But now, said that our next jump will be for the rest of it. We don’t have a date yet. But we are looking at some time, you know, before summer to be able to work 24/7,” said Waitner. 

Expanding hours also means more employees and shifts, but Waitner says they’re doing well on that front.

“Some of those teams were already here 24/7, because we still have to have a security presence 24/7 whether we’re open or not. Same thing with surveillance and some of the other departments. So it really wasn’t a huge amount of people that we had to bring on board to be able to make this happen. But we are in a good position. Hiring has been very, very strong,” said Waitner. 

Finding staffing to reopen Isleta’s restaurant “Tiwa” has been more challenging.

“Everyone had gone through the hiring issues and not having enough staff, and so forth. And we’ve been diligently working with our HR department doing job fairs in the area, and also on property. And now we’re in a position to be able to reopen that restaurant for the first time since COVID,” Waitner said. 

Other casinos in the area are almost open 24 hours. Sandia Resort and Casino and Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel are open 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. daily.

Buffalo Thunder Resort Casino is open 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. Friday through Sunday.

Earlier this week, Isleta announced it’s closing its satellite operation Palace West to focus on expanding and renovating its main facility.

Waitner says there will be no jobs lost because those employees are already working at the resort and casino.

Palace West will officially close this Thursday.