Tips & Trivia
Your Best Bet - Select a Casino for Your Group Outing
There are good reasons for casinos being iconic destinations for bachelor and bachelorette parties. For these same reasons, casinos should be top on the consideration list for any group planner. And while the enjoyment of gaming could be an attraction, it doesn’t have to be. Let’s consider why casinos are good for all types of groups.
There's No Second Class
Typically, casinos have the ambience of a first-class resort with a large number of guest rooms and amenities equal to 4 or 5 star hotels. Moreover, the nightly rates for these rooms are substantially less than found at comparable non-casino resorts. Traditionally, casinos have kept their room rates lower to attract customers who will stay at the casino longer and play more. Groups can take advantage of these affordable rates and increase participation. A win, win!
Plenty of Room for Meeting
So many casinos also offer meeting and event space. TRIPinfo.com has identified 308 U.S. casinos with hotel rooms and more than 1,500 square feet of meeting space here making them great venues for group travel.
Event spaces are set apart from the hotel and casino providing privacy, yet they are easily accessible from guest rooms and outside entrances. Groups looking for meeting space can expect a variety of capacities from a private boardroom seating 10 to a theater-style presentation with stage for 5,000 attendees or an impressive banquet for 300 with dance floor for special celebrations. Planners may also anticipate a professional staff to assist with the event planning and production as well as state-of-the-art audio-visual capabilities.
The Fun Starts Here
Casinos have another great draw for group travel: The fun never stops! Whether after the meeting or the reason for the trip, count on the casino for providing the fun. Quite literally, casinos have something for everyone and every taste.
First and foremost, there is casino gaming. Whether playing the classic table games like blackjack or the latest in video poker, everyone will get their adrenaline flowing during the intense action on the casino floor.
As if that isn’t entertaining enough, casinos provide their guests with even more entertainment. Presenting full-scale productions, magic shows, comedy shows and concerts, casinos across the country book the top entertainment and headliners.
Some productions and artists may be seen several times a week at some casinos. In Las Vegas, Zarkana™ by Cirque du Soleil® is a spectacular production at ARIA Resort & Casino while Rod Stewart and Celine Dion perform at Caesar’s Palace and Penn & Teller amaze audiences at Rio.
Other casinos have full schedules with a variety of entertainment throughout the month. For example, country music superstars Keith Urban and Brad Paisley have upcoming concert dates at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, OK and Bret Michaels, The Beach Boys and LeAnn Rimes are just a few headliners on the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino entertainment schedule in Biloxi, MS.
Other nightlife adventures at casinos include a variety of nightclubs for dancing, lounges with darts and televised sports, billiard parlors and bowling alleys.
Casinos are famous for their variety, quantity and quality of food. Even the smallest casinos have several different restaurants and dining options. Casino restaurant staples include the budget-friendly all-you-can-eat buffet, fine dining, late-night dining spot and quick snack bar. Depending on the size of the casino, your group may find several restaurants featuring different cuisines and serving styles including sit-down, cafeteria, self-serve and buffet. Larger casinos may offer restaurants by a famous celebrity chef.
Would your group retreat be incomplete without a trip to a theme park? Just ask a casino if they have the answer. Most likely, they will offer thrill rides and other attractions with a casino twist. For instance, Las Vegas’ Circus Circus and their Adventuredome Theme Park has 5 acres of indoor fun perfect for most all ages. More thrills can be found at New York New York’s Big Apple Coaster & Arcade or the scream-inducing thrills at the Stratosphere. Look for the new attraction, CSI: The Experience, based on the hit TV show and popular for ages 12 through adult at MGM Grand.
Pools and More Pools
If all this excitement has been enough, take time out and enjoy the sun beside the pool. Now, don’t expect this to be just any pool. It will be luxurious with amenities galore. Hot tubs, luxury cabanas with flat-screen TVs, poolside massages, pool bars, DJs and waterfalls are just about pre-requisite. In fact, many casino pools are ranked “Best Of” by different sources. Here are just a few that your group might enjoy:
Golden Nugget, Las Vegas – A pool with waterfalls sits beside an aquarium filled with sharks and other sea creatures. A 3-story waterslide goes through the center of The Tank.
Harrah’s Ak-Chin, Maricopa, AZ – Lined with palm trees, this uber-luxe pool features a swim-up bar serving lunch items and libations.
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas – On 11 acres, this South Seas-themed pool area has 3 large pools, a lazy river and a wave pool with nightly concerts during the summer.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas – Swim without missing a beat! An underwater sound system keeps the music alive in this 4.7-acre pool.
Harrah’s Resort Southern California – Featuring the only swim-up bar in SoCal, this lavish palm tree-lined pool area features 3 beautiful pools, lazy river, waterfalls and heated Jacuzzis.
Tropicana, Las Vegas – Be cool while playing blackjack. This 4-acre pool is known for its swim-up bar and blackjack table, waterfalls and connected lagoons.
Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City – Open year-round, this heated in-door, glass-domed swimming pool stays at 82 degrees. If needed, one of the 6 hot tubs can turn up the heat.
Casinos are amenable to arranging group outings and activities – possibly a golf tournament or just a few friendly rounds. Many casinos have championship golf courses. The Talking Stick Golf Club at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, AZ has 2 award-winning, distinctive courses offering a variety of scenery and experiences. The French Lick Hotel & Casino in French Lick, IN offers 4 award-winning championship golf courses. While some casinos in Las Vegas may not have a golf course on property, guests have access to the 55 golf courses in Las Vegas.
Looking to do a little shopping? Casinos have a variety of high-end stores nearby where winners can celebrate their new-found fortune. Other casinos are near discount malls where the less fortunate might buy back that shirt that was lost. The casino can recommend the best shopping for your outing.
For some true R&R, casinos offer some world-class spas with unmatched amenities and treatment menus. Spend time with others in the group or take time for some solitude melting the tensions and exhilarating the body.
Think of casinos when planning for your next group trip or event. With so much to see and do at an affordable price, that casino just might be the right fit.