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Lake Tahoe casinos reopening after Caldor Fire forced shutdown

Lake Tahoe casinos have started to reopen to the public after the devastating Caldor Fire forced their gaming and hotel operations to shut down last week.

Caesars Entertainment on Wednesday announced reopening plans for its two Lake Tahoe properties, Harrah’s and Harveys in Stateline. Harrah’s reopened its hotel operations to the public on Wednesday. Slot machines were also planned to reopen at the resort Wednesday evening, followed by table games restarting Thursday.

Harveys’ gambling operations are scheduled to reopen on Sept. 16, followed by its hotel on Sept. 17.

“We are happy to resume operations at Harrah’s and Harveys Lake Tahoe,” Karie L. Hall, the hotels’ senior vice president and general manager, said in a statement. “We are tremendously grateful for the fire crews and first responders who continue to work tirelessly to keep the South Lake Tahoe and Stateline areas safe while battling the Caldor Fire. We’re also thankful to our dedicated Team Members who made it possible for our properties to house so many of those crews during such a challenging time. As we ease back into operations at Harrah’s and Harveys, we look forward to welcoming our guests and all of our Team members back to both properties.”

The Hard Rock Lake Tahoe, managed by Las Vegas-based Paragon Gaming, reopened Tuesday night to guests. The property is still being used as the command center and will continue to feed firefighters and emergency personnel, a spokesman for the company said in a statement.

MontBleu, the fourth of four casinos at Lake Tahoe, reopened their operations Wednesday morning.

“The safety of our team members and guests has always been, and continues to be, our highest priority. We look forward to re-opening our doors now that it is safe to do so. This re-opening could not have been made possible without the tireless and resilient work of our firefighters, first responders, and the support of everyone on the sideline coming together as one,” Tim Tretton, vice president and general manager of MontBleu said in a statement posted on the resort’s website.

The massive wildfire has burned more than 215,000 acres in the Sierra Nevada since it broke out in El Dorado County on Aug. 14. Thousands fled South Lake Tahoe last week amid mandatory evacuation orders as the fire inched closer to the resort region before things took a turn for the better late last week as the huge blaze that has burned for more than three weeks finally started to slow.

The fire was 50 percent contained as of Wednesday morning, according to Cal Fire officials.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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