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Harrah's Cherokee (NC) trip report/review

Last edit: nullzero00 on Friday, 15th August 2014 8:39 pm
Last response by vespajet 18th August 11:25am

Went with the wife for a quick Wednesday overnight. Once we navigated the curvy road of death that leads to the casino, we were impressed with the design and aesthetics of the place. A lot of modern design, with a few elements that seemed "borrowed" from Mohegan Sun's design. No big deal there - MS is one of my favorite casinos.
Check-in, valet, and TR signup were a breeze, and we even got a 30% off coupon for the spa when my wife mentioned she might get a service...more on that later.
For a wednesday night, the place was fairly busy. Video Poker was fairly tight, average of 6/5 to 7/5 JoB for machines cheaper than $1. There were also two $5 craps table, much to my delight. The blackjack tables i saw were "21+3 BJ", and seemed to start at $15 mins. Not sure if they had regular BJ - i guess they would have, but i didn't bother to look, since i didn't want to play.
We stayed in the Soco tower, which was recently renovated. Very nice accommodations, and very big rooms. Even-numbered rooms get the better view of the mountains, so ask for that. Wifi will run you about $11 a day in-room, so plan accordingly. The bed was very comfortable, and the shower had the jacuzzi tub. Separate poop room, with no shat phone (nor an exhaust fan - weird).

Buffet was very good, with plenty of ethnic options. The dinner option was $25, with a $2 discount for TR members. We ate at the Selu Garden Cafe for breakfast, and had the breakfast buffet option for $14. They have an omelet bar, and the omelet ends up being the size of a small football.

Now, about that 30% spa coupon...My wife made an appointment for a pedi the next morning, and mentioned the coupon when booking. They called the next morning and informed her that it didn't apply to hair or nail services - a pretty shitty thing to do, especially an hour from her appointment. Since we had already slept in longer then planned, she cancelled the appointment.

We both played some video slots - my wife had her usual luck with them, but of course i ended up feeding several machines $20 snacks. I'd say between us, we probably broke even on them. Later, we found some open space at one of the two $5 craps tables. They were both packed, and the $10 tables were busy as well. About two hours of play netted a combined loss of $6. Not bad for her first time, and there were some fun people at our table. The following morning we had planned on departing early and driving to Asheville on the way home, but i had to play a little Video Poker before i left. I found a $1 9/5 JoB machine and managed to eke out a $35 profit in about a half-hour of play.

All in all, a good trip and definitely worth a return.

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 vespajet responded on Saturday, 16th August 2014

Despite being the closest casino to me, I've never set foot there. I'm a delivery driver and driving 3+ hours to Cherokee from Atlanta after driving all week is not something I'm inclined to do. In addition, the hotel there is always booked solid on the weekends (I've looked at dates months out and can't get a room.) and doing it as a day trip isn't something I'm willing to do.

It should be interesting to see how things will be up there once their sister property Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino opens next Summer about an hour south near Murphy. There are fears that it will cannibalize the other Harrah's since it is an hour closer to Atlanta, Knoxville and Chattanooga. The GM of the new casino thinks otherwise. The new casino will be much more attractive to day trips and the hotel there opens up more rooms for players up in Cherokee since room availability has been an issue. They also hope it will attract Caesars players in the region that have never played at their NC properties. The tribal entity responsible for the casino projects first year revenues for the new casino of $100 million, but at the same time, a nearly $50 million loss in revenue up in Cherokee.

EBCI, Lambert growing Cherokee County’s Valley River Casino

 nullzero00 replied on Sunday, 17th August 2014

It's a 3 hour drive for me, but I'm coming from the Charlotte area.

The new joint is interesting, but since it is further southwest from me, I doubt I will ever get to it.

 vespajet replied on Monday, 18th August 2014

They're going to market it more towards the folks in Atlanta, Chattanooga and Knoxville since it is only a 2-2.5 hour drive as opposed to a 3-3.5 hour drive. Harrah's Cherokee does quite a bit of advertising here in the Atlanta area, primarily billboards and a few spots during the local news every day. They've even done billboards in Chinese, Japanese and Korean in parts of town in which there is a significant Asian population. They've got one billboard in Midtown Atlanta going north where I-75 and I-85 split mentioning that they're the closest "real casino", a swipe at the Poarch Band of Creek Indians' Wind Creek properties near Wetumpka and Montgomery, Alabama (They only have "bingo slots".).