Newport Grand Casino – The Last Hurrah?

RI correspondent Miguel and I took a break from the July 4th celebration to visit the Newport Grand Slots casino in Newport, Rhode Island.

Yes, it’s small and it doesn’t take long to look around each floor. Yes, the outside looks more like a warehouse than a casino, but renovations over the years tried to keep the vision of a classy casino in Newport was kept alive. Before Twin River Management bought it over a year ago, it was a family operation – owned and managed by CEO Diane Hurley.

Quiet morning at Newport Grand

The building now known as Newport Grand has struggled to be more relevant in a city that never really wanted it there.  It’s recent past disappointments included:

  • The addition of tables games voted down by the city of Newport (at the time under Hurley ownership) while  Lincoln RI approved tables games for Twin River casino.
  • The renovation and expansion of Newport Grand, with table games denied by Newport. See our previous post covering this Newport Grand City Agreement Negated
  • Finally, TRM bought Newport with the intentions of moving operations to Tiverton as a new full casino with hotel to compete with Massachusetts casino expansion, namely Plainridge Park Racino just over the border in Plainville, MA.

According to staff, the facility should close by mid-summer of 2018.

Newport Grand entrance

Upon entering, we wondered if it was open.  We were greeted by friendly staff, received our rewards card, and we were on our way, basically having the place to ourselves.

It has 3 floors – a 2nd floor smoking-allowed slot area, 1st floor for non-smoking gaming and lower floor that includes some slots, the Grille, and a bar featuring standard and some RI craft brews.

Non smoking main floor

Did I mention it was small?  Listed as the third smallest of New England’s casinos, it just might be the smallest.  It was obvious to us that the 1000 slots couldn’t be a true number with three small rooms on the lower level unused and a more spacious main floor.

Upstairs smoking casino

GAMING – while they have many new slots, there is also a treasure trove of nostalgic machines, including many of the VLT from the Jai Alai transition days.  I counted 8 (yes, only 8) video poker machines, 6 multi-game with horrible pay tables and two Ultimate X. Don’t go to Newport Grand for video poker.  The best game offered is 7/5 DDB on Ultimate X.  There are also two of the older electronic Blackjack terminals, back to back, with a total of 10 seats.  We did not see a High Limit area, but higher denomination slots are mixed in.

Newport Grand Casino Event Center

Newport Grand Casino Event Center

ENTERTAINMENT – on the weekends, Newport Grand still offers great tribute bands with some comedy acts as well in the Event Center.  In the lounge downstairs, small combos still perform, as karaoke & trivia is still offered some week days.

CONCLUSION – We had a fun day at the casino on Independance Day.  But, it was a little sad, too.  There is no signage of the impending move, or even the change of ownership.  The Twin River and Newport Grand rewards programs are not linked together, which would be an un-needed expense.  I know that the new property in Tiverton will be a great addition to the casino landscape in New England.  But at this time, the little casino that “could’ve been” is in a state of limbo – supported by its loyal local patrons and continued good service by the staff.  But the inevitable end is in the air at Newport Grand.  The ghosts of slots and Jai Alai past will soon be the only inhabitants in this building.

As the sun sets on Newport Grand Slots

Take time to visit just once.  It’s not the Riviera of Las Vegas, but it’s a piece of history in New England.

 

 

 

Mothers Day Specials in New England’s Casinos

It’s time to show your mom in your life a special treat by taking her to one of dining specials in New England’s Casinos.  So many choices, so many culinary delights……so little time to make reservations!

Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun Hotel

MOHEGAN SUN Resort/Casino, Connecticut

Mother’s Day Brunch – Uncas Ballroom, Sunday, May 14th Uncas Ballroom
Seating Times: 10:00-12:30am or 1:00 – 3:30pm

Adults: $55 for adults 21 & over, $30 for guests under 21, Free for children 8 and under.

Mohegan Sun has many other dining specials at many outlets and restaurants including 

Restaurants – Hash House A Go Go,  Michael Jordan’s 23.sportcafeMichael Jordan’s Steak HouseThe Lansdowne Irish Pub & Music House

For more special offerings, including SHOPPING SPECIALS, can be found by clicking HERE.

Foxwoods Resort Casino, CT

Foxwoods Resort

FOXWOODS Resort/Casino, Connecticut

Many dining specials are offered at Foxwoods, included are those at AL DENTEALTA STRADA, CAKE BY FRANCK, CEDARS RESTAURANT, DAVID BURKE PRIME, FESTIVAL BUFFET, HIGH ROLLERS, RED LANTERNTHE SCORPION BARVERANDA CAFE & VUE 24. For more menu listing and dining specials, as well as Bingo, Entertainment, shopping and gift ideas, go to Foxwoods Mothers Day Specials

Twin River Casino

TWIN RIVER CASINO, Rhode Island 

Wicked Good Bar & Grill & Fred & Steve’s Steakhouse offers mother’s day specials as well

Oxford Casino, Oxford, Maine

Oxford Casino, Oxford, Maine

 

OXFORD Casino, Maine

Designer Handbag Giveaway – 20K Mother’s Day Designer Handbag Giveaway on Sunday, May 14, 2017. Drawings will start at Noon on Sunday, May 14. Every 15 minutes we will draw one LUCKY person to come up and spin the prize wheels! The First wheel will contain Designer Handbags and the second wheel will contain Free Slot Play prizes ranging from $500 – $1000! We will continue until we have 12 LUCKY winners!

Mother’s Day Buffet – Sunday, May 10, 9:00am to 4:00pm, $24.99 per person.  Reservation suggested.

HOLLYWOOD Hotel, Casino & Raceway, Maine

Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine

Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine

Mother’s Day Brunch at the Epic Buffet – Sunday, May 10 from 9AM – 3PM Adults – $18.99. Children under 12 – 1/2 Price

 

Plainridge Park Entrance, Plainville, MA

Plainridge Park, Plainville, MA

PLAINRIDGE PARK Casino, Massachusetts

SPECIAL MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH at Slack’s Oyster Bar & Grill. 11am-8pm. Special Mother’s Day Brunch items will be served all day with a build your own Bloody Mary Bar. Regular menu will also be served.

Twin River Plans for Tiverton Casino: Part 1 in “The Tale of Two New England Casinos”

Casino expansion for two Gaming Company’s projects in New England are seemingly following two different paths to deal with competition.

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On one hand, you have the Twin River Management Group.  They own Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI., Newport Grand Casino in Newport, RI, The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi, MS, & Arapahoe Park in Aurora, CO. The smallest industry rep of all 6 casino operators in New England thus far.  Their mission is to keep increasing its competitive energies into positive ventures.  th (5)Basically become a larger fish in the still small pond of New England gambling. Twin River Casino’s plans have already included

  • adding poker tables
  • making the 2nd floor non-smoking
  • adding two more dining venues,
  • a future of a hotel on-site.
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The Tiverton Casino Proposal. Casino on the left, Hotel on the right.

TWMG released recently their plans for Tiverton, RI.  If they are approved in the lengthy process of getting approval to move the Newport Grand license to Tiverton, it would greatly solidify Rhode Island’s gaming revenue and put real competition on everyone from Plainridge Park Casino, just over the line in Plainville, Massachusetts

Plainridge Park Casino

Plainridge Park, in Plainville, MA. just over the state border from Tiverton, RI

to extending their influence on Foxwoods in Connecticut. Twin River expects more from Massachusetts, but that would include those for table games that have been loyal until a year ago to the CT casinos.

Their proposal has been influenced by 40-odd meetings around town, according to John Taylor, the head of Twin River in Paul Grimaldi’s article in the Providence Journal. The Tiverton Casino would include an 85,000-square-foot casino with 1,000 VLTs (slot machines) and 32 table games. It would be attached to an 84-room hotel. Both the hotel & the table games are additions to what Newport Grand offers.  According to Sean Murphy of the Boston Globe, “renderings made the proposed casino look like a tastefully designed suburban shopping center rather than a blaring neon intrusion on the rural feel of this erstwhile farming community of 8,000.”

Inside Twin River Casino's cavernous first floor casino.

Inside Twin River Casino’s cavernous first floor casino.

ProJo’s Grimaldi writes, “For the casino plan to move forward, the Town Council would first have to vote to ask the General Assembly to place a referendum on the November 2016 statewide ballot. That referendum would have to be approved both by Tiverton residents and by voters statewide. Even if it wins those approvals, the casino proposal then would have to go through the normal town and state regulatory approvals for new construction projects…..The casino would generate $104 million to $148 million in revenue in year 2020, depending on how gambling expands in Massachusetts, according to Twin River consultants…..A minimum of $3 million from slots and table games revenue would go the Town of Tiverton, with a total of approximately $4 million annually when including real estate and other taxes, according to a Twin River statement.”

Tiverton Casino Site Map. Boston Globe

Tiverton Casino Site Map. Boston Globe

The video released a few days ago shows the proposal.  One important part is how remote, surrounded by trees, and not taking away from the Tiverton countryside. For the complete proposal document, click here on Tiverton Casino Proposal. If you’d like to see the shorter and more entertaining video click here. However, if you want to read click ‘s great article for Tiverton-Little Compton  here.

Tomorrow, I’ll look at the different trend that MGM Springfield is taking.  It makes for quite the comparison.

Until tomorrow, hit a royal flush, then come back to visit N.E.Time Gambling.com

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