About a week and a half ago I headed over to Tunica. The main reason was mail-comp abuse�cash in $90 in cash-back coupons (including a $45 coupon from the Isle in Lula), get a free room for a night and three free meals (of six available to me), and mainly get out of Birmingham for just a little while. I intended to play very little of the money, just some quarter VP and nickel video slots. I tried to get a room at the Sheraton, but they were booked up so I settled for the comp from the Grand. Glad I did�more on that in a minute.
After a quick meal at the Sheraton and cashing in the first of two cash coupons (the other wasn't good until the next day), I went down to Lula for the first time ever. This was necessary because the $45, plus a little, was going to cover the $50 deposit required at check-in by the Grand. I could have put it on my debit card (don't use credit cards, ever), but as it states on a little sign at the front desk, those who use debit cards for their deposit may not have remaining balances credited back to their account for up to 30 days. That's a crock, especially since I never incur any additional room charges, so I place a cash deposit insted. In this case, it would also serve as my getaway money, to make sure I wouldn't head back home broke.
The Isle in Lula was nicer than the now-closed Isle in Tunica, but that's not saying much. Their table games action was next to dead, though this was a Tuesday night. It's pretty obvious that they cater to the slot trade, even more so than most casinos today. The VP selection was almost all short-pay, though I did succumb to a bit of play and was rewarded with a small win. Thanks for the cash-back, folks, but I wouldn't make the trip otherwise.
The good part came at the Grand Terrace. I arrived at about 9:15 p.m. I checked in with no problems, and was given a room on the seventh floor (out of eight). As I walked down the hall from the elevator, I noticed that several of the rooms I was passing had large doors with doorbells, double doors, or both. Then I arrived at my room�and found that it was one of those suites! I opened the door, and saw a large suite with a huge bed, full couch, several chairs around a coffee table, and a kitchenette with fridge (stocked with soft drinks and juices), coffeemaker, and microwave (with a package of Orville Reddenbacher popcorn). I peeked into the bathroom�and realized it was bigger than some whole motel rooms I've stayed in. There were two sinks, a huge shower with two heads (regular and hand-held), and a whirlpool big enough for two people! Now if I had only had someone to share it with, but alas . . .
The only fault was that there was no remote for the TV. I stopped by the front desk on my way out to go to supper at the Shoe, and they said they would send one up, but never did. I found out that the reason I got the suite was that the regular rooms�which are pretty nice themselves�were all taken by the time I got there, so I got the suite instead. I knew it wasn't my play at the Grand, which has been pretty spotty as of late. But it's nice to know thatbeing late sometimes has its advantages!
While I didn't play any blackjack, I did watch a few games around town, and noticed nothing new or unusual. The games at the Shoe were crowded, of course, and the rear pit was partially opened on a Tuesday night. Gold Strike was also hopping, and the Sheraton's new "loose slots even looser" marketing campaign is paying off�the place was more full than I've seen it on a weeknight in quite a while, including table games.
(Here's hoping we see a USA South page again soon!)