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Reader Survey Results - Part 225 July 2006
Trying to compare commercial, state-licensed casinos and Native American casinos in a readers poll wouldn't be the easiest of tasks. For one thing, the difference in customer base would skew results far in favor of the commercial casinos.
I've had good times at Chip-In's Island Resort on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, for example, but it's difficult to imagine Chip-In winning any readers' poll categories against the much larger commercial casinos in Detroit, simply because the Detroit casinos draw from a larger population with more potential voters.
In their annual readers polls, Midwest Gaming and Travel and Casino Player magazines skirt the issue by placing tribal casinos in their own categories. Midwest Gaming and Travel breaks everything down by state, while Casino Player lumps casinos from several states into one "Native Midwest" category.
As we did last week with the Chicago-area casinos in Illinois and Indiana, let's check out poll winners in Wisconsin and Michigan (and one in Ontario). You can find full results in Midwest Gaming and Travel's June and July issues, and in the July issue of Casino Player. You can find Midwest Gaming subscription information at www.midwestgamingandtravel.com, while Casino Player is at www.casinocenter.com.
MWGT: Favorite casino; selection of slot machines; selection of table games; high-limit area; poker room; comfortable poker room; poker comps; poker tournaments; VIP lounge; VIP lounge service; comfortable VIP lounge; slot attendants; fine dining (Alley Grille). CP: Cash back; service; dealers; hosts; poker room; poker tournaments; luckiest casino; reel slots; craps; overall entertainment; casino lounge (Apollo Lounge); nightclub (Rapture).
MWGT: Video poker; direct mail offers; players club; players club parties; casino hosts; lounge; sports bar (Lion's Roar); live entertainment; buffet; themed restaurant (Hollywood Brown Derby). CP: Video poker; roulette; steak house (Hollywood Brown Derby); buffet.
MWGT: Friendly staff; knowledgeable staff; casual dining (MotorCity Pit Stop). CP: Overall casino; overall theme; players club; casino promotions; slot tournaments; table games tournaments; trendiest casino; video slots; blackjack; gourmet restaurant (Iridescence).
CP: Overall hotel casino; overall hotel; hotel rooms; hotel suites; room packages; valet parking; comps; innovative slot floor; high-limit slot area; high-limit players lounge; spa; coffee shop (Terrace Café).
A couple of notes before we move on to the tribal casinos. Greektown dominated the Midwest Gaming and Travel voting, while there was a bigger spread among the winners in Casino Player. We'll see just the opposite effect among the Native American winners, where Midwest Gaming and Travel voters spread their votes among more casinos.
Part of the difference is the presence of Ontario's Casino Windsor in the Casino Player poll. Windsor did very well among CP voters, especially in the hotel categories.
Now let's check out Native American winners in Michigan and Wisconsin.
Soaring Eagle, Mount Pleasant
MWGT: Favorite casino; casino hotel; selection of slot machines; video poker; selection of table games; high-limit area; comfortable hotel rooms; hotel amenities; hotel ambience; casino hosts; poker room; comfortable poker room; bingo/casino combination; overall bingo hall; fine dining (Water Lily); live entertainment. CP: Overall hotel; hotel rooms; hotel suites; valet parking; overall theme; players club; comps; casino promotions; innovative slot floor; craps; roulette.
Kewadin (all properties)
MWGT: Players club; cash back.
Kewadin, Sault Ste. Marie
MWGT: Players club parties; buffet; concert venue.
Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos
MWGT: Health club/fitness room; golf course; nearby recreational activities; knowledgeable staff.
Ojibwa Casinos, Marquette and Baraga
MWGT: Slot attendants; friendly staff; friendliest dealers.
Chip-In's Island Resort, Harris
MWGT: Poker tournaments; bingo jackpots; comfortable bingo hall; bingo packages; early-bird bingo; themed/casual restaurant (Firekeepers').
MWGT: Favorite casino; casino hotel; selection of slot machines; video poker; high-limit area; comfortable hotel rooms; hotel amenities; hotel ambience; nearby recreational activities. CP: Overall hotel casino; room packages; overall casino; service; dealers; hosts; luckiest casino; reel slots; video slots; video poker; blackjack; steak house (Copper Oak); coffee shop (Sunrise Cliffs Café).
MWGT: Selection of table games; players club; players club parties; cash back; slot attendants; casino hosts; bingo/casino combination; bingo jackpots; bingo hall; comfortable bingo hall; fine dining (Dream Dance); themed/casual restaurant (Fire Pit Sports Bar & Grill); concert venue; live entertainment.
Mohican North Star, Bowler
MWGT: RV park; golf course.
Majestic Pines, Black River Falls
MWGT: Friendly staff: knowledgeable staff; friendliest dealers.
MWGT; Poker room; comfortable poker room; poker tournaments.
Oneida, Green Bay
MWGT: Bingo packages; overall bingo; buffet.
In Casino Player, the only Michigan tribal casino to win any categories was Soaring Eagle, while the only Wisconsin casino to win was in Ho-Chunk. Part of the reason is that both are big, beautiful casinos.
But a big part of the reason for the landslide is customer base. Soaring Eagle is a beautiful full-service resort with a 512-room hotel and 150,000-square foot casino, and has a good location just an hour or so north of Lansing. Ho-Chunk is in the Wisconsin Dells, drawing vacationers throughout the Midwest.
The Midwest Gaming and Travel poll spreads the awards around, but look at Ho-Chunk's primary competitor. It's Potawatomi, in Milwaukee. It deserves the recognition, a beautiful facility, and the Dream Dance restaurant really is top-notch.
But come poll time, does location matter? You bet.
Listen to John Grochowski's "Beat the Odds" tips Saturdays at 6:20 a.m., 2:50 p.m. and 7:41 p.m. and Sundays at 8:20 a.m., 2:50 p.m. and 10:42 p.m. on WBBM-AM, News Radio 780 in Chicago, streaming online at www.wbbm780.com, and to his casino talk show from 7 to 8 p.m. Saturday on WCKG-FM (105.9), streaming at http://1059freefm.com.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Best of John Grochowski