It has been two years since visiting Hollywood Hotel, Casino & Raceway. It can be a long ride to north-central Maine. But last week was a good time to go, so off we went!
The more I visit Bangor, the more I like it. First, Hollywood has three things away from the property going for it. All are within walking distance:
Penobscot River Walkway – a great walk along the river, if the Hotel’s small fitness center doesn’t meet your needs
Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion – an outside concert venue that brings in great headliners every summer
Sea Dog Brewing Company – a large, excellent brewpub for all ages, with weekend nightly entertainment. Order a flight of 5 or 10 of their own beers, look out upon the Penobscot River, and chill. Great place.
We stayed at the Hotel, and was greeted with the same friendly and efficient hotel staff took care of us. The lobby is just like the rest of the hotel – small, clean & welcoming. In no time we were in our clean, cozy room. Amenities are what you would expect at a casino-hotel. It’s an expensive stay, yes – but no more expensive than any good hotel with three dining facilities and a full casino attached. You get what you pay for, and Hollywood Hotel deserves kudos for its hotel.
The Gambling comes with mixed impressions:
- Table Games – One Craps Table, $5, raised to $10 on weekends; one roulette table, same limits; one $5 BJ table, two at $10
- Slots – Has upgraded many slots, but still has some very old as well. A few too many $1 slots in my opinion for a small slot floor.
- Video Poker – I have never seen such pitifully poor pay tables. JOB is 7/5 – even at $1!
- Poker – moderately busy during the day.
- The casino day is not 24 hours. This was tried a few New Year’s ago, but Hollywood quickly went back to opening at 8, closing at 2:00 am – 3:00 am on weekends.
Dining: There are three food venues – Celebrity Bar & Grill, Epic Buffet, and Take 2 Snack Bar. The Epic Buffet is trying new additions to the menu with the World Table, although it was open for the first time as we were leaving, so we’re hoping it is a better value than the previous buffet.
One important point to know for those staying in the hotel. The only breakfast available in the property is the Take 2 Snack Bar, with breakfast sandwiches, and other breakfast items. No buffet, no sit-down breakfast.
This visit brought more questions than answers for me, such as:
- Why isn’t it busier-especially on the weekend of July 4th?
- Is it a lack of promotions that speak to locals?
- Shouldn’t Penn National try getting more Canadians to visit? After all, the border is only two hours away.
- The Video Poker is so awful, why not raise some of the better pay tables? At this point, playing $1 Slots probably pay back at a higher %! Even Caesars Entertainment offers 8/5 Jacks or Better!
- If you’re the only game in town, shouldn’t you be pulling more gamblers in? And why is Oxford such a draw so far away?
One answer I do know, we had a good time if you add the entire Bangor package. But alone, Hollywood has some work to do before they lose more people to Oxford and the two hotels that will be available.
For more of a comparison, click on the link below to see the stats for both casinos.
That’s all for now.