MrV
MrV
Joined: Feb 13, 2010
  • Threads: 265
  • Posts: 5435
May 30th, 2017 at 1:22:17 PM permalink
Portlanders now have a casino much closer to home than before; the Cowlitz tribe, in partnership with Mohegan Sun, opened Ilani (pronounced AY-LAH-NAY) casino, about fifteen minutes north of Stumptown, at the La Center exit of I-5,

I've been there a few times, inititially to check it out, then to gamble.

I doubt I'll return too often.

Pro:

Brand new; architecturally and design-wise quite modern.

Four craps tables.

BJ pays 3-2.

No loud tones coming from the slot machines.

Con:

3X4X5X odds on craps, when competition offers 5X odds.

Weird layout; all the services, restaurants, restrooms, stores etc. are on the outside edge of the building; in the center is a circular bar, with gaming between the two. There are designer fish dangling from the ceiling. Seems cavernous.

No self-serve coffee, soft drinks or water: no water fountains.

Almost all modern, penny slots: no older games such as Double Diamond; the slots seem tight: I observed nobody getting a jackpot or even a nice hit.

Smoking / non-smoking sections have no wall or enclosure to separate them.

No buffet.

Unbelievably bad access once off the freeway with several confusing rotaries and insufficient feeder roads into the self-parking area.

Not enough ticket redemption machines, and the ones there are not clearly marked or visible from any sort of distance.

By report, expensive bar drinks, poorly made after a very long wait.

Ugly, purplish design on the carpet.

Overall: new, but ... meh.



Last edited by: MrV on May 30, 2017
"What, me worry?"
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
  • Threads: 210
  • Posts: 10800
May 30th, 2017 at 1:36:22 PM permalink
Quote: MrV

No loud tones coming from the slot machines.
Con:
3X4X5X odds on craps, when competition offers 5X odds.
No self-serve coffee, soft drinks or water: no water fountains.
Almost all modern, penny slots: no older games such as Double Diamond; the slots seem tight: I observed nobody getting a jackpot or even a nice hit.
Smoking / non-smoking sections have no wall or enclosure to separate them.


Good for a subdued slot machine, but with no one watching over the payouts, why should they be generous?
3x4x5x versus 5x has been debated: 345 is faster and easier to detect dealer errors, easier on surveillance. Mathematical difference is fully consumed by one tip to the Tray Lizard.

Given the sanitary condition of free soda machines and water fountains, it is perhaps a 'pro' rather than a 'con'.
Paradigm
Paradigm
Joined: Feb 24, 2011
  • Threads: 40
  • Posts: 1990
May 30th, 2017 at 1:42:52 PM permalink
I'll be heading down there from Seattle on my June WA trip. Thanks for the report.

So you would go to Spirit Mountain instead? I thought the distance to Portland would be a huge competitive advantage for Ilani? The surrounding tribes were protesting profusely about such...Ilani will certainly hurt Lucky Eagle and the most southern WA tribal properties (e.g. Red Wind) to the extent they were getting play from Portland.

And the La Center card rooms have to be getting crushed...does Ilani have a Poker Room?
Attempting to add value one post at a time
MrV
MrV
Joined: Feb 13, 2010
  • Threads: 265
  • Posts: 5435
May 30th, 2017 at 1:50:42 PM permalink
Ilani has no poker room; is that a sop for the La Center privately owned card rooms? Dunno.

I usually gamble at both Spitir Mtn and Chinook Winds.

I prefer Chinook Winds because I often have use of a house in Lincoln City for overnight stays, and that coastal town just hits all the right buttons for me.

Spirit Mtn. is in the middle of nowhere, with nothing else nearby to do.

I've been to both casinos a couple times since Ilani opened, and Chinook Winds shows maybe a small decrease in traffic, whereas Spirit Mtn. is really feelilng the pain, with foot traffic maybe fifty to sixty or so percent of what it was before.

As an example, it used to be impossible to get on the craps game there on the weekend, but since Ilani opened there's always plenty of room at the rail.
"What, me worry?"
Boz
Boz
Joined: Sep 22, 2011
  • Threads: 134
  • Posts: 3434
May 30th, 2017 at 1:57:03 PM permalink
Thanks for the review V, good stuff. While I probably will never get there to play, I like reading reviews of casinos and seeing what others observe in them.

And as a total side note, I was driving in Florida last week and saw a sign that said "Lutz" 26 miles. I thought of you immediately, small world!
Paradigm
Paradigm
Joined: Feb 24, 2011
  • Threads: 40
  • Posts: 1990
May 30th, 2017 at 4:15:32 PM permalink
Agree V on all you said about Spirit (middle of nowhere & not much else to do) and Chinook (coastal town is much nicer). But you are talking over 2 hours from Portland to Chinook vs. 45 mins to Ilani...guess it depends where in Portland area you are coming from, but I would think that distance differential is a big deal for a lot of Portlanders.
Attempting to add value one post at a time
MrV
MrV
Joined: Feb 13, 2010
  • Threads: 265
  • Posts: 5435
May 30th, 2017 at 4:59:00 PM permalink
There's no question that Ilani is now the closest casino to Portland, and it is siphoning players from the other casinos, mainly Spirit Mtn.

The folks at Spirit Mtn. recently completed a very nice remodeling of their facilities, hoping to staunch the inevitable bleeding.

For me, it is well worth the extra distance involved in traveling to the Oregon casinos, as I play at both of them each trip, and find them superior to Ilani, each in their own way.

The Oregon casinos offer the slot game(s) I like, and use a RNG; Ilani does't offer the games I like, and the ones they have are the inferior VLT type (think: "pull tabs").

No doubt Spirit Mtn. will survive, but I expect there will be lay-offs to account for the inevitable drop in patronage and income; I can only hope they don't tighten up their slots even more to try to squeeze out a few extra bucks.

Were they smart, they'd actually LOOSEN them a bit, have it verified by someone reputable, and trumpet that fact loud and long through the media, to actually offer something worth driving the extra distance for.

Here's a vid which gives a good look at Ilani: pre-opening vid
"What, me worry?"
DeMango
DeMango
Joined: Feb 2, 2010
  • Threads: 24
  • Posts: 1768
May 30th, 2017 at 6:11:51 PM permalink
Quote: Boz

I was driving in Florida last week and saw a sign that said "Lutz" 26 miles. I thought of you immediately, small world!



Ah yes, The putz from Lutz.
Still alive, so split them fives!

  • Jump to: