The best tribal casinos, what they offer, and how they’re keeping their players safe
By Karrie L Zukowski
Despite the impact of COVID-19, tribal casinos across the country have taken steps to safely and cautiously re-opened their doors with much excitement. All are doing their part to make sure guests and employees are safe, while managing to create both a fun and responsible experience. What follows is a look at some of the top tribal properties and what they have to offer under the current coronavirus situation.
SEVEN FEATHERS CASINO RESORT, CANYONVILLE, OR
The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians opened the Cow Creek Bingo Hall in 1992 in Canyonville, OR, which is now Seven Feathers Casino Resort. Today, Seven Feathers Casino Resort has over 900 slot machines, table games such as blackjack and pai gow poker, a bingo hall and keno in the 68,000-square-foot gaming area.
In 1997, the larger-than-life bronze eagle, Skookum Hyak, landed at Seven Feathers to grace the main entrance. At over 33 feet high and weighing over 10,000 pounds, it is the largest bronze casting of an eagle in the world!
Seven Feathers Hotel hosts 300 recently remodeled guest rooms, a beautiful guest reception area and lobby, wonderful concierge and valet services, the Kabi Café, the River Rock Spa, an Arcade, Gift Gallery, an impressive business center and FREE shuttle bus service. Truly a wonderful getaway experience to be enjoyed!
Guests with RVs can stay at their nationally recognized, award-winning RV Resort. Free shuttle service means RV guests will never have to miss any of the gaming action or amazing live entertainment.
Seven Feathers Casino Resort ranks in the top 20 of Pacific Northwest properties according to TripAdvisor (based on guest re- views) and is one of the fastest growing destination resorts in the region. It’s a place where service is delivered by the friendliest people in a location of outstanding natural beauty and the amenities allow you to enjoy a premier resort experience.
While looking forward to seeing everyone again, the health and safety of guests and team members re- main their highest priority. These practices follow the best outlines for sterilization, sanitization and social distancing by health industry experts. Also, the additional cleaning and sanitizing measures that were being taken before their closure will be continued indefinitely.
Seven Feathers will be running limited hours of operation, 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., until they are confident in keeping everyone safe. Since their closure on March 17, Seven Feathers has been hard at work making up- grades to the property to ensure the health and safety of everyone who enters.
A part of their safety protocols, each of the restaurants at Seven Feathers follow strict guidelines including:
- Kabi Cafe is open 7 a.m.-2 a.m., with a limited menu that includes grab & go selections.
- Cow Creek Restaurant is open 7 a.m.-10 p.m., and offer a limited menu and to-go food.
- Stix Sports Bar is open Noon-2 a.m., and offer a limited menu and to-go food.
- K-Bar Steak House is open Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, 5 p.m.–
9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 5 – 10 p.m., and offer a limited menu. No Sunday Brunch at this time.
- New Seven Feathers Food Court is open Thursday – Sunday, Noon – 10 p.m., and offers a variety of options including tacos, rice bowls, chicken, ribs, fried rice, chow mien, sushi and coming soon, pizza.
- Guests are asked to not wait outside the restaurant. A paging system will be used to notify you when your table is ready.
- Hand wipes and hand sanitizer are readily available for guests.
- Tables and chairs are sanitized after every table is finished.
- Single-use, paper menus are provided at the time of seating and discarded after each use.
- Kitchen prep areas and both sides of the food line are sanitized every
30 minutes. All prep/serving utensils are changed out every 30 minutes also and all work areas are sanitized before a team member leaves for break and the next shift begins.
For more information on all that Seven Feathers Casino Resort has to offer, visit www.sevenfeathers.com.
FIREKEEPERS CASINO HOTEL, BATTLE CREEK, MI
FireKeepers Casino Hotel is the Midwest region’s premier gaming destination, featuring over 2,900 slot machines, 70 table games, and a 26-table non-smoking poker room. FireKeepers also offers a wide range of culinary excellence, multiple lounges, a multi-purpose event center and an eight- story, Four Diamond rating, FireKeepers hotel. Whether you want to do it up, do it all or simply do nothing, the ideal getaway starts with the perfect accommodations.
It’s time to turn the world off and get your game on. With a huge assortment of games, you’ll be celebrating one win after another from the minute you arrive. From penny slots to the latest progressive options, you simply won’t find a larger or more varied selection around. When it comes to thrills, FireKeepers brings everything to the table. With over 70 live table games, excitement can happen at any moment.
Plus, voted Best Overall Sportsbook by Casino Player readers, is Dacey’s Sportsbook. Bet on events from the four major sports football, basketball, hockey and baseball along with NASCAR, boxing, MMA, soccer, championship golf, championship tennis and more.
Although 2020 has been limited on the entertainment options, for 2021 the biggest shows and best concerts take place in the 2100 seat Event Center. From Classic Rock to Country, Comedy to Contemporary, FireKeepers is raising the curtain on big-time shows. Starting in February 2021, get tickets for Randy Houser, Larry the Cable Guy, Dick Fox’s Golden Boys, Jake Owen and more! For more information on all that FireKeepers has to offer, visit www.FireKeepersCasinoHotel.com.
SOARING EAGLE CASINO & RESORT, MOUNT PLEASANT, MI
Bliss awaits you as you step into the luxurious property and the largest gaming floor in Michigan, where 210,000 square feet of excitement welcomes you to the action-packed floor. With thousands of the latest slot machines, including progressives, it’s a sure bet that Soaring Eagle has your favorite games. They are always introducing new and exciting slots on the main gaming floor and at the Slot Palace which both include a high limit area.
Table games are the hottest gaming action in the Midwest. Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort offers the widest variety of games, including black- jack, craps, roulette and many more. Your favorite is always close at hand.
Bring on the relaxation and immerse yourself in luxury and unwind in the comfort of first-class rooms and premium suites at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort! There are many amazing amenities to choose from including a fireplace, in-room jacuzzi and beautiful balconies. Head down- stairs to the beautiful 2,400 square foot pool or relax and be pampered when you book one of their amazing spa packages today. To book a room or learn more, visit www.soaringeaglecasino.com.
ISLAND RESORT & CASINO, HARRIS, MI
Island Resort & Casino, part of the Hannahville Indian Community, located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is a luxury hotel and casino where you can experience the very best in casino gaming, concerts, shows, golf, fine dining and so much more. Island’s gaming floor provides the hottest action in the Midwest and they go above and beyond to make sure that you have the ultimate in gaming experience. From the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art gaming technology to traditional table games like blackjack, roulette, craps, and let it ride, Island is sure to have the perfect gaming experience for every member of your party.
Set the scene for a relaxing stay with a visit to the full-service Drift Spa before heading to one of the 300 elegant and comfortable guest rooms or suites. With spacious floor plans and an unmatched array of amenities, it’s sure to be a visit you’ll remember.
For the slot player, the full-size Vegas-style gaming floor at the Island Resort & Casino is like no other in the Midwest. With over 1,200 games, the floor not only features the newest games but the newest gaming technology. Popular games include Lightning Link, Dragon Link, Hot Roll Poker, Jackpot Party and The Flintstones, to name just a few.
Don’t forget to use your Island Club card when playing. The more you play, the more points you earn for rewards, dining coupons, hotel discounts and more. Join the premiere reward program that gives you the ability to earn benefits for practically every dollar you spend. That means you’ll earn rewards for enjoying hotel, dining and entertainment experiences along with slot, bingo and table play.
Experience poker at its finest in the award-winning Island Poker Room. Featuring poker action five days a week, the Island Poker Room brings the excitement and action of Vegas-style poker to the Midwest. The recently updated poker room offers the latest in poker tables, seating and ambience. Visitors will enjoy a wide range of amenities, including non- smoking play, table-side food and cocktail service.
Island Resort & Casino provides delicious dining options ranging from fine dining to quick bites. For signature appetizers, premium beef steaks and seafood, reserve a seat at 5 Bridges Steak & Seafood House. If sports are your thing, stop by T. McC’s Sports Bar. T. McC’s features the area’s only video wall and personalized viewing and audio areas, plus of- fers classic sports bar fare and 20 beers on tap. The Firekeeper’s Restaurant specializes in casual dining by offering a menu highlighted by classic Midwest Cuisine.
For a different type of game, play a round of golf. Island has two championship courses on property, Sweetgrass and the newest, Sage Run! Sweetgrass features beautiful green, park-like areas with their signature is- land-green on the 15th hole. Sage Run features a large drumlin, which is a long, sloping ridge. It runs throughout the course in different directions, challenging players to interact and move along the course with it.
For more information, visit www.islandresortandcasino.com.
WINNAVEGAS CASINO RESORT, SLOAN, IA
There’s so much at WinnaVegas Casino Resort to make your trip memorable, offering some of the best gaming around, including a total of 54,353 square feet of gaming space, 850 slot machines – the most in Siouxland, a non-smoking slot room, nine table games, poker room and bingo hall.
But there’s more to WinnaVegas than gaming. They also feature a beautiful hotel and delicious dining options. So, when you’re ready to relax, take a dip in the pool or hot tub. Play a few holes at the incredible golf simulator, or have some fun in the free Game Lounge, where all the best Playstation, Wii and Xbox video games are for your enjoyment.
At WinnaVegas, you’ll find penny slots to quarter slots to a high-limit VIP area for anyone looking to win big. They have it all with high-tech interactive games, themed games, classic three reels, and pull-down lever machines. Popular slots include Diamond Tens, Double Gold, Triple Red Hot 7’s,Tarzan,Wheel of Prosperity and Tower Stack to name a few.
Be sure to join ClubWINN! Use your card for additional chances to win and other great benefits. Whenever you play, you’ll earn points and credits that qualify you for special cash prizes and Free Play, invitations to VIP members-only parties, discounts at Flowers Island Buffet and the River’s Edge Gift Shop or free tickets to WinnaVegas Events.
Whether you’re looking for a quick snack, bistro favorites, or an all- you-can-eat buffet, WinnaVegas has delicious dining options. Flowers Is- land offers casual dining and an extensive buffet. The buffet menu is hand selected by the chef and rotates regularly. But you can count on BBQ on Thursday, seafood on Friday, and Prime Rib on Saturday. If you’re looking for something unique, head to Kasu Cafe. It’s centrally located and offers a flavorful bistro and coffee menu. Sample one of the artisan paninis or grab a mocha to keep you alert. Kasu is open late, the refined menu and late hours will keep you fueled from morning to night.
For more information on all that WinnaVegas Casino Resort has to offer, visit www.winnavegas.com.
CASINO ARIZONA AND TALKING STICK RESORT, SALT RIVER PIMA-MARICOPA INDIAN COMMUNITY, AZ
Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort is open under limited capacity and with significant health and safety measures in place. Among them include temperature checks, the use of personal protective equipment and social distancing. The properties have also temporarily eliminated smoking, a step combined with the others that they hope will mitigate any potential spread of novel coronavirus amongst guests and employees.
Social distancing has also been implemented throughout each property. At Talking Stick Resort, the number of available hotel rooms are reduced with no access to adjoining rooms. Further, a reduced number of restaurants are open with limited grab and go food and beverage menus. At Casino Arizona, The Coffee Station, Salt River Café and the Bingo Hall are open, while Talking Stick Resort has opened Black Fig, Blue Coyote Café and Ocean Trail for take away dining. Moreover, elevators will be limited to four people per ride and valet services will be temporarily unavailable.
On the casino floor, plexiglass has been installed between slot machines, while others have been taken out of service in order to observe appropriate social distancing. Plexiglass has also been installed at table games for guest and employee safety. In addition to acrylic dividers, limited capacity is practiced at the table games, in the Bingo Hall at Casino Arizona and in the ARENA Poker Room at Talking Stick Resort.
In addition to these physical changes, Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort continue intensified cleaning policies with an increased focus on high-touch, high-traffic areas such as; slot machines, tables, door handles, buttons, and kiosks. Further, designated internal and external teams are in place to implement those policies. Hand sanitizing stations are available for guest use.
“Our goal in reopening is to provide our guests with some much- needed escapism and the fun we have all been lacking in recent months,” said Martinez. “In order to do so, it is crucial that we take the extra time to ensure our employees and guests return to an environment where they can feel comfortable and secure. We believe we have accomplished that, but with any situation as fluid as this pandemic, we will continue to monitor and take any necessary additional steps to protect the health and safety of our guests and employees.”
TULALIP RESORT CASINO, TULALIP, WA
Indulge in the luxury and excitement of Tulalip Resort Casino where you will experience impeccable service, unrivaled rewards and the most cash back of any Washington casino. The AAA Four-Diamond Tulalip Resort Casino is a premier destination in Washington offering luxurious accommodations, award-winning dining, a rejuvenating spa, headline entertainment, casino excitement and world-class shopping.
Tulalip Resort Casino raises the bar with stunning guest rooms that pay homage to the rich history and culture of the Tulalip Tribes with 370 guest rooms that incorporate design, technology and luxury.
Gaming is a Tulalip tradition and the 192,000-square-foot casino beckons to high-rollers and casual players with more than 2,400 slot machines and 35 table games.
From sumptuous culinary artistry to traditional open-fire pit cook- ing, Tulalip Resort Casino showcases some of the region’s best restaurants. Exceptional dining options range from casual bites to sophisticated cuisine. However, due to Covid-19 dining options and procedures have temporarily changed:
- Table configurations, barstools and seating have been adjusted to allow for proper social distancing.
- High-touch items are cleaned and disinfected between guests, or replaced with disposable versions.
- Self-serve items, such as condiments, have been removed.
- Refills will not be provided for self-supplied beverage containers.
- Bars that allow for proper social distancing will be open, and all surfaces will be sanitized frequently.
For more information, visit www.TulalipCasino.com or call 866.716.7162.
SNOQUALMIE CASINO, SNOQUALMIE, WA
Just 30 minutes from downtown Seattle and overlooking the majestic Snoqualmie Valley sits Snoqualmie Casino. A casino dedicated to providing guests with the five-star experience offered in the world’s finest resorts, Snoqualmie Casino has the perfect blend of Vegas-style games and entertainment while still staying true to its native roots.
At Snoqualmie Casino, guests are treated to a variety of dining options. From the award-winning steakhouse, Vista Prime Steaks & Seafood to 12 Moons offering an expansive array of Asian cuisine, the team at Snoqualmie Casino is dedicated to keeping the menus seasonal and appealing to the wide range of guests that visit. The talented culinary team at Snoqualmie Casino loves to bring their creativity outside their venues and can often be seen in cooking segments, competitions, magazines and at food and wine shows. Look out for new innovations and cooking techniques in 2021 as the culinary department has their sights on some big undertakings that are sure to gain national attention.
For the players, there’s plenty of gaming variety to appease everyone. The 1,700 dazzling slot machines include all of the tried and true favorites, plus the latest exciting machines. Table game enthusiasts won’t be disappointed with 54 classic gaming tables to choose from. Whether it’s black- jack or craps, Spanish 21 or roulette, baccarat or fortune pai gow, you will always leave with a story for fun and excitement. For the true Seattleites, Snoqualmie Casino just launched the first Seahawks-themed gaming area. Complete with Seahawks branded blackjack tables, big screens and dealers dressed ready for game-day, this is an immersive fan experience and one not to miss.
During your visit, be sure to join Snoqualmie’s Crescent Club. It’s quick, easy and free to sign up with rewards starting immediately. With Crescent Club membership, every point counts and every reward comes faster. Earn points to exchange for food, drinks and cash, and turn your visits into an escape. There are several benefit tiers to help you get what you deserve: the most out of your membership.
For more information about Snoqualmie Casino and all that it has to offer, visit www.snocasino.com and be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
CLIFF CASTLE CASINO-HOTEL, CAMP VERDE, AZ
Experience the perfect place to play. Located an hour north of Phoenix in the heart of Verde Valley wine country, you’ll find Cliff Castle Casino. The Yavapai–Apache Nation operates Cliff Castle and has been voted the Number One casino in Arizona by Ranking Arizona Magazine for 19 years in a row.
Spend the night in the brand new 122 room hotel at Cliff Casino. This six-story hotel tower offers luxurious rooms, workout room, indoor pool and a café featuring Lavazza coffee. All casinos have slot machines and table games. What they don’t have is the level of commitment to guest satisfaction, friendly team members and a warm and welcoming environment.
With more than 650 new and classic slot machines, your favorite is sure to be among them. Be sure stop by the largest non-smoking area in Northern Arizona. This is the perfect place for gamers to play the latest slot machines available in a non-smoking area, adjacent to the Hotel Lobby.
Club 52, a casual poker room, hosts fast-paced tournaments, progressive bad-beat jackpots, and promotions tied to all your favorite poker games. Featured games include Omaha, Spread and Structured Limit Texas Hold ‘em and Shootout. To help keep you safe and protect against the spread of the virus, Club 52 and all poker promotions are temporarily suspended.
Cliff Castle will have plenty of exciting new promotions, along with some old favorites, in the near future. In the meantime, you will still be able to enjoy slot machines, blackjack and dining.
Sample multiple dining options from Johnny Rockets: The Original Hamburger, to Mountain Springs buffet. Due to COVID, one of the steps taken to protect guests by Cliff Castle, is that Mountain Springs Buffet is serving an A La Carte menu until further notice. If it’s a gourmet meal you’re looking for, the award-winning Storytellers restaurant offers an amazing dining experience with the freshest, most delicious dishes in the region. For more information, visit www.cliffcastlecasinohotel.com.