Top 10 Safety & Security Tips for RV Casino Parking

Numerous RVs are attracted to casino parking lots for their free overnight parking.

RV Park at Rolling Hills Casino, Corning, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
RV Park at Rolling Hills Casino, Corning, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RVers looking for a place to boondock soon discover there aren’t places that allow free overnight parking. Most states discourage overnight parking at interstate rest areas, shopping malls ask RVs to leave at the end of the business day, and some 24-hour supercenters have posted “No Overnight Parking” signs. You can usually stay overnight at a truck stop, but their parking areas tend to be crowded and noisy with diesel engines running throughout the day and night.

Casino parking lots, on the other hand, are hospitable. Casinos welcome adult campers since they know they will likely receive additional business. RVers, in return, will enjoy a quiet, safe parking spot to rest for the night without being hassled. Since most casinos are open 24/7, security personnel are on duty throughout the night.

Following are the top 10 safety and security tips for free RV casino parking:

1. After you pull into the parking lot, check with security to verify that you can stay overnight in the parking lot and ask where they want you to park.

2. Limit your free overnight parking to a single 24-hour period. Some casinos will allow longer stays, upon request.

3. If there is no designated area for large vehicles, park on the perimeter of the lot. Do not take up spaces intended for cars. Casinos in crowded urban areas may not have space to accommodate RVs. Be sure to obtain permission before you park.

RV Park at Rolling Hills Casino, Corning, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
RV Park at Rolling Hills Casino, Corning, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Do not abuse the property owner’s hospitality. During our travels we have observed RVers who act as if they own the place and put out their awning, barbecue grill, table, and chairs. A parking lot is not a campground. Do not look like your are establishing residence! If there is adequate space, it’s OK to extend a slideout, but restrict your activities to the inside of your RV.

5. Do not leave your RV unattended overnight or for any extended period of time. This may seem like simple, common sense advice, but you’d be surprised at how many folks park their expensive units in a parking lot and then go off to visit friends for a few days. If you are inconsiderate enough to do this don’t be surprised upon your return to find your unattended vehicle has been towed away.

6. Be a good neighbor. Be considerate of others with your TV, music, and generator.

7. Keep your area clean. Pick up any trash you see whether it is yours or not. Leave the area cleaner than the way you found it.

8. Use common sense and common courtesy with your pets.

9. If the casino has a fee-pay campground as part of the facility, it is essential to check with security to inquire about your options for staying overnight. Some casinos will allow you to stay in the parking lot anyway. But there are a number of casinos that require you to pull into their campground if you want to stay for the night.

10. Give the casino your business. If you don’t gamble a lot, that’s OK. Casinos usually provide quality food in their restaurants, cafes, and buffets. Some have live entertainment, movie theater, retail shops, and spa facilities.

Boondocking at a casino is comfortable. You have your home with you so you can either walk or take the shuttle bus to and from the casino. If you participate in the gaming, you can play shorter and more relaxing gaming sessions with breaks in between. If you are averse to crowds, you can play at odd hours and avoid peak play times. And for couples, when one wants to play cards or slots and the other doesn’t, there’s no problem.

Boondocking at a casino is convenient. Casinos are located all over the country; many within a mile or two of an interstate exit.

Casino Camping by Jane Kenny
Casino Camping by Jane Kenny

RV-friendly casinos are listed in the popular guide, Casino Camping A Guide to RV-Friendly Casinos from Roundabout Publications. The new revised 2015 edition is now available from Camping World stores across the US, CampingWorld.com, and Amazon.com.

Written by Jane Kenny, Casino Camping A Guide to RV-Friendly Casinos features detailed information, locator maps, and directions to hundreds of casinos in 32 states. Learn which casinos have an RV park and which ones allow free overnight parking.

RV parks at casinos are popular among RVers because they offer modern, upscale facilities at reasonable rates. Boondockers seek casinos for a quiet, safe place to park.

And, of course, there’s the obvious benefit, boondocking at RV-Friendly casinos is free!

Worth Pondering…

I like to think of the world as a sort of a casino, except the house doesn’t have the advantage. If you’re smart, you have an advantage. It behooves you to place a lot of bets.

—Evan Williams

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New Casino RV Park Opens in Michigan

The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan recently celebrated the grand opening of the Soaring Eagle Hideaway RV Park.

The property features 67 RV sites each 50 feet in length with water, sewer, and 30-amp electricity service, concrete pads, fire pits, grill, picnic tables, and free Wi-Fi access.

The campground is situated on a 25-acre lake that’s fully stocked for fishing.

Visitors also can enjoy a clubhouse, walking trails, laundry facilities, and a playground.

The Horizon Construction Group, based out of Madison, Wisconsin, was hired as the general contractor for the project in conjunction with the construction of the Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel.

Soaring Eagle Hideaway RV Park

Access to the Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotels pool, club house, steam room, hot tub, sauna, fitness center, Nbakade Restaurant, and Cyber Quest arcade is also available (indoor waterpark admission not included).

Free shuttle service is available to the Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel, Waabooz Run Golf Course, the Green Suites, Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, and the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways.

A house designed by architect Alden B. Dow has been converted into a registration office, camp store, and guest activity area.

Other amenities include a walking trail, laundry facilities, pet area, beach, horseshoes, volleyball, park fire pit, pavilion with picnic area, activity, library, game room, sitting room with fireplace, and deck overlooking lake.

Details

Soaring Eagle Hideaway RV Park

Address: 5050 E. Airport Road, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858 (Exit143 on U.S. 127)

Phone: (989) 817-4800 or (888) 7EAGLE7 (toll free)

Rates: $29 (April)-$49 (July-August); $218.40 weekly; $819 monthly; $1,000 seasonal (May-September); all rates subject to taxes and fees

Website: soaringeaglehideaway.com

Worth Pondering…
As the traveler who has once been from home is wiser than he who has never left his own doorstep, so a knowledge of one other culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate more lovingly, our own.

—Margaret Mead

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Tri-State Casino Plans to Add RV Park

Located in the Tri-State district where the Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas state borders meet, Downstream Casino Resort is expanding further into the Missouri side of its property with a RV park, and a 24-hour gas station, convenience, and liquor store.

Downstream C-Store and RV Park Complex will expand further into Missouri. (Credit: Downstream Casino Resort)

Downstream Development Authority, on behalf of the Quapaw Tribe, opened Phase I of the resort in July 2008. The casino employs about 1,050 team members, IndianCountryTodayMedia.com reported.

The new complex, slated to open in March, is expected to boost the Joplin, Missouri, regional economy with construction work and about 20 new permanent jobs. Downstream added 40 new jobs earlier this year when it opened its child care, and learning center on the Oklahoma side of the resort.

“One of these days we would like to expand on the Kansas side too,” said John Berrey, chairman of the Downstream Development Authority. “We have always planned that Downstream would be a hub for economic development and creating good jobs in the Tri-State region.”

Rendering of the Downstream gas station, convenience and liquor store. (Credit: Downstream Casino Resort)

The C-store complex will occupy about 10 acres across from Downstream’s main entrance. Plans also call for 40 RV camping sites with utility hook-ups and a shower and laundry building; at least 22 parking spaces for semi tractor-trailer trucks; four diesel fuel pumps and six gasoline pumps; and an 8,000-square-foot convenience and liquor store with an outdoor dining area and drive-through window. The gas station will likely be branded under one of the popular national brand names, said Downstream General Manager Steven Drewes in a press release.

“We are finalizing many of the details this week while the land is being cleared and prepared, and construction should begin next month,” Drewes said. “We should be ready to open in March.”

Details

Downstream Casino Resort

Website: downstreamcasino.com

Quapaw Tribe

Address: 5681 South 630 Road, Quapaw, OK 74363

Website: quapawtribe.com

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Wisconsin Casino Opens RV Park

The Ho-chunk Casino in Baraboo, Wisconsin officially unveiled the Ho-Chunk Hoiusa Cinuk RV Park to the public October 1, and is just one part of expansion plans that include a water park and an addition to the casino/convention center.

Those present included casino managers, representatives of the Ho-Chunk Nation legislature, Baraboo-area business owners, and Green Bay Packers veteran LeRoy Butler.

Located on the north side of the casino property, Ho-Chunk Hoiusa Cinuk RV Park features space for 49 RVs, including 21 spaces designed for year-round use. Amenities include wireless Internet access, fire pits and picnic tables, sewer, water and 24-hour security patrols, reports the Baraboo News Republic.

Casino Executive Manager Jones Funmaker said the casino has always had visitors who arrived in their RVs and stayed in the casino’s parking lot. The new RV park is simply a way to accommodate a new group of customers and attract more of them.

“It seemed to make business sense, ‘hey, can we charge them to park?'” he said.

Funmaker said the casino plans to add much more to the casino/convention center property. Plans include a water park, expansion of the hotel, and expansion of the casino.

“We have all these things on the drawing board, but we went with the water park first because that is the draw, then we’ll build the hotel to house them,” he said. “Then the other things will fall in place.”

See the unique rock formations of the Wisconsin Dells. (Credit: redriverpak.wordpress.com)

Expansion of facilities at the casino/convention center benefits business for the Baraboo area as a whole, said Deb Bauer, executive director of the Baraboo Chamber of Commerce.

“Ho-Chunk continues to boost the economy of the Baraboo area by creating jobs and developing more services to bring more people in and boost our tourism dollar,” she said. “It’s wonderful for the Baraboo area.”

Rep. John Holst, who represents the Baraboo/Madison area in the Ho-Chunk Nation’s legislature, said the expansion of the casino is part of an effort to improve the economic strength of the tribe. But it is also something that should benefit the surrounding non-Indian community.

“We are glad to be part of the community. We are part of the community,” Holst said. “We will always be part of the community.”

Details

Ho-Chunk Hoiusa Cinuk RV Park

Location: In the heart of scenic Wisconsin Dells-Baraboo; take Highway 12 Bypass, Exit 214

Address: S3214 County Road BD, Baraboo, Wisconsin 53913

Phone: (800) 746-2486 ext. 7988

Website: ho-chunkgaming.com

Worth Pondering…

But do not ask me where I am heading,

As I travel in this limitless world

Where every step I take is my home.

—Eihei Dogen

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Minnesota: Best Casino RV Park

Midwest Gaming & Travel, a premier source for information about casino gaming in America’s Heartland since 1995, published the winners of the 10th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards for Midwest commercial casinos in the July issue of the magazine. The Readers’ Choice award winners are selected by Midwest Gaming & Travel readers, based on their experiences in Midwest casinos during the preceding 12 months.

Dakotah Meadows RV Park near Prior Lake was selected the Best Casino RV Park in Minnesota. (Credit: dakotahmeadows.com)

This annual survey by the Waseca, Minnesota-based magazine covers a nine-state primary area, extending from Missouri to Minnesota to Pennsylvania.

The awards are presented in a state-by-state list that includes several gaming and hospitality categories including “Best RV Park.”

Each category represents a specific facet of a property’s overall appeal and charm.

In an earlier article, I reviewed the Readers’ Choice Awards for the state of Michigan. Today’s post will focus on the RV park receiving top-billing in Minnesota.

Dakotah Meadows RV Park at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel

Dakotah Meadows RV Park near Prior Lake, Minnesota, was selected the Best RV Park in Minnesota by the readers of Midwest Gaming & Travel magazine.

“We are very pleased at being selected for this honor,” said Dakotah Meadows Manager Lester Morris. “It’s great that casino guests in the Midwest like our RV Park the best.”

Dakotah Meadows RV Park is in a natural setting adjacent to Mystic Lake Casino Hotel. It has 122 paved, back-in or pull-through RV sites with electricity, water, and sewer hook-ups.

The campground also features showers, laundry facilities, outdoor pavilion, picnic tables, barbeque grills, free shuttle service to Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, a fuel center, and a Super Self-Serve RV Wash.

122 paved, pull-through, or back-in RV sites with electric, water, and sewer hook-ups offer convenience for RV travelers. (Credit: dakotahmeadows.com)

The park also has six tipis painted with Native Dakota designs available for overnight rental. Each tipi accommodates up to 10 people.

Dakotah Meadows is an enterprise of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, a federally recognized Indian Tribe in Minnesota. Other Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Other community enterprises which won Reader’s Choice Awards in Midwest Gaming & Travel are Mystic Lake Casino Hotel and The Meadows at Mystic Lake (Best Casino Golf Course).

Dakotah Meadows was also voted Best RV Park in Minnesota by the readers of Midwest Gaming & Travel Magazine in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

An article about the Reader’s Choice Awards stated, “No matter what we see or hear about a destination, the information we value most comes from someone we know or with whom we share similar interests, and someone who has been there.”

Mystic Lake Casino Hotel received top billing in eight additional categories: “Best Selection of Slot Machines,” “Best Bingo/Casino Combination,” “Best Bingo Jackpots,” “Best Overall Bingo Hall,” “Most Comfortable Bingo Hall,” “Favorite Casino Buffet,” “Best Live Entertainment,” and “Best Concert Venue.”

The casino also placed second in eight categories including “Favorite Casino,” “Best Casino Hosts,” “Best Overall Bingo Hall,” and “Best Players Club.”

Details

Midwest Gaming & Travel

Midwest Gaming & Travel is a monthly, four-color glossy magazine with an editorial coverage area that extends across America’s Heartland. The established leader in its field, Midwest Gaming & Travel combines the fun and excitement of casino gaming with the pleasure and relaxation of leisure destination travel.

Mystic Lake Casino Hotel

Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, the largest casino resort destination in the Minneapolis area, is conveniently located within 25 minutes of Minneapolis-St Paul

Location: 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake, MN, 55372

Website: mysticlake.com

Dakotah Meadows RV Park

Paved RV sites with electric, water, and sewer hook-ups. (Credit: dakotahmeadows.com)

Location: Adjacent to Mystic Lake Casino Hotel

Website: dakotahmeadows.com

Phone: (952) 445-8800 or (800) 653-CAMP

Amenities: 122 paved back-in and pull-through sites with electricity, water, and sewer hook-ups, 3 shower facilities, paved roads and pads, outdoor pavilion, picnic tables and BBQ grills, self-serve RV wash, and storm shelter

August Promotion: Guests staying Sunday night through Thursday night will receive one coupon redeemable for 5 cents per gallon gasoline, diesel fuel, or E85 discount; redeemable at Dakotah Meadows only

Rates: $21-30/night; rates change seasonally

Worth Pondering…
Our happiest moments as RVers always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.

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Michigan: Best Casino RV Park

Midwest Gaming & Travel, a premier source for information about casino gaming in America’s Heartland since 1995, published the winners of the 10th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards for Midwest commercial casinos in the July issue of the magazine. The Readers’ Choice award winners are selected by Midwest Gaming & Travel readers, based on their experiences in Midwest casinos during the preceding 12 months.

This annual survey by the Waseca, Minnesota-based magazine covers a nine-state primary area, extending from Missouri to Minnesota to Pennsylvania.

The awards are presented in a state-by-state list that includes several gaming and hospitality categories including “Best RV Park.”

Each category represents a specific facet of a property’s overall appeal and charm.

Island Resort and Casino

The Island Resort and Casino in Harris, Michigan, was selected the Best RV Park in Michigan by readers of the Midwest Gaming & Travel magazine.

The casino’s 53-site RV Park is open May 1 through November 30.

The Island Resort and Casino were also voted as Michigan’s Best RV Park in the 2010 Midwest Gaming & Travel Readers’ Choice Awards of Native American Casinos.

In the survey, readers rated 20 Michigan casinos in 35 detailed gaming and amenities areas.

The Island Resort and Casino in Harris, Michigan, was selected the Best RV Park in Michigan by readers of the Midwest Gaming & Travel magazine. (Credit: fulltime-rv.blogspot.com)

The casino is also the statewide winner of awards in eight evaluation categories.

The Island poker tournaments were selected as the “Best Poker Tournaments” and bingo won three of six rated categories for “Most Comfortable Bingo Hall,” “Best Bingo Packages,” and “Best Early Bird Bingo.” The Firekeepers Restaurant was deemed “Favorite Casual Restaurant,” while Sweetgrass won for “Best Casino Golf Course.” The Island also won for “Most Knowledgeable/Helpful Staff.”

“To be identified in a prestigious publication like Midwest Gaming & Travel is a tribute to the commitment of all our employees and our loyal patrons who contribute to our overall success and popularity,” said Island General Manager Tom McChesney in a press release.

The casino also placed second in five categories and third in six others. Bingo received three of the second-place awards, including “Best Overall Bingo Hall,” “Best Bingo Jackpots,” and “Best Bingo/Casino Combination.”

The Island finished just behind Mount Pleasant’s Soaring Eagle Casino in total number of awards; the Island won a total of 19 while Soaring Eagle received 23. Firekeepers Casino in Battle Creek also received 19 awards with three first-place finishes.

The casino’s 53-site RV Park is open May 1 through November 30. (Credit: www.islandresortandcasino.com)

Of the 11 Upper Peninsula casinos, the Island was the only one to win awards this year. This marks the fifth consecutive year the Island has been the top vote getter of all U.P. casinos.

“The larger Midwestern casinos in metropolitan and tourism locations enjoy greater numbers of visitors which logically suggests more survey voters,” said McChesney. “When matched against such highly populated venues as Mount Pleasant’s Soaring Eagle, Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee, and Mystic Lake near Minneapolis, plus all other Midwest Native American casinos, I’d say we’ve measured up very well.”

The annual survey was conducted with data compiled from respondents of the U.S. and Canada.

Details

Midwest Gaming & Travel

Midwest Gaming & Travel is a monthly, four-color glossy magazine with an editorial coverage area that extends across America’s Heartland. The established leader in its field, Midwest Gaming & Travel combines the fun and excitement of casino gaming with the pleasure and relaxation of leisure destination travel.

Island Resort & Casino
Location:
W399 Highway 2 and 41, Harris, MI (Upper Peninsula)

Website: islandresortandcasino.com

Phone: (877) ISL-RES5 or (906) 466-2941

Amenities: 53 back-in and pull-through sites with electricity, water, dump station, shower facility, paved roads and pads, and laundry facilities

Registration: RV Park located adjacent to the casino; guests can also go directly to the RV Park and select a site then call Guest Services from the RV Park phone for a shuttle, which will pick you up and take you to the hotel desk to register.

Site Size: Lot sizes range from 28 to 100 feet

Rates: $15/night; November 1-30 $10/night (water shut off)

Worth Pondering…
Everything in life is luck.

—Donald Trump

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