The best Native American gaming in the Northeast
By Karrie L. Zukowski
The explosion of Native American casinos has been dramatic, a trend that has brought the excitement of gambling and the casino lifestyle to players across the country. But what you see today did not simply happen overnight. Many tribal properties had humble beginnings, opening originally with limited space and scope, some serving only as a bingo hall for area residents.
Fast-forward a decade or more and these tribal casinos range far and wide, offering players the thrill of casino gambling coupled with the right-next-door convenience. Here are a trio of perfect selections for the top tribal properties in the northeast.
MOHEGAN SUN: The Premier One – Stop Destination On The East Coast
Mohegan Sun is one of the largest and unique meeting and entertainment venues in the United States. Situated along the Thames River in southern Connecticut, it is a true one-stop destination for garners, concert goers, people looking to grab an exceptional dinner or for relaxation at the spa or pool, shoppers and plenty more. Located within easy access of New York, Boston, Hartford and Providence, Mohegan Sun is also 15 minutes from the historic waterfronts of Mystic Country, CT.
Mohegan Sun is home to two beautiful hotel towers. The iconic Sky Tower which is 34 floors high and has 1,200 deluxe hotel rooms and Earth Tower, the recently opened 400-room hotel where the popular Bean & Vine Café &Wine Bar is located just off from the lobby, and where an outdoor patio for fireside lounging and seasonal entertainment & dining menus can be found.
Visitors looking to try their hand at blackjack or roulette, among various other table games, or are looking to take a crack at a large slot machine jackpot, are in luck. Mohegan Sun sports over 5,000 slot machines and table games across three casinos – Casino of the Earth, Casino of the Sky and Casino of the Wind. Casino of the Wind is home to a 42-table Poker Room, where weekly tournaments and various levels of action can be found, including no-limit Texas hold’em. For more information about poker and gaming at Mohegan Sun, visit mohegansun.com/playing.
Stepping out from the hotel or gaming floor, guests are met with endless dining, shopping and entertainment possibilities. In total, Mohegan Sun has over 90 restaurants, bars and shops alone, including some of the best fine dining that can be found along the east coast like Michael Jordan’s Steak House, Todd English’s Tuscany, BALLO Italian Restaurant and Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain. To view all the restaurants on property, visit mohe-gansun.com/dining.
Mohegan Sun also houses five world-class entertainment venues. Two of the main attractions in this area include the always-free admission, 350- seat Wolf Den that has been around since Mohegan Sun opened in the mid-90s and the 10,000-seat award winning, Mohegan Sun Arena. The Wolf Den sits in the middle of Casino of the Earth and regularly features the likes of Sister Sparrow &The Dirty Birds, Dustin Lynch, Jana Kramer, Salt-N-Pepa and even hosted Hip-Hop legend, LL Cool J, whom took the stage a couple of years ago for a special performance celebrating Mohegan Sun’s 20th Anniversary. Mohegan Sun Arena is regularly ranked inside the top three for Arena’s its size (5,000 – 10,000) in Billboard Magazine, Poll-star and Venues Today. Coming on July 3rd, Mohegan Sun Arena welcomes Rock and Roll band U2. Then in December, Justin Timberlake brings The Man of the Woods Tour to Uncasville, CT as well. Guests also have the opportunity to see other superstars such as Britney Spears, Charlie Puth, Sugarland, Keith Urban and Thomas Rhett when they make a stop at Mohegan Sun Arena this year. For more, visit mohegansun.com/entertainment.
Mohegan Sun offers the best Meeting & Convention spaces that corporate groups of any size can take advantage of that are customizable to fit a multitude of needs. With over 100,000 square feet of Meeting and Convention area and only a few months away from doubling that capacity, the property features an immaculate 38,000 square-foot Uncas Ball-room where everything from massive conferences, gala receptions and private parties of various kinds can be held in style. The catering menus offer everything from casual café fare to uniquely elegant entrées.
Mohegan Sun’s Meeting and Convention space is expanding as the all-new 125,000 square-foot Mohegan Sun Earth Expo and Convention Center opens its doors in June of 2018.The Expo Center will allow major vendor showcases, various large-scale events & trade shows, as well as additional meeting spaces & board rooms. Featuring an outdoor area with a wrap-around terrace and 20,000 square feet of space earmarked for an entertainment and dining venue, this significant addition will complement the Convention Center that already sits near Mohegan Sun’s 1,200-room Sky Tower. In all, Mohegan Sun’s Meeting and Convention space will en-compass 275,000 square feet. For more information about Mohegan Sun’s Meeting and Convention, visit mohegansun.com/meetings.
Finally, Mohegan Sun Golf Club is another escape from reality as guests can play the 18 – hole championship course and unwind in the spacious clubhouse nestled in the scenic hills of Baltic, Connecticut. Players not only can enjoy the course, they also can utilize the practice facilities, Mohegan Sun Golf Academy, Pautipaug Pub & Grille and check out the well – stocked Pro Golf Shop. Mohegan Sun Golf Club is named one of the 10 Best Courses in Connecticut by Golfweek Magazine.
TURNING STONE RESORT CASINO: Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence
If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to experience the incredible Turning Stone Resort Casino in Upstate New York, this summer is the perfect time to plan your visit. The world-class destination resort is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a series of not-to-be-missed special events.
The only resort in the entire Northeast to earn three Forbes Four-Star Awards and three AAA Four Diamond awards, Turning Stone has long been renowned for the diverse array of entertainment and leisure opportunities it provides. With four hotels, two luxurious spas, five golf courses, more than 20 dining options, an all-new 125,000-square-foot Las Vegas-style gaming floor, a cabaret-style Showroom, a 5,000-seat arena, and several nightlife venues with live entertainment every weekend, there is truly something for everyone at Turning Stone.
The most discerning guests will adore The Lodge, an Adirondack style all-suite hotel, which provides a tranquil setting just steps away from the resort’s excitement. Inside this luxury venue are Wildflowers, lauded among the five best restaurants in Upstate New York, and Skana: spa, where soothing treatments with American Indian cultural themes create the most luxuriously unique spa experience.
Include a trip to the resort’s three championship-level 18-hole golf courses, recognized by Golf Digest, Golfweek and other leading publications as among the best in the country, as well as its two nine-hole courses and expansive indoor Golf Dome, and your lavish getaway is complete.
Yet, with 25 years of experience in creating magical visitor experiences, Turning Stone also continues to remain the newest gaming and resort destination thanks to its commitment to continually evolving and enhancing its amenities.
A recent $20-million-dollar investment further enhanced the resort’s already exceptional guest experience. Extensive upgrades included an all-new contemporary-style gaming floor with both smoke-free and smoker-friendly facilities, the addition of Noodle Noodle, an authentic noodle bowl restaurant and an all-new Food Hall with six new fast casual restaurants with a wide-variety of menu choices, and a floor-by-floor remodel of The Tower, a AAA Four-Diamond rated hotel, with a fresh rustic-contemporary design and an entire floor of hypo-allergenic guest rooms.
Only a few years before these most recent renovations, Turning Stone unveiled a $25 million, multi-venue entertainment complex dubbed “Exit 33.”The first facility of its kind in Upstate New York, “Exit 33” has become a destination unto itself, with four unique venues all under one roof, offering nightlife and dining choices with distinctly different themes.
With fantastic amenities like these around every corner, it’s clear to see why Turning Stone and its 4.5 million annual guests have enjoyed 25 wonderful years of success. Schedule your visit for this summer and experience the enchanting destination for yourself. For more information visit: www.turningstone.com.
SENECA ALLEGANY RESORT & CASINO: Feel the Rush in Western New York
Nestled among the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains in Salamanca, New York is Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino. This full-service resort attracts more than 3 million visitors each year and provides the perfect getaway destination, allowing you to take advantage of nearby skiing, camping, golf, hunting and other recreational opportunities.
Of course, the real attraction is the resort itself, which offers world-class gaming and entertainment, fine and casual dining, a full-service spa and salon and 413 luxury hotel rooms – all surrounded by incredible views.
Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino is home to one of the most impressive hotels in Western New York, awarded AAA Four Diamond certification for every year since 2009. Pamper yourself in any of the luxurious rooms, including 45 corner, end, or center suites. All of the rooms offer spectacular views of the Allegheny Mountains with unobstructed mountain vistas. Make a splash in the relaxing indoor pool, unwind as you soak in the steamy whirlpool, or get your heart pumping in the state-of-the-art workout facility.
Feel the rush of the hottest games in the region and choose from over 1,700 reel and video slots including some of the newest video poker games. Spin your way to a wild jackpot on one of the countless linked progressives or visit the High-Limit Slot machines for higher denomination and max bet games. Some recently added titles include Cleopatra Pinball, Dancing Drums, El Toro, Green Machine, Johnny Cash and more.
There are over 30 table games for non-stop excitement. Seneca Allegany has reorganized the casino floor to increase space between table games to give you greater comfort while playing! All of the tables have been resurfaced with brand new black cloth and the chairs at each table are now wider and more comfortable. Popular games offered are black-jack, craps, roulette, Caribbean stud and let it ride, just to name a few.
No matter your appetite, hit the culinary jackpot at Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino. At the Western Door you can savor cuts, chops and flown-in seafood. Delight in the aromas of authentic Italian at Patria. Choose from more than 120 boutique wines from around the world and enjoy dishes that were all prepared from scratch.
Indulge in indecision at the award-winning Thunder Mountain Buffet. This spectacular all-you-can-eat buffet includes eight serving stations and exhibition cooking with more than 100 items, all prepared with the freshest ingredients.
And there’s more. Choose from breakfast, lunch, or dinner anytime at the 24-hour Seneca Café. Enjoy your favorite drink and appetizer at The River Bar. When you need food on-the-go, stop by Bear Claw Café and Seneca Café Express.
For a break from the excitement, retreat to The Spa & Salon – a place where you can quiet your thoughts, calm your spirit and soothe your senses. Relax with a Swedish body massage, full body wrap or customized facial. Treat yourself to a manicure, pedicure, waxing or hair service in the full-service salon. For more information visit www. senecaalleganycasino. com.