Mohegan Sun vs Foxwoods comparisons

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June 1st, 2010 at 12:03:38 PM permalink
DJTeddyBear
Member since: Nov 2, 2009
Threads: 144
Posts: 8307
LONG post alert!



This past weekend, I visited Mohegan Sun.

I had no intention of making a formal / detailed report the way some people here do, but here's some notes about both facilities and casinos.

Connecticut has two casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, situated about 8 miles apart in Eastern CT. For whatever reason, the MGM at Foxwoods has it's own website, even though it is connected and uses the same casino chips.

My family tends to prefer Mohegan Sun. The architectural design, right down to the floor tiles, is like night-and-day between the two casinos. The hotel lobby, retail areas and casino have very free-form design with no right angles except where a wall meets a floor.

I tend to descibe them this way:

Foxwoods is very industrial looking, like it was designed by someone who designs shopping malls and coporate headquarters. Don't get me wrong. Foxwoods uses a lot of Indian influences in it's design. But, and this comes from somebody who has no knowledge on the subject and did no research, Foxwoods always gives me the feeling of New Mexico / Arizona / Navajo Indian designs that were added almost as an afterthought.

I do recall reading somewhere why the Mashantucket Pequot tribe uses the lone fox and tree with fire in its logo.
Admin note: removed image: www.djteddybear.com/images/foxwoods_logo.JPG
Yet, I do not see any of those design elements used architecturally. Heck, there's a statue of an archer, but no fox!


Mohegan Sun, on the other hand, is what I call "the white man's opinion of what an Indian resort should look like." While it too may use some Indian designs that are not native to the Mohegan tribe, nothing strikes me as being such. Quite the contrary.

I have read that their logo is supposed to be a stylized sun:
Admin note: removed image: www.djteddybear.com/images/mohegan_sun_logo.JPG]
That sun logo, or creative versions of it, are used all over as design elements in the carpeting, wallpaper, even the ceilings.

I have photos, somewhere, which shows some of this amazing design work. I'll post them here in a couple days.


The differences in Foxwoods' shopping mall/corportate HQ feel vs Mohegan's Indian feel can even be seen in their property maps.

Foxwoods property map, shows how angular everything is, and how little imagination, or artistic license is used:
Admin note: removed image: www.djteddybear.com/images/foxwoods_property_map.JPG]


Mohegan Sun property map, clearly shows the free-form design used, both architecturally, and in the map design itself:
Admin note: removed image: www.djteddybear.com/images/mohegan_sun_property_map.JPG]
Sorry for the bad resolution. click here for the original PDF.


Personally, I think the Foxwoods map should be rotated 180 degrees, since that is the orientation when approaching by car. Mohegan sun needs to be rotated clockwise about 60 degrees to get the correct approach orientation. But because the map is so stylized, I'll let that go.


But there's more. About two years ago, The MGM at Foxwoods expansion opened. It's not indicated at all on the property map. Not even something that says "This way to MGM at Foxwoods." Even the website makes little mention of it. Oh, there are links back and forth, but the websites two seem to be for seperate facilites, even though they are under one roof and use the same casino chips. Interestingly, the MGM at Foxwoods website, doesn't offer a property map. Then again, it's just a small casino with a limited number of tables and slots, some retail and restaurants, and convention space which lines the walkway to Foxwoods.

Also, note that on the Foxwoods map, there appears to be four rooms labeled 'Casino'. The Great Cedar and Festival Slots casinos are just slot rooms.

By contrast, there are three casinos at Mohegan Sun. But to the casual observer walking thru the facility, there are only two casinos, on opposite ends of the retail area. Casino of the Wind is the newest addition, and is more like an extension added to the Casino of the Sky. Each casino has design and decor that matches it's name.



Now on to some personal observations from my trip to Mohegan Sun this past weekend.



Hotel rooms and Pool:

The beds were excessivly comfortable. What I mean was, they were SO soft and luxurious, I felt that the lacked support. The pillows were equally soft yet fluffy.

The result was, while I enjoyed laying on the bed, I found it difficult to fall asleep.

I checked my brother's room and his bed and pillows were the same.

The room ammenities were fine. There was a hair dryer, coffee maker, plenty of towels and soaps, etc. It also had a fully stocked honor bar type fridge, but no extra fridge for out own stuff. The only unexpected items were two water bottles next to the ice bucket.


Until last year, I never used the pools at casino resorts before. Seemed to me to be such a waste of limited casino time. But I started a year ago, and kinda enjoy it.

So I used the pool at Mohegan Sun. It's an indoor pool with, as expected, a somewhat unusual shape. I went at 6:15am - trying to get in and out before it got overrun by kids. There was also an outdoor patio area. There was a bar with snack available. There was also a small table with coffee, tea and fixings, complimentary. I thought that was a nice early morning touch.

Then I jumped into the pool. YIKES! It was an indoor pool, but NOT heated! I lasted about 30 seconds before going to the hot tub. I normally don't even bother with the hot tub, but since I was determined to get wet...

While in the tub, I was talking to people who repeated some things I had been hearing for a while: Mohegan Sun beats Foxwoods older facilities, but is neck-and-neck with the new MGM facility. Maybe we'll go there next time.



Casino:

Like I mentioned, I didn't plan on writing a review, so I didn't take notes.

I only played craps, poker and a few minutes of BlackJack. At the time I looked, Monday around 10am, $15 BJ was the cheapest I saw. My wife was playing $15 BJ, but grandfathered at $10. Almost every craps table at that time was $5. On Sunday, the craps were all $5 when we got there at 10am, but steadily, all but one rose to $10.

I planned to play Pai Gow Tiles, but when I looked, Sunday around 4pm, the cheapest was $50. Yeah, I know there are a lot of pushes, and the dealer advantage is minor, it was still too much for me. Besides, the Asian gaming section was packed. I don't think I would have gotten a seat.

While walking around the Asian area, I noticed a mini (midi?) Bacarat table that was reserved and empty. It had a sign saying "Macau Style". I also saw an empty large / dogbone table that also said "Macau Style". I started a thread about this: http://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/general/1917-what-is-macau-style-bacarat/



Restaurants:

We only had Sinday Dinner and Monday Lunch together.

I had some granola bars, so I didn't need lunch on Sunday, but instead got an item that I've had before and love.

Michael Jordan has a small line of restaurants. At Mohegan Sun he has the MJ Steakhouse, and next door the MJ Sports Bar. Even though they use the same kitchen, the menus are different - except the one item I was interested in was on both, but with different names, and 50¢ cheaper at the sports bar. Go figure. I verified that it was the same item before I sat down.

Garlic bread, cut and stacked like Jenga blocks, and drenched in a Bleu Cheese sauce. When I got it Sunday, it wasn't as drenched as I remember, but they brought more sauce when I asked, and it wasn't served hot. Whatever. It was still great.

For dinner, we went to Bobby Flay's Bar Americain (Yeah, that's how it's spelled). It's an upscale place. Entrees were in the $35-$50 range. Side dishes were al carte. They were out of a few menu items. We got one of the last bread baskets that included rolls and cornbread sticks. The cornbread sticks were GREAT. Then they ran out of rolls. How does a restaurant run out of rolls? Our reservation was only 8:20pm. I think the last seating is 10:00! But we were able to get more cornbread sticks, and that's what they served people seated after us. We also felt the food was adequate, but not worth the price.

Monday morning, I had breakfast alone. I wanted something simple and fast, and decided to get something I get all the time. A croisant sandwich at Dunkin Donuts. The DD was on the far side of one casino. The poker room that I would be going to next was on the far side of the other casino. Whatever. I could use the walk. The DD only had donuts and beverages! So it was back to walking, where I ended up at the Chief's Deli - right outside the poker room. Sigh. I had a sausage, egg and cheese on a bagel. Cooked fresh for $5. It was quite good. Another patron recommended I get the potatoes for another $2. Those were rather dissapointing.

Lunch with the gang, we ended up at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana. We ordered a chicken & garlic pizza for $26! I think it was the most expensive pizza we ever ate. But it was quite good, and worth the price. And after 4 of us ate it, there was still some left over.




All in all, we had a great time. And I'm down only about $120. (I still didn't get a financial report from the wife....)
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood?
June 1st, 2010 at 5:27:55 PM permalink
dogman
Member since: May 29, 2010
Threads: 3
Posts: 17
I live about 1 1/2 hrs from both casino's, MS is fifteen minutes closer so usually I will go there but I prefer Foxwoods because of the better quirks, free slot play(wife play's them), free shows, free rooms every month.

We will be staying overnite at the end of the month. I'll play some $1-$2 NL holdem cash games while the wife plays some slots.

We stayed at the MGM last month but probably would recommend staying at Foxwoods or the Sun.

Good write ups DJ

Tony
June 1st, 2010 at 6:41:39 PM permalink
JB
Administrator
Member since: Oct 14, 2009
Threads: 331
Posts: 1841
Quote: DJTeddyBear
Also, note that on the Foxwoods map, there appears to be four rooms labeled 'Casino'. The Great Cedar and Festival Slots casinos are just slot rooms.

They added table games in the Great Cedar casino about a year ago. I have to give them credit for actually replacing slots with tables; at most casinos, the opposite happens.
June 1st, 2010 at 6:46:08 PM permalink
7winner
Member since: May 31, 2010
Threads: 9
Posts: 198
I visited Fox and Sun last year on my east coast vacation and found the Sun to be way easier to get to, right off the freeway, and easier to get around for us seniors. Both are big casinos and FOX is just way to big and difficult to get from one end to the other. Plus the cocktail waitresses are better looking at the Sun.
7 winner chicken dinner!
June 1st, 2010 at 7:46:54 PM permalink
DJTeddyBear
Member since: Nov 2, 2009
Threads: 144
Posts: 8307
Quote: JB
They added table games in the Great Cedar casino about a year ago. I have to give them credit for actually replacing slots with tables; at most casinos, the opposite happens.
Really? When I was there in November, staying for the first time in the Great Cedar hotel, there was no mention of it. I would have had to walk thru what I thought was a slot room to find out.

In fact, I DO recall mentioning at one table I was at how Foxwoods casinos are too far apart. It's one of the nice things about AC. Get up and change scenery real quickly and easily. You'd think that the dealer would have overheard my comment and mention the change...

I'll check it out if we do end up there on 7/4.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood?
June 1st, 2010 at 9:38:25 PM permalink
JB
Administrator
Member since: Oct 14, 2009
Threads: 331
Posts: 1841
Quote: DJTeddyBear
Really? When I was there in November, staying for the first time in the Great Cedar hotel, there was no mention of it. I would have had to walk thru what I thought was a slot room to find out.

In fact, I DO recall mentioning at one table I was at how Foxwoods casinos are too far apart. It's one of the nice things about AC. Get up and change scenery real quickly and easily. You'd think that the dealer would have overheard my comment and mention the change...

I'll check it out if we do end up there on 7/4.

They're just inside the entrance/exit on the "Rainmaker Trail" side; if you enter from one of the other entrances, it would be easy to mistake the entire area as slots-only, especially considering that it used to be.
June 2nd, 2010 at 5:05:06 AM permalink
DJTeddyBear
Member since: Nov 2, 2009
Threads: 144
Posts: 8307
Quote: JB
They're just inside the entrance/exit on the "Rainmaker Trail" side; if you enter from one of the other entrances, it would be easy to mistake the entire area as slots-only, especially considering that it used to be.
That kinda explains it.

We were there because the wife won an entry in the WPT. Included was the hotel room in Great Cedar. Our room was only on the 3rd floor, but near the Rainmaker end, so it was easier for me to just walk to the end of the hall, then down the emergency exit to get to the casino and poker room. I'd then exit out of the poker room, cross the driveways to the Great Cedar lobby and banquet area where the tournament was.

So in 5 days, I think I only passed that way once or twice, and, apparently, didn't turn my head far enough to see it.




But I took a closer look at the Foxwoods property map, and paid attention to the icon key, to come to the conclusion that Foxwoods is even more f-ed up than I had previously thought!

Admin note: the following image removed: www.djteddybear.com/images/foxwoods_property_map_key.JPG

The Grand Pequot Casino, which always had table games and slots, only shows the Keno icon. To their credit, that IS where they pull the Keno numbers.

The Festival Slots Casino, which always was nothing but slots, has none of these icons.

The Great Cedar Casino, only has the slots icon, leading someone like me that might bother to check, to believe that they still only have slots!

Only the Rainmaker Casino is shown correctly with both the slots and table games icons.


Maybe that's why MGM at Foxwoods isn't included on the map. They can't find anyone who can update it correctly!
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood?
June 7th, 2010 at 2:22:06 PM permalink
mrsuit31
Member since: May 29, 2010
Threads: 48
Posts: 401
I personally prefer Mohegan sun when it comes to playing. I am a huge fan of the setup of the casino of the earth. The live music playing at the wolf den is a nice to listen to when sitting at the tables! Also i really like the hotel design at mohegan, it is very attractive and is nice to explore when i am out of money haha.

I am a huge fan of michael jordans steakhouse as well, each and every time I am there i feel obligated to get the cowboy (my favorite steak)

In addition i have always gotten rated very well at mohegan, where in my last trip to foxwwods i was hardly rated at all.

All in all i do like both facilities but if i had to choose i would go with mohegan sun.
Im the Scatman. Moneysuit31.com
March 25th, 2011 at 9:15:59 PM permalink
nullzero00
Member since: Mar 25, 2011
Threads: 1
Posts: 22
Mohegan Sun is probably one of the best casinos i have ever been in. It just has a...relaxing....vibe to it. The "natural" elements, from the wood-lashed fire tower to the onyx mountain to the waterfall, just set me at ease whenever i am there.

another major bonus are the dealers, specifically at the craps tables. my friends and i were playing a $5 table, and they announced the min was going to $10. we all went to throw an extra nickel on the pass line, but the stickman said "it's okay, you're all grandfathered in at $5. this isn't Foxwoods" baaa-zing!
on the other hand, at Foxwoods, they upped the min to $5, and my friend didn't hear. he dropped $5 on the pass line, and the dealer said "it's now $10 minimum. you just heard me say that 2 minutes ago." my friend replied "actually, i DIDN"T hear you say that." i think the dealer actually said "yes you did". needless to say we didnt last there long, and were welcomed at MS with smiles and friendliness.

i also highly recommend the Michael Jordan Steakhouse to anyone who goes - the best steak i ever had, and the One Pound baked potato was enough for 3 people. when you order a side of asparagus, you get like 40-50 stalks. all sides are meant to be shared, so keep that in mind.
March 26th, 2011 at 3:16:53 AM permalink
RobSinger
Member since: Oct 6, 2010
Threads: 5
Posts: 199
Thanks DJ for such a comprehensive report, and also those who added to it. The 3 times I've been to each casino have always amazed me: MS for its relaxing atmosphere and Foxwoods for its incredible size. I had the same opinion of those beds on my last stay 2 years ago. I'm from W. Mass., and it's probably good that those places weren't yet born when I was growing up and then spent 7 college years in Boston.
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