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Taking a Spin

A Guide to Casinos Near and Far

(page 2 of 2)

Rolling the Dice in Mississippi

Beau Rivage

875 Beach Blvd., Biloxi
228/386-7111 • beaurivage.com

    After enduring the brunt of Hurricane Katrina’s fury, the Beau Rivage Casino and Resort underwent a $550 million renovation and officially reclaimed its rightful spot as the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s premier entertainment venue on Aug. 29, 2006 – exactly one year after landfall.  The expansive complex employees more people than any other business in Biloxi (roughly 3,800 folks), and structurally speaking, it’s the tallest and largest building in the entire state. And yet despite its massive thumbprint, the Beau Rivage doesn’t swallow up its guests as the staff and amenities willingly cater to a cornucopia of individual tastes and wishes.

    Into gaming? The remodeled casino floor stretches a couple of city blocks, leaving more than enough room for 93 tables, an armada of 2,100 slot machines and a 16-table poker room. For those with pockets fat enough to escape the hustle and bustle of the main floor, the Beau Rivage offers a secluded high-rollers room stocked with 10 blackjack tables and an interchangeable table for roulette or baccarat; a high-limit slot room with 100 slot machines; an exclusive buffet and bar lounge; dedicated cashier services; private restrooms ; and round-the-clock concierge service.

    Into food? Who isn’t? Beau Rivage’s dining options run the culinary gamut from casual to couldn’t-be-more-formal. The casino buffet is a can’t-miss favorite and features a wide variety of entrees and sides, particularly Southern staples. BR Prime features top-end cuts of steak and seafood and has a 3,500-bottle wine collection. Of course, there’s a place to get coffee, a place to get ice cream, a place to grab a burger and a place to sit and eat a sandwich after 18 holes of golf at Fallen Oak Golf Course.

    Oh, right – the golf. Another great design by Tom Fazio, Fallen Oak is a championship-caliber par-72 course built exclusively for Beau Rivage guests. In 2010, Golfweek magazine named it the top course in the state. ––W.K.

IP Casino Resort Spa

850 Bayview Ave., Biloxi
228/436-3000 • ipbiloxi.com

Rising 32 stories into the sky overlooking Biloxi’s enchanting Black Bay, the IP Casino Resort Spa offers a view rivaled by very few. But you can only look at the water for so long, right? Thankfully, this place offers much more than just a surplus of scenery. Those wishing to test their luck can do so on the 70,000-square-foot gaming floor, highlighted by a 13-table nonsmoking poker room that frequently hosts televised World Poker Tour events. In addition, the usual gambling suspects – blackjack, video poker, slot machines and roulette – are all well-represented at IP, along with specialty games such as Pai Gow and Dragon Bonus Baccarat.

    When the fun on the floor boils over, Senses Spa & Salon is a logical place to unwind and relax. As soon as you step inside, you’re greeted by a gentle wave of colorful fresh flowers, pleasing natural scents and the melodic soundtrack of a rushing waterfall. From there, you can either get in a workout at the spa’s fitness center or go the opposite route and mellow out in the sauna, whirlpools or coed steam room. Either way, fresh fruit, juices and water are plentiful for guests. Reservations are encouraged.

    Newly refreshed, spend the evening at IP’s main showroom, Studio A, which attracts acts from various entertainment genres. This spring alone, IP hosted headlining country acts Gretchen Wilson and Randy Travis, funnymen Jeff Foxworthy and Gabriel Iglesias and a loaded mixed martial arts fight card, not to mention funk legends The Doobie Brothers. ––W.K.

Harrah’s Resort

 

13615 Old North Highway 61, Tunica
800/WIN-4WIN • harrahstunica.com

 

    A familiar name for those who frequent the gaming palace on Canal Street in New Orleans, the Harrah’s in Tunica replicates that first-class casino experience but in a less confined setting. This isn’t the city; this is the country, evidenced by the fact that many Tunica Harrah’s guests camp out at the adjoining Mid-South RV Park. Now, now, don’t fret. For those accustomed to the comforts of home, Harrah’s has plenty of hotel space. But those up for a little bit more adventure can reserve one of the 200 lots at the RV park. And to be honest, it’s not exactly “roughing it.” The Mid-South has a pool, WiFi, volleyball courts, laundry facilities and showers, not to mention places for your pets to roam and frolic.

    Once inside Harrah’s, gamblers find themselves in the largest casino between Las Vegas and Atlantic City – approximately 140,000 square feet of gaming floor space. Table games include blackjack, mini baccarat, three-card poker, roulette, craps and Caribbean Stud. Winnings can be spent at several different restaurants, shopping venues and even at a clay shooting range on the casino grounds.

    If you’re making a weekend out of a trip to Harrah’s, keep in mind that Memphis and its various tourist attractions – Graceland, Beale Street, the National Civil Rights Museum and Sun Records – are less than an hour’s drive away. ––W.K.

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