Our picks for some of the best casinos participating in the 2015 TournEvent Of Champions
By Karrie L. Zukowski
The TournEvent of Champions draws attention from an enormous number of slot lovers as it winds its way across the country. During each stop, it often introduces players to exciting new properties that might be across town, across the state or even across the country. In many cases, these properties become favorite destinations for players who return again and again long after the tournevent has moved on to its next event.
Having experienced these fantastic casinos firsthand, each has their own unique charms, is packed with fun and excitement, and is certainly worth a visit. You’re guaranteed to love them.
The Choctaw Experience
Choctaw Casinos set the standard for gaming in Oklahoma
Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma is a AAA Four Diamond resort and entertainment destination worthy of any gambler’s attention.
The property is currently expanding to become a regional tourist destination, with the first phase of the expansion now open with a multi-purpose, three-level convention and entertainment venue, The Grand Theater, with seating for over 3,000 guests. The expanded resort offers over 100,000 square feet of meeting and convention space in a variety of sizes for meetings, conferences and weddings. The second phase of the expansion, which opens in July, will include a stunning new hotel tower, named Spa Tower, bringing the total number of rooms to over 800.
At the Spa Tower, guests will find a variety of elegant, well-appointed guest rooms. It will feature The Spa amenities, as well as uniquely styled suites with indulgent touches like pillow top beds, rain-inspired showers, complimentary Wi-Fi and 48” HDTVs to ensure your stay is always beyond expectations. The second phase will also include Parrot Beach Bar & Grill, an indoor/outdoor bar and grill adjacent to the recently renovated Oasis pool area that includes an outdoor paradise with four tropical pools, three spas and private cabanas for rent, as well as activities for children.
The final phase of the expansion, scheduled for September 2015,will allow guests to enjoy a full-service spa, that includes a hair and nail salon, and offers guests an opportunity to pamper themselves in state-of-the-art treatment rooms. This phase will also bring a new entertainment zone with The District. The District features a three-venue food court, Tailgaters—a sports bar, a 20-lane bowling alley, an arcade, laser tag and a cinema complex with four state-of-the-art theaters adjacent to the recently renovated South Casino.
In addition to beautiful accommodations and entertainment, Choctaw Casino Resort has exciting gaming options. The casino is made up of over 110,000 square feet of gaming space with more than 3,500 slot machines, a luxurious Poker Room that is home to the World Series of Poker, 30 poker tables and 48 table games.
Choctaw Casino Resort also provides a diverse mix of dining options, including the 1832 Steakhouse, Butterfields Buffet and Gilley’s. The 1832 Steakhouse is a specialty dining steakhouse that delivers a superior fine-dining experience. Butterfields Buffet is the all-you can eat, Vegas-style buffet. And Gilley’s is a distinctly Southern honky-tonk offering Texas-sized meals and live entertainment. The resort also includes delicious Tex-Mex at Tomatillo’s Mexican Restaurant, classic diner fare at Blue Moon Café and other grab-and-go dining options.
Choctaw Casino Resort Durant provides the best entertainment experience in Southeastern Oklahoma with exciting gaming action, an award-winning hotel, a full-service spa, a variety of superb dining options, unparalleled live entertainment and warm hospitality.
The mission of Choctaw Casinos is to bring excitement, energy, entertainment and unmatched hospitality to guests. There are eight primary locations to get the Choctaw experience, Durant, Grant, Pocola, Stringtown, McAlester, Stigler, Idabel and Broken Bow, Oklahoma.
The exceptional experience continues at Choctaw Casino Hotel in Pocola. Whether you’re in the mood for an exciting selection of gaming options on the casino floor, a show at Center Stage or an evening of great food and live music at Gilley’s, it’s everything you’d expect from a Choctaw Casino destination.
Guests looking for the excitement of a casino with the comfort, service and dining options of a fine resort will find it at Choctaw Casino Resort in Grant. This location stands apart from the ordinary, offering superior amenities including a state-of-the-art pool, heightened guest service, entertainment at the Event Center and great food at guest favorites like The River Bar & Grill.
Choctaw Casino McAlester showcases the energy and excitement of McAlester, Oklahoma. The city that was once a lively transportation hub is now an historic destination with an equally lively Choctaw Casino, featuring a full selection of slots and table games, as well as great food, premium beverages and live entertainment at Trophy’s Bar & Grill.
Guests will also find a welcoming, warm atmosphere at Choctaw Casino Broken Bow. This location features world-class gaming and out-standing service in a uniquely comfortable setting. Nestled in the middle of Broken Bow, Oklahoma, Choctaw Casino has the feel of a big-city destination with small town comfort and charm.
Just down the road in the town of Idabel, players can visit the main attraction—a world-class casino with small town appeal. It’s the perfect stop for slots and dining fun, with exciting gaming action and down-to-earth hospitality that keeps loyal guests coming back to Choctaw Casino in Idabel, Oklahoma.
Choctaw Casino in Stringtown, can be found on historic Route 69,where visitors can enjoy a variety of gaming action in a setting that is everything they expect from a the larger Choctaw Casino locations. Featuring more than 200 slot machines with bets from 1-cent up to $5, players have an opportunity to get in on the hottest gaming action in town.
Vegas of the Pacific Northwest
Snoqualmie Casino is always a regional favorite
Nestled high above the Seattle city lights, Snoqualmie Casino in Snoqualmie, Washington, offers a first class getaway with all the amenities. Situated among natural surroundings with majestic views of the Cascade Mountains, this casino is the right blend of Vegas-style gaming and entertainment with Northwest flare. It features fast-paced thrills on the gaming floor, upscale lounges and bars, including one of the Northwest’s only cigar lounges, legendary performances in two concert venues, exceptional restaurants, and hospitality that’s beyond compare.
There’s plenty of gaming variety to appease any player. The 1,700 dazzling slot machines include all of the tried and true favorites, plus the latest slot machine games to hit the floor—often before any other casino in the state. Table game enthusiast will not be disappointed either. Whether your game is blackjack or craps, Spanish 21 or roulette, midi & mini baccarat or fortune pai gow, you will always leave with a story. Seasoned high-rollers and up-and-comers, can sharpen their card-shark teeth at one of the five tables in the classic Poker room. These five tables give you a choice of fixed limit, no-limit and pot-limit 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Smoking and non-smoking choices are available to ensure all players’ comforts are satisfied.
Don’t forget to join Snoqualmie’s Crescent Club—it’s quick, easy and free to sign up with rewards starting immediately. With the new Crescent Club, every point counts, and every reward comes faster. Earn points to exchange for food, drinks and cash, and turn your visits into an escape. More play equals more perks. No more monthly averages to worry about—just swipe your card and watch the points roll in. They offer several benefit tiers to help you get what you deserve: the most out of your membership. For more details about a Crescent Club membership, visit www.snocasino.com/crescent-club/.
In 2014, Snoqualmie introduced the Mr. Crescent kiosks, an electronic concierge system that allows guests to access all information about their accounts at the swipe of their Club card. They have 17 free standing Mr. Crescent kiosks around the property so guests are never forced to wait in long lines. Members can easily check point balances, play promotional games, print cash offers, redeem points and print discount coupons. As a member of the Crescent Club, players can look forward to receiving cash offers, dining offers, VIP event invitations, VIP line access, complimentary show tickets, and exclusive promotional games.
And as most gamblers know, it’s best not to play on an empty stomach. To create exceptional meals, Snoqualmie relies on the very best in culinary perfection. There are two fine-dining restaurants that simply should not be missed. The Terra Vista boasts majestic views of the Snoqualmie Valley from nearly every table and a seasonal menu that features unexpected, high concept dishes masterfully designed to engage and elevate the palate. The 12 Moons Asian Bistro features all of the best flavors of Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine. But if you are on a hot streak and can only spare a few minutes, there are four casual dining options that allow you to get back to the gaming floor quickly. The two top picks are the Falls Buffet, offering favorite dishes such as King Crab, Brazilian, Prime Rib and Dim Sum, and the SnoDeli which offers top notch sandwiches when time is of the essence.
Don’t forget to stop and catch your breath by enjoying your favorite cocktails at one of the local watering holes. The Lit Cigar Lounge is the only cigar lounge in the area that boasts over 200 different hand-rolled cigars and a custom walk-in humidor. The Mist Bar has the games, the food and all of the libations to keep your night going strong. Mist bartenders are waiting to serve up a great selection of the Northwest’s famous craft beers along with a rotating menu of seasonal cocktails made to order. The 12 Moons Lounge can add some smooth to your supper. This classic piano bar features live music, tapas and finely crafted cocktails. And last, but by no means least, the Terra Vista Bar features incredible views, an exquisite seasonal menu and over 250 wines in its award-winning cellar.
For non-gaming entertainment, Snoqualmie Casino has a renowned concert venue. The 1,200 seat indoor ballroom hosts big-name country, rock, jazz and comedy acts. The 2015 calendar features Michael McDonald, Eddie Money, Aaron Lewis, Beach Boys, and many more. Tickets and show information are available at www.snotickets.com.
Snoqualmie is making life a little easier by offering luxury motor coach transportation, Sno Casino Express. With plenty of departure cities and pick-up areas around Seattle, visiting has never been more hassle-free. SnoCasino Express guests pay $10 to ride, than receive $10 cash back and a $10 food voucher when you arrive. Guests are encouraged but not required to make reservations online or by phone. For more information about SnoCasino Ex-press, please visit www.snocasino.com.
Tropicana Evansville: An Experience Like No Other
By Andrew Herbertz
Non-stop casino gaming. Luxurious hotel suites. Fine dining. Live music. State-of-the-art meeting space. Tropicana Evansville, located in Evansville, Indiana, celebrates its 20-year anniversary this December and still offers an experience like no other! Located on Evansville’s downtown riverfront, the riverboat casino is the center-piece of the property which also features two hotels, eight dining options, a conference center and multiple entertainment venues.
The casino is open 24 hours a day and is filled with over 1,000 slot games. New to the casino floor are the SPHINX 3D slot games – TRUE 3D depth without the need to wear special glasses! New Konami slot machines each feature nine games for hours of fun including Lion Festival, Dragon’s Way, Solstice Celebration, Riches with Daikoku, Flying Fortune, Gypsy Fire, Sparkling Nightlife, China Shores, and Masked Invitation. Players will also enjoy more than 40 table games including a dedicated live Poker Room. Note that the Mid-States Poker Tour returns to Tropicana Evansville in August with a $250,000 guaranteed main event prize pool! Super satellites start July 4. See details at msptpoker.com.
Tropicana Evansville has a place for every taste with eight restaurants and ten bars and nightclubs. Visit Cavanaugh’s for the finest steaks, freshest seafood, and beautiful views of the Ohio River. Cavanaugh’s also offers a Sunday Brunch (10 a.m.–2 p.m.) and live music nightly at their piano bar. Casual dining choices include Max & Erma’s for all-American favorites, Mama Mia’s Italian Restaurant, Ri Ra Irish Pub &Restaurant, Riverview Coffee Company, the 24-hour Diamond Deli, and Blush Ultra lounge. Temptations Buffet rounds out your options with breakfast, lunch and dinner hours. Opening later this summer is Chido Mexican Bar & Grill. From the island-themed design, music, and surf videos, to the “Mission-Style” monster burritos, rice bowls, salads, and signature Chido Fish Tacos, your senses will be dazzled.
Hoosiers Lounge, located in the riverfront Pavilion, is the place to be for good times and live entertainment. Monday night is sports night with drink specials and games on every screen. Tuesday and Wednesday nights feature local and regional bands and join your friends for the Hot Summer Nights Karaoke Contest each Thursday night (thru August 13). On Friday and Saturday nights, Hoosiers Lounge heats up with more popular and well-known entertainers. Check out Blues Other Brothers for 60’s & 70’srock and roll (July 31 & August 1), Rob Caudill’s Tribute to Rod Stewart (August 7 & 8) and McKenzies Mill for country tunes (August 28 & 29). Best of all, these shows are free.
The District at Tropicana is the scene in Evansville for night time fun including live music, dancing, and exotic cocktails! Located just across from the casino on Riverside Drive, The District is home to Ri Ra Irish Pub, Blush Ultra lounge, and the ultimate 70’s and 80’s dance club Boogie Nights presenting the Magic Men All Male Revue Show (July 31). See details at districtafterdark.com.
At the end of a fun-filled day, relax at one of Tropicana Evansville’s two first-class hotels offering 346 rooms and 15 suites. The Tropicana Hotel offers a new level of comfort and convenience with a contemporary décor and free, attached parking. Le Merigot is Tropicana Evansville’s boutique hotel and is the pinnacle in modern luxury. Many of the rooms, in both hotels, offer spectacular river views. Find special room rates for Trop Advantage members at TropEvansville.com.
The Tropicana Executive Conference Center is the perfect location for meetings, conventions or wedding receptions. Over 11,000 square feet of high-tech, user-friendly space offers multiple options for groups as small as10 and as large as 300. Most of the Tropicana property is connected by enclosed skywalks, offering a seamless experience and a 24-hour security staff is present to maintain a safe environment.
Tropicana Evansville is located at 421 NW Riverside Drive, Evansville, IN 47708. For more information, call (800) 342-5386, (812) 433-4000 or visit www.TropEvansville.com