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Thread: Trip report: Harrah's Cherokee Seven Stars Annual Trip

  1. #1
    I decided to visit Harrah's Cherokee in North Carolina for my 2015 Seven Stars trip. Even though it was my 2015 trip, I booked it for March 27, 2016.

    This casino is Indian owned, and "managed" by CET.

    I will post a few pictures later on. Right now I am on the flight home.

    Pre-trip

    Booking was a little bit chaotic. I tried to book through the local property (as I always do, as this tends to be more effective), but the hosts there were having a hard time booking my trip correctly. The host who finally booked it inexplicably split my reservation in two, for some reason! I had this fixed before the trip started.

    Also, the suite policy is not Seven Stars friendly. On the day of arrival, the computer auto-selects the 107 "biggest players" according to ADT for the past 6 Caesars properties trips. Doesn't matter what tier you are. So if a Gold member played more than me over the past 6 trips, he gets priority over me for a suite!

    Needless to say, I didn't get a suite.

    However, I did get a nice room in the "Creek Tower".



    The Hotel

    Harrah's Cherokee has 3 different towers. I stayed in the Creek Tower, which is newer. It has 20 floors (though it's listed as 21, since they skip 13), and I was on floor 19 (the 3rd-to-top).

    The view isn't anything great. At best, you see mountains after you look over a parking garage.

    The hotel is located next to the Cherokee River, and it literally runs through the property (between the hotel and casino).

    Some people are actually fly fishing right in that spot!

    The hotel rooms are pretty nice for standard hotel rooms. Not super-luxurious, but decent, and a pretty good size, as well. There is a wet bar, refrigerator, microwave, and little sitting area near the window.

    Internet was pretty bad, at least in my room. All of my devices had a hard time connecting at all. Once I was connected, the speed was okay, but not great.

    Main two dining options are Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and an Italian place called Brio. There is also a coffee shop called Sebu Cafe which was pretty good, and reasonable priced. Brio was decent, and again reasonably priced. Ruth's Chris was fairly typical for a Ruth's Chris.

    One nice thing is that the property makes it possible for minors to go to Ruth's Chris, despite it being located in the casino. North Carolina state law prohibits minors from entering the casino, but they allow you to take a back elevator and walk along the wall, without actually "entering" the casino, if you are with minors.

    Some properties just prohibit minors in this situation. I had my young son with me, so I was glad.

    One annoying thing at this property is that many employees are clueless. For example, when I checked in, I was told that my $500 folio credit does NOT include alcohol, tax, or tip. So for me to get my full $500 worth, I should disregard any alcohol, tax or tip on the bill, knowing I will have to pay that separately, and just add up the base amounts I charge. So that's what I did.

    Well, guess what? When it came near checkout time, turns out that wasn't true, and I had run $120 over my $500, since tax, tip, and alcohol WERE included.

    Even weirder, not ALL tax, tip, or alcohol was included. For some reason, $14 worth of tips were NOT chargeable, and I had to pay with my credit card.

    This annoyed me, because I wouldn't have spent the $500 so frivolously if I knew that all of those other charges WERE included, and I wouldn't have run over.

    The front desk supervisor refused to help me (I was looking for a compromise, like a $50 reduction), but the front desk manager wiped the entire $120 overage the next day (I called him after checkout), which I thought was really nice.

    The front desk manager told me that the system also has errors -- that it's supposed to NOT bill your folio for tax and tip, but that alcohol is included. He said that the irregularities I saw were a combination of his staff not knowing all the rules AND the system behaving inconsistently. He apologized and I thanked him for the allowance he gave.

    The self parking for the hotel was closed during the time I was there. It reopened when I was leaving. I used the casino self park, which was a mild inconvenience, but I believe I just had bad luck with the hotel self park, which is usually open.

    Seven Stars can order unlimited sodas, juices, and waters to be sent to their room, for free. This is a great benefit.

    Also, since this is an Indian-owned property, they have no limits on media, unlike most other CET properties in 2016. Also nice.



    The Casino

    The casino has a weird layout you can look down upon from an above walkway, where minors ARE allowed.

    A security guard stands by the escalator down, and only lets you by if you're 21 or over.

    The casino is medium-sized. Not huge, but not tiny.

    The high limit section has several VERY good VP games by CET standards. For example, NSUD deuces wild is there, with a 99.73% return, but it's hidden in an old Game King machine, and only if you play $5 per credit (you get a worse paytable at $2 or $1).

    Total Rewards is open 24/7, which is very nice.

    Once again, though, I ran into cluelessness. Two different employees at High Limit believed that the Total Rewards "day" (when your earnings of tier credits for bonuses ends) was from 12am-11:59pm. WRONG. It was 6:00am-5:59am, except for blackjack which was 5:00am-4:59am. So these employees were way off.

    The machines are all $10 coin-in per tier credit, making this the best place to earn tier credits in the CET system at the moment.


    Location

    This property has a nice location near the Great Smoky Mountains. You can drive north to visit the Smokies, or east to visit Asheville. Both are good day trips.

    The town of Cherokee is a quaint Indian town selling trinkets and other stuff like that. It's far more charming than the very-touristy Gatlinburg on the Tennessee side.
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  2. #2
    Excellent report on your experiences with the casino.

    How did the gaming end up if you played? I heard not so great things about VP outside of the $5 denomination. I would be willing to risk a bigger bankroll than I normally would consider playing to play those games at that stake.

    Would you go back in the future?

    I've seen posts on Alan's forum where people likened this place over Pechanga. How were the other dining options if you had any. Did Ruth Chris take Reward Credits? I did see a Ruth Chris in the Harrah's Las Vegas.

    Did the Seven Stars Annual Trip cover the entire trip expense? I heard that the nearest airport was 80 miles away and the casino offered no shuttle services, it felt like an outsider trying to get to Atlantic City.

  3. #3
    Where did you fly into? I'm guessing it wasn't Asheville. If it was, I'm also guessing they didn't provide airport transport, even though it is within 60 miles. For some reason the 60 mile radius is how far they will provide a limo. I think this is because Harrah's Tahoe is 60 miles from Reno airport.

    I just did my trip to New Orleans, same as you, last minute (3/27-31). It went extremely smoothly. No problems. First class direct flight to MSY, limo to and from airport (stretch in, party bus on way back!) Converted 500,000 in RC's to $400 free play, and converted that to $398.75 cash. The casino is almost dead there now. One free movie per day for 7S. No suite (Didn't want one anyway since they don't have 2Q beds). Diamond lounge food was poor but they did have some nice specialty cocktails (key lime pie, e.g.)
    Last edited by shlack; 04-02-2016 at 04:43 AM.

  4. #4
    I've been to Harrah's Cherokee. It really is an excellent property. The casino floor needs an overhaul with better lighting, though. Way too dark. Good food options and excellent Diamond lounge. Ruth Chris, Brio, and the other restaurant take reward credits at 1:1. I don't remember smoke being too much of a problem although it is a smoking casino. Absolutely gorgeous area, for God's sake get out of the casino for at least a day if you go there.

  5. #5
    Glad you had a nice trip, Dan. Nice report. I need to get back there -- haven't been there since the Billy Idol concert.

    The place was dry until a couple of years ago.

  6. #6
    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    The casino is medium-sized. Not huge, but not tiny.

  7. #7
    Originally Posted by shlack View Post
    Where did you fly into? I'm guessing it wasn't Asheville. If it was, I'm also guessing they didn't provide airport transport, even though it is within 60 miles. For some reason the 60 mile radius is how far they will provide a limo. I think this is because Harrah's Tahoe is 60 miles from Reno airport.

    I just did my trip to New Orleans, same as you, last minute (3/27-31). It went extremely smoothly. No problems. First class direct flight to MSY, limo to and from airport (stretch in, party bus on way back!) Converted 500,000 in RC's to $400 free play, and converted that to $398.75 cash. The casino is almost dead there now. One free movie per day for 7S. No suite (Didn't want one anyway since they don't have 2Q beds). Diamond lounge food was poor but they did have some nice specialty cocktails (key lime pie, e.g.)
    Flew into Atlanta and stayed there for 1 1/2 days before driving to Cherokee.

    No transportation provided by Harrah's, obviously.

    They did say they would give limo service to Asheville, but I'm not going to fly into that small airport (and change planes) just for that purpose. I prefer direct flights. I also wanted to see Atlanta because I had never been there before.

    One thing I did learn is that it's not smart to be a white guy walking around downtown Atlanta by yourself at 2am.
    Check out my poker forum, and weekly internet radio show at http://pokerfraudalert.com

  8. #8
    LOL -- if you're gonna do that, Dan, you may as well go for the trifecta. I recommend The Hill in Harrisburg (PA) and The Badlands in Philadelphia, preferably after 11 PM.

    Cherokee has a "Willie Nelson with Merle Haggard" concert still listed for May. Someone had best inform them.

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