WOW! What a kicky blast.
As I mentioned before, our insurance agent (Brent) gave us passes to get into the pre-opening party last night of the new casino in the area, Four Winds. It was one heckuva shindig, believe me. The place was packed, and Brent said they had no idea the turnout would be that big. It officially opened to the public today, and I'm sure it was even crazier. The news tonight showed the cars heading down the "driveway" (a lovely, curvy drive through the forest) toward the building. They had mountains of food out (including chocolate covered strawberries, yum!) and free booze (whether or not you were gambling) from 7-10. People were walking around holding four beers. Kind of funny.
Anyhoo, the place is beautiful. They used lots of wood, and it looks like a mountain lodge. All the staff seemed genuinely happy to be open, and their cheerfulness was catching. We had such a great time! We even came out ahead on blackjack, too, which makes it even better. All the $5 tables were full, so we thought what the heck, let's play the $10 tables. Our fellow players didn't know how to play...so they were asking us what to do! It was perfect--we won as a table fairly often, beating the dealer. THAT'S how to play a table, folks. Everyone has to work together--make that dealer bust, and everybody's happy!
Lots of bigwigs were around. We saw William "The Refrigerator" Perry--he really is huge. It would definitely be like having a fridge that could run at you and knock you down. Yikes! We saw Scottie Pippen, and although we didn't see them, there were other famous folks there: Bruce Willis, the guy who played Bobby on "The Sopranos," and none other than Michael Jordan. I doubt that they were hanging around the $10 tables, though...my guess would be the high stakes room. Ha! Looks like this could be a destination for folks in the Chicago area. Anyone in the Chicago/northern Indiana area, it's a great place--I give it a big thumbs up, and we'll go back, for sure! Check out some pictures. Here's part of the slots area, and one of the bars:
This is the main hallway. The woodwork is beautiful. Look at the guy in the white jacket. Who's he trying to be, Tony Soprano?!
This is the buffet area. We didn't have the buffet, but we'll have to try it when we go back. Those pillars are wood. Hey, is that guy pointing at me? I didn't even notice him when I took the picture. Uh-oh...is someone going to be paying me a visit?
It was just so much fun. The pictures can't begin to convey the size of the place. When I got up from the blackjack table to use the restroom, I got lost on the way back! It took me 15 minutes to find our table again. This is what the South Bend Tribune said:
"From the entranceway rotunda and its two fireplaces reflecting the Potawatomis' role as "keepers of the fire'' to the casino's heavy reliance on copper, cedarwood and stone materials often used in tribal ceremonies, it's clear the casino resort is big on tribal heritage.
Actually, it's big on just about everything. Among its features:
A gaming area occupying 130,000 square feet and capable of serving as many as 8,000 people at any one time. It's so large that if it were to be picked up and moved to Las Vegas, it would be the city's second largest casino in terms of pure gaming space. Only the MGM Grand is larger.
A fully automated poker room — that's right, even the cards are automated -- that's just one of two in the country. "There's no dealer, no mistakes,'' said poker manager Glenn Arana.
A high-limit area with chip denominations as high as $25,000."
Tribune Staff Writer
What fun to have this in our backyard! Thanks for the passes, Brent!