Advertisement Restaurant.com Weekly Promo Offer 728 x 90

Southwest

Two New Indian Casinos Opening This Week

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Into the doom and gloom surrounding the gaming industry’s biggest players — as well as the national economy — come the openings of two Indian casinos this week in the Southwest.

Wednesday, the Navajo Nation, America’s largest Indian tribe, will open their first casino, the $30 million Fire Rock Casino near Gallup, New Mexico.  The 65,000 square-foot space will feature a bingo hall, blackjack and poker tables as well as 400+ slot machines and marks the end of a long road to bring gaming to the Navajo tribe. (more…)

Comments Off on Two New Indian Casinos Opening This Week

New Gila River Casino on Pace to Open November 20

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
Workers recently installed this sign at the new Gila River Casino, Lone Butte.

Workers recently installed this sign at the new Gila River Casino, Lone Butte.

The new Gila River casino, Lone Butte, at Loop 202 and Kyrene Road in Chandler, Arizona is coming together nicely for the scheduled November 20 opening date.  I am really looking forward to playing in this new Phoenix-area casino which is slated to have 850 slot machines, a 750-seat bingo hall, new high-limit player areas and exciting table games including Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive, Let It Ride Three-Card Bonus and Three-Card Poker.  And, for a non-smoker like me, the thought of a state-of-the-art smoke removal system built right into the facility makes me swoon.

In grand opening promotions, casino customers can play their favorite games for cash and prizes including a new Pontiac Soltice which will be given away on December 4th.  Prior to the main event car giveaway, the “Luck Has a New Home” promo will award cash prizes to players from 6 – 10 p.m., November 5, 12 — at the current Lone Butte location —  and on the 26th at the new casino. (more…)

Comments Off on New Gila River Casino on Pace to Open November 20

How To Turn a $25 Coupon into $1200

Saturday, October 25th, 2008
While maybe not a fortune, Fort McDowell had $1200 waiting for me.

While maybe not a fortune, Fort McDowell had $1200 waiting for me.

Sounds like an infomercial, doesn’t it?  The funny thing is – it’s true!   It happened to me this week at Fort McDowell Casino in Arizona and it proves – again – why you should use your player’s club card.

Earlier this week, P.B. and I decided to head out to “The Fort” to take advantage of some coupons that came in our quarterly “Fortune Club” mailers – one for $25 in cash, another for free dinners.  After we turned in our cash coupons, we sat down to play at a couple of All-Star Poker™ machines.   I chose the Spin Poker™ option – my favorite game – playing Double Double Bonus in the 10¢ denomination and, on my third hand, hit for a couple hundred dollars with four 2’s and a kicker.  About 10 hands later, I was dealt the ace, king, queen and ten of spades…held the four cards… held my breath…and YES!  Got the JACK for royal flushes on three lines and $400 x 3 = $1200 (and a W-9!) 

With the free dinners thrown in, this turned out to be a profitable trip for us and all because of a $25 coupon.  I think it’s more than we made in the stock market this week and a lot more fun!

There were a lot of people at the casino that same night, many of whom were cashing in coupons so The Fort’s promotion is paying off in terms of getting people in the door.  It would be nice to think that they – and casinos everywhere – would continue to offer decent incentives to frequent players, especially in this economy.  Jean Scott has a couple of really good articles this week on her blog at Anthony Curtis’ Las Vegas Advisor.  In an interesting post from October 18, she talks about the different ways casinos can react to the economic downturn and in a second post from October 23; she outlines some “Slot Club Changes.”  You’ll see, when you read them, how the two articles are related.

From my own perspective, while local casinos have no where near the competition that Las Vegas, Reno or Atlantic City casinos have, I would like to tell them that offering decent club incentives would keep frequent players coming in – good economy or bad.  Don’t give me $5 or $10 to show up – at midnight – or other ridiculously-low, crazily-limited “bonuses.”  You’ll weather the storm and build player loyalty to boot.  Win, win.

1 Comment »

Gila River to Debut Exciting New Arizona Casino November 20

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008
Soon the ringing of slot machines will replace construction noise at the newest Arizona casino, Gila River's Lone Butte.

Soon the ringing of slot machines will replace construction noise at the newest Arizona casino, Gila River's Lone Butte.

When the clock strikes 3 pm on November 20, the newest Arizona casino will open its doors to the public at the Loop 202 and Kyrene Road near the Phoenix suburb of Chandler.   Gila River’s new Lone Butte Casino will offer gamers more than 120,000 square-feet of casino entertainment including 850 slot machines, live blackjack, casino bingo, and a host of poker games including Fortune Pai Gow Poker® Progressive, Let It Ride Three-Card Bonus® and Three-Card Poker®.

Slot machine aficionados will find both new casino slot games like eBay™ (see eBay™ photos here) as well as popular favorites such as Wheel of Fortune®, Star WarsTM, and Blazing 7’s.  Casino bingo players will be treated to a 750-seat state-of-the-art bingo hall with both matinee and evening sessions. 

And Gila River planners have made sure players won’t go hungry while visiting the new casino by offering six restaurants in the expansive $60 million facility.  Visitors can choose from Venona Chophouse, Café 24/7, Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Express, Tuscan Olive, Quiznos™ plus a quick-serve coffee shop featuring Starbucks™ coffee.

Looking for some live entertainment to complement your gaming?  Then visit the new Cascades Lounge evenings Thursday to Sunday for a variety of entertaining acts.

The Gila River Indian Community operates three Phoenix-area casinos including Wild Horse Pass, Vee Quiva and Lone Butte.  (The current Lone Butte casino at 56th Street will be closed prior to the opening of the new casino.)

Look for more updates on the opening of Lone Butte as we draw closer to the big day!

Comments Off on Gila River to Debut Exciting New Arizona Casino November 20

Casino Arizona Construction Update

Saturday, October 18th, 2008
Construction on the new resort hotel at Casino Arizona Indian Bend

Casino Arizona at Indian Bend - construction has progressed rapidly since this photo was taken in early September.

Casino Arizona is moving right along with construction of its new resort and spa at Indian Bend and the Loop 101.  Members of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community are betting that this new 15-story resort featuring almost 500 rooms and a huge, 13,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art spa along with the location’s already-operating Talking Stick Golf Club will appeal to Scottsdale visitors looking for an activity and amenity-packed resort experience.

The centerpiece of the new resort near will be the casino with its 240,000 square-foot gaming floor featuring 800 slot machines, 50 poker tables, a Vegas-style off-track betting lounge, and a high-limit slots area.  When it comes time to dine or just relax with a cocktail, guests will be able to choose from among eight restaurants and 10 lounges.  Also, a new 750-seat showroom will bring live entertainment year-round to the venue. 

In addition to Scottsdale/Phoenix locals and vacationers, the new Casino Arizona Resort & Spa will also be courting the business and convention community by offering over 50,000 square-feet of meeting and expo space. 

Slated to open in December 2009, the new hotel will be privately operated by the community.  A “topping-off” ceremony was held earlier this week when members and invited guests gathered to celebrate the placement of the final beam onto the structure.  (The photo above was taken in late-summer.)

In addition to the Indian Bend location, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community also operates Casino Arizona at McKellips Road and the Loop 101 and hosts more than 7 million visits yearly at its two properties.

Comments Off on Casino Arizona Construction Update

Fall Foliage Trip to New Mexico & a Visit to Isleta Casino & Resort

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Set your GPS for Isleta Casino and Resort near Albuequerque

Set your GPS for Isleta Casino and Resort near Albuquerque

Don’t you just love autumn?  The stunning spectacle of leaves turning ingot gold and fiery rust…that exhilarating first burst of cold morning air.  Since those are NOT something we get to enjoy in Phoenix, P.B. and I always take at least one or more three to four day trips somewhere north where we can recharge from the long hot summer and enjoy autumn’s colorful show along the way.

This year, I’ve got a new place I want to visit – Isleta Casino & Resort in Albuquerque.  Our local paper recently had an eight-page advertising supplement put out by the tourism department of the state of New Mexico and in it was an entire page devoted to this one casino.  From the photos and descriptions, it looks like a great destination with plenty to do and lots to see plus it’s in one of our favorite Southwest cities.  And, since the drive there and back takes us through miles and miles of high desert plains, mountains and forests, I’m betting that it will be one spectacular ride this fall. 

Here’s the trip we’ve planned for this Fall that will take us through Northern Arizona and into New Mexico. There’s so much to see and do but we’ll be sure to leave lots of time for gaming and relaxing…as well as time for enjoying some great Southwest cuisine.

Day One– Leave Phoenix about 10 a.m. and drive north on the Beeline Highway (AZ 87) and follow it through the Tonto National Forest before stopping for lunch in Payson at Cucina Paradiso Italian restaurant. (Try their homemade spumoni ice cream – it’s well worth the calorie splurge.) After lunch, continue on through northern Arizona and on to New Mexico for a late afternoon check-in at Isleta Casino & Resort.  (Call and ask about their $99 room rate during October.) Spend the rest of the day just tooling around the resort – probably play some video poker or slots.  With more than 1,600 machines to choose from we should find some of our favorite games. Dinner that night is at the resort’s 505 Fusion restaurant where I will definitely try their posole – yum!

Day Two– If the weather is right, we’ll head to Isleta’s stocked lakes for some fishing and maybe a fall picnic lunch. Later, I’ll visit the spa for a chocolate facial (now that will take away any fishy smell from the day’s catch!) while P.B. takes a nap or plays in the casino. That evening, we’ll head into Albuquerque for a visit to the Old Town Plaza and a little shopping – you can never have too many pairs of silver and turquoise earrings – followed by a dinner of tamales and chile rellenos at the Church Street Café.  Later, back at the resort, we’ll check out the entertainment in the lounge, play a little more poker and make this our late night out.

The city of Albuquerque

The city of Albuquerque rises along the Rio Grande river. (I should get some kind of prize for how many times I have correctly spelled the word "Albuquerque" in this post.)


Day Three – After we sleep in a bit we’ll have a late breakfast and then take a ride into Albuquerque and to Sandia Casino & Resort and try our luck there. Later that afternoon we’ll travel 4,000 feet up Sandia Peak on the famous Sandia Peak Tramway for a breath-taking view in every direction. We took the tram once in the spring a few years ago and had a wonderful experience so I can only imagine how beautiful the view will be with all the fall leaves blazing in the light of a late afternoon sunset. (Be sure to have a jacket available for the trip to the summit as it gets really cold at that elevation.) After the tram trip, it’s back to Isleta and an early dinner before calling it a night. We want to be well-rested for the drive home.

Day Four -Time to drive back to Phoenix but this time we’ll take I-40 all the way to Flagstaff and then head south to the Valley via I-17. If the timing is right, we’ll do a lunch stop at Cliff Castle Casino (exit 289 off I-17) for my Indian Fry Bread “fix” at the casino’s Gallery restaurant. Finally, home to Phoenix and a last burst of warm Indian summer temps before cooler weather comes to the desert.

Cucina Paradiso 512 N Beeline Hwy Payson, AZ 85541 (928) 468-6500

Comments Off on Fall Foliage Trip to New Mexico & a Visit to Isleta Casino & Resort

Travel Arizona – “Cliffs” Part 2 – Ridin’ the Verde Canyon Railroad

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Mountains surround the Verde Canyon Railroad depot in Clarkdale, Arizona.

The Verde Canyon Railroad Trip

I promise you that I am going to wax poetically while describing this trip – there is just no other way to do it justice.  If you live in Arizona and haven’t taken this trip – stop right now, scroll down to the link and make reservations – it is that good.

Here’s a look at our trip.  We chose the Starlight Tour which leaves at 5:30 PM on select Fridays and Saturdays from May through September.  If you are booking your trip for other months, be aware that the train runs year ‘round with a variety of special seasonal trips and varying times so don’t worry – there will be a great trip available for you, too. 

We arrived at the depot in Clarkdale, a small town located just a short drive from Cottonwood, and spent some time in their interesting gift shop before boarding the train.  (There is also a snack bar at the depot and you can eat there or take something onboard for later.)  Our tickets were for First Class but you can also choose Coach Class with Adult, Child and Senior tickets available.  Couples and others looking for a little quiet time should definitely consider the First Class option.

Once we boarded and settled into our comfy sofa-style seating, we were introduced to the amenities of the First Class car including a cash bar and the complimentary snacks which, for our trip, included hot wings, mini-sandwiches, a cheese and cracker selection plus my favorite, a fresh mozzarella and tomato salad.  After what the train staff calls their traditional “toast to a good ride” – your choice of champagne or sparkling apple juice – we were off. 

The setting sun gives a molten glow to the mountaintops.

Red cliffs and molten gold mountaintops on the Verde Canyon route.

The train travels along the upper Verde River, through red rock canyons and past soaring cliffs colored orange and gold, sage and slate with bits of lavendar and rose thrown in for good measure.  Along the way, your bartenders and hosts will provide a running travelogue of sites set against a backdrop of original music.  You can stay in the enclosed car or for the best experience, enjoy your ride outside on the open-air viewing car.  During your journey, you’ll see ancient cliff-dwellings, bald eagle nests, and some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere.   If you’re lucky, you may spot an eagle gliding through the canyon or an elk stopping by the river for a cool drink.   There’s so much more but I want you to be surprised when you see it first-hand.

My favorite part of our journey was the nighttime ride back to depot when the only lights came from the seemingly millions of stars above and from the headlamps of the train reflecting off the canyon walls.  This is a ride I would love to take again – either a daytime trip in the Spring when the wildflowers are in bloom or perhaps one of their wine-tasting journeys. 

For online reservations visit their website here – Verde Canyon Railroad

Comments Off on Travel Arizona – “Cliffs” Part 2 – Ridin’ the Verde Canyon Railroad

Travel Arizona – “Cliffs,” Canyons and Cottonwood Eats

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Greetings from Cliff Castle

Arizona offers lots of great travel options for players so when you can combine a casino trip with a train ride, spectacular scenery, a wealth of good food and a visit to a national monument, what’s not to like? Backstory – Last March, P.B. and I attended the Phoenix Suns’ “Suns and Stars Charity Event” at the Arizona Biltmore and bid on and won a travel package featuring two nights at the Best Western – Cottonwood and tickets for four people on the Verde Canyon Railroad. Using those two items, we put together a really fun trip with lots of indoor and outdoor activities – a trip that we highly recommend you consider for a quick getaway. (more…)

Comments Off on Travel Arizona – “Cliffs,” Canyons and Cottonwood Eats





By TwitterButtons.com BestofVegas. Best Shows. Best Hotels. Best Prices. Restaurant.com Weekly Promo Offer 125 X 125 Expedia.com


Gambling Hot Spots


BestofVegas! Best Shows. Best Hotels. Best Prices.

Subscribe to Our Feed Save at the Chic, New Cosmopolitan Hotel

Free Email Newsletter! Get all the latest deals and discounts for Las Vegas hotels, restaurants, shows and more. PLUS, we'll send you tips on what to do NOW in Las Vegas!

We will never spam you, and you can unsubscribe at any time.




  • Recent Comments

  • Kristel Brackbill: Hello there! It looks as though we both have a passion for the same thing. Your blog, “Play...
  • Las Vegas Hotels Rock: The Mirage Hotel & Casino has some of the best hotel deals on the Las Vegas Strip. We got...