When I was around eight-years old, my family drove cross-country one summer on a family vacation. We stopped off in Las Vegas to spend a day there. I remember the Excalibur had a ‘Kids’ Casino’ on the lower level. We obviously didn’t gamble, but they had kids’ games (sort of like a carnival) and we won costume jewelry, stuffed animals, etc. I went back one other time in my early twenties for a short trip.
These two trips were the extent of my casino experiences until I visited Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort about ten years ago. The first thing I thought when we drove onto the grounds of Harrah’s was, “I cannot believe this place is only 20 minutes from my house!” We ate dinner that night and played the slot machines for maybe an hour. Since then, I have had many friends attend concerts and events at Harrah’s, relax at their spa and enjoy a meal at one of their many restaurants. But I had not personally spent a lot of time there.
Fast forward to this year when I visited Harrah’s again on a media tour. All I can say is WOW! The place has grown significantly and offers such an amazing experience for locals and visitors. My husband and I spent the day with Craig Day, the regional manager of community relations and internal communications. We experienced an extensive tour, ate a delicious lunch and ended the day with some time on the gaming floor.
As we walked among the floors of Harrah’s, I was struck by the beautiful art work in the rooms and the commons areas. All of the artwork at the resort are original pieces. I was also impressed with the architecture, the gardens and the various places around the resort where people can rest, read, work on a laptop or engage in a conversation with a friend. The overall ambiance was certainly one of relaxation and beauty.
If you enjoy gaming, Harrah’s offers everything you can imagine in the way of machines and tables. When we visited, they were filming The World Series of Poker, so that was really fun to see. The resort has a Total Rewards program where players can accumulate points in exchange for benefits and rewards. Harrah’s also has a responsible gaming program to ensure that individuals are playing responsibly.
The resort also hosts many, many musical guests throughout the year and is a very popular concert venue. Their list of dining establishments is extensive and includes a BRIO and a Ruth’s Chris, among other places. For families who visit Harrah’s, they have great pools and will soon house a bowling alley. Further, attractions/places such as hiking, rafting, Biltmore Estate, Asheville, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are a short drive away. We saw a number of families there when we were touring the grounds.
Craig told us that the mission of Harrah’s is to offer a total experience. The resort uses the acronym RDE which stands for Resort, Dining, Entertainment. Also, Harrah’s is a major employer of Western North Carolina with 2,800 employees. The employees of Harrah’s have great benefits. If you’re interested in applying, you can read more about that here.
Overall, we had such a fun day visiting this amazing attraction that is basically in our backyard. Whether it’s for a date night, a family trip or a fun girls’ night out, I will definitely be returning to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort. And here’s some other exciting news. The Cherokee location is so popular and often overbooked, Harrah’s is opening a second location next month (September 2015). The new resort is called Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel and is located near Murphy, NC. Stay tuned for more about that!
What about you? Have you ever been to Harrah’s? If so, what is your favorite aspect of the resort?
In compensation for this post, my husband and I were treated to a tour and lunch. As always, opinions are 100% my own.