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pacomartin
pacomartin
Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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November 2nd, 2010 at 12:40:19 AM permalink
I am posting some travel tips for Bethlehem Sands Casino.


Rooms at the new hotel attached to the casino are starting at $149. I still recommend that Comfort Suites because it has so many places within walking distance to eat, drink and party. They may have a shuttle, but the city bus called The Loop goes the 1 mile for $2 all day.

Stay and Game packages are now being offered at 12 valley hotels in addition to the Casino Hotel.

Stay & Game package includes breakfast for 2 + $10 slot credit for up to 2 people. I would normally choose the $99 options, but as a second choice the Hyatt Place is nearby and is brand new at $109 is probably worth the extra $10

Starting with four closest hotels
  1. Comfort Suites University (1993) {124 suites] at 1.4 miles is the closest hotel. By next year a walkway will exist. ($99)
  2. Holiday Inn Express .(2006){51 rooms 29 suites} It is 2.2 miles from the casino. At the exit from Interstate 78. ($99)
  3. Hyatt Place (2009) {124 rooms} at 1.8 miles. ($109)
  4. Historic Hotel Bethlehem (1922){100 rooms 28 suites} at 1.8 miles. ($199)

    Rest of hotels further away
  5. Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Allentown Bethlehem | 2140 Motel Dr., Bethlehem | 610-867-8681, 800-228-2800 (6 miles)
  6. Hilton Garden Inn Allentown Bethlehem Airport | 1787-B Airport Rd., Allentown | 610-443-1400, 877-782-9444 (7 miles) ($99)
  7. Best Western Plus Lehigh Valley Hotel | 300 Gateway Dr., Bethlehem | 610-866-5800, 888-222-8512 (8 miles) ($99)
  8. Hampton Inn & Suites Bethlehem | 200 Gateway Dr., Bethlehem | 610-868-2442, 888-222-8512 (8 miles)
  9. Courtyard by Marriott Bethlehem | 2220 Emrick Blvd., Bethlehem | 610-625-9500 (8 miles)
  10. Hampton Inn Easton | 3723 Easton Nazareth Hwy., Easton | 610-250-6500, 800-426-7866 (13 miles)
  11. Grand Eastonian Suites Hotel | 140 Northampton St., Easton | 610-258-6350 (13 miles)
  12. Holiday Inn Conference Center Lehigh Valley | 7736 Adrienne Dr., Breinigsville | 610-391-1000, 888-452-5664 (20 miles)


Within Walking Distance of Comfort Suites Hotel
South and West
Olive Branch Family Lebanese restaurant (entrees $11 to $15), closed Sun/Mon, open until 9PM
Tally Ho Tavern A classic prohibition bar with great burgers
Firehouse The Firehouse, is a bar located at the historic Engine House built in 1885.
Thai Kitchen
Hop Hing Chinese low quality but cheap

North and East
Starter's Riverport Sport's Bar newest bar in the region (fairly expensive)
JP Macgrady is an Irish bar where you can smoke.
Lehigh Pizza open to midnight, or open to 2AM on weekends

East
24 East asian fusion (entrees $14 to $25)
Nawab Indian Cuisine (entrees $11 to $18)
Michael's steak sandwiches Philly steak's open until 9 PM or 10 PM
Wildflower Cafe & Gallery vegan cafe with music. New age flower children.
The Blue Sky Cafe only for breakfast and lunch
Dunkin Donuts

Near Holiday Inn Express at Interstate 78 exit
Waffle House next door
Crossroads 550 yards, pizza & cheesesteaks, smoking at bar only
Beer Mussels local smoking bar 1/2 mile south in Hellertown


Near the Hyatt and Historic Hotel Bethlehem
Restaurants in Moravian Area Bethlehem
Historic Hotel Bethlehem, 1741 on the Terrace 437 Main St., Bethlehem, PA 610-867-2200 (very $$$)
The Melting Pot 1 East Broad Street, Bethlehem, PA 484-241-4939 (very $$$)
Tapas on Main 500 Main Street Bethlehem, PA 18018 610.868.8903 . Authentic Spanish Tapas. Mon-Thurs 11:30am-10:00pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-Midnight and Sun 11:00am-10:00pm.
Edge Restaurant 74 W. Broad St., Bethlehem, PA 610-814-0100 (very $$$)
Apollo Grill (a little less $$)
Starfish Brasserie (a little less $$)


If you are driving back to New Jersey after a long night and you are just tired and don't want to spend a lot on a room, the most inexpensive hotel to crash at is 17.5 miles from the casino at the Phillipsburg Inn . Emphasis is on a place to stop on the drive home. It is pretty far away if you are returning to the casino the next day.


Benner Street Restaurant & Bar is about a mile from the hotel, but for a good French county meal for relatively cheap, it is excellent 610.861.8181 (1028 Broadway Bethlehem, PA 18015) Mon-Fri 11:30am-9:00pm, Sat 4:00pm-11:00pm,Sun Closed


If anyone is considering an executive suite, as an alternative there is 22 room, Sayre Mansion Inn (circa 1855) with suites from $295 to $325 that is about 2 miles from the casino. Standard rooms go for $160 but can be purchased at a discount "last minute".
Mosca
Mosca
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November 17th, 2010 at 7:51:20 AM permalink
Quote: JerryLogan

So is Bethlehem near Philadelphia and if so, what's the reason for putting scattered casinos in a city that's only 75 miles from AC? I understand the "let's take business away from AC" part, but I've been to that dump of a casino Harrahs Chester which looks like a big converted warehouse and has absolutely no personality whatsoever. It's filled with minorities from the area parting ways with their welfare and disability checks. Our drivers are not allowed to go there ever since one of them was robbed, shot, left for dead and his rig was trashed last April. Is there no shame in where they put these places?



I haven't been to the Harrah's, we were considering it but there have been so many bad reviews (of all the Philly casinos) that that plan was scotched immediately.

Bethlehem is in the A-B-E part of Pennsylvania, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton. It's actually pretty nice, Billy Joel's song notwithstanding. Easton is the home of Larry Holmes, the former heavyweight champ, whose low key philanthropy has had an incredible impact on that community. There's a decent light manufacturing base (Lucent, Braun, Airco, etc) that's weathered the recession (perhaps not well, but at least it seems to be making it somewhat), some decent colleges, and a lot of professionals who want to be close to NYC and Philly and DC but not actually live there. They host the AAA franchise of the Phillies, in a minor league ballpark that is one absolute peach of a place to watch a ballgame, a real gem.

The Sands is OK. The building is nice, the interior is beautiful, parking is easy and close and there's enough of it. There are some nice restaurants, including a satellite of Carnegie Deli, and some that should be nice but aren't (St James Place Irish Pub).

As to your general question about casino locations in PA, I understand the undercurrent of cutting humor in the question. But answering it honestly, the casinos were simply put in the largest population areas of PA, except Mt Airy, which was put in the vacation destination of The Poconos. AC was taking a lot of money out of PA, I'm sure there was considerable logic that since it was going to be gambled one way or the other, might as well keep it here. Thus the number of casinos closer to the PA/NJ border: Mt Airy, Mohegan, Sands, and the 3 Philly area casinos. This last weekend I met up with some friends at Mohegan who were on a bus trip from eastern NY, who would have gone to AC a few years ago.

AC wasted a great opportunity, lost to corruption and indifference. It remains to be seen if PA will be different; my guess is that because the casinos aren't concentrated in one area, some locations will be different from AC, and some won't be. Using your example of Harrah's Chester, that looks like wasted opportunity. Mt Airy seems to be successful. Sands has some work to do; it is the centerpiece of a larger project that I think has slowed down because of the recession. But it's a good start, IMO. It should turn out OK. I don't think your drivers would get mugged and left for dead there.

EDIT: pacomartin, GREAT photo. Did you take it?
NO KILL I
SanchoPanza
SanchoPanza
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March 31st, 2011 at 3:19:22 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

The point is that instead of approving two 200 rooms as a way to stimulate new growth, they may be better off approving forty 15 machine slot club/restaurants.


The boutique idea has been around for years with no visible signs of progress. (What else in new?)

Vol. 4, No. 3, March 2007, Q & A
Q&A with Curtis Bashaw
By Frank Legato Tue, Feb 20, 2007
Q&A with Curtis Bashaw

Before returning in 2005 to his former role as a prominent Cape May hotelier, Curtis Bashaw reshaped the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. As executive director of CRDA, Bashaw led efforts to re-brand the Jersey Shore as a cohesive tourist destination, and oversaw improvements to Atlantic City that included the Walk retail center and revitalization of the Boardwalk. More recently, Bashaw partnered with former Bally’s chief Wallace Barr on an as-yet-unspecified new casino project for the southwest corner of the Boardwalk, and has forged a new venture to transform the adjacent Holiday Inn and Howard Johnson Boardwalk hotels in the Chelsea neighborhood into an upscale boutique hotel the likes of which have not been seen before in Atlantic City.
Casino Connection Managing Editor Frank Legato talked with Bashaw about his newest plan recently at his Congress Hall hotel in Cape May.

Casino Connection: After you left CRDA, we thought you’d go back to Cape May and become the gentleman hotelier. Instead, you’ve remained involved in Atlantic City. Tell us what you’ve been doing since leaving the CRDA.

Bashaw: The CRDA was really a full-time job for me, and I did spend a great deal of time after leaving the CRDA sort of connecting with my own company both in the New York and Cape May offices. We have continued to work on opportunities to participate in the Atlantic City market, but this time from the private-sector side.

CC: Can you tell us about your latest plan to create a boutique hotel?

Bashaw: We recently closed on the purchase of the Holiday Inn and Howard Johnson, both located on Chelsea Avenue between Pacific and the Boardwalk. Our vision there is to close the hotels after the summer, combine them and renovate them into a 337-room upscale boutique hotel, similar to the Gansevoort in New York, or the W or the Mercer—one of these independent but stylish properties that cater to an upscale market. . . . -- casino connection
buzzpaff
buzzpaff
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April 14th, 2011 at 9:33:46 AM permalink
PARX's nearly doubling of table games since November 2010 has made them the clear leader in revenue. As a sidenote, they seem to be eliminating their electronic tables.

Are you talking about the electronic BJ tables that dealt the players and dealers hands from separate 6 deck shoes ?
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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April 14th, 2011 at 11:02:42 AM permalink
Okay, so gambling outside of Las Vegas is pretty much the same as gambling inside Las Vegas.

Table games are in decline in Vegas, alot of visitors to Vegas seem to be considering the gambling as sort of a side-dish to a meal. Its not the purpose of going to the restaurant its not really a goal. Its becoming sort of a whimsical visit to a casino. There are restaurants, wine, clubs, ... and somewhere along the line a visitor will also "drop by" the casino. Oh now maybe these analogies are not quite perfect ones but it seems that Vegas casinos are in the same situation. There are competitors in the sense of other casinos but there are also competitors in the sense of other activities.

Pennsylvania? Not much different than Vegas. Its just that if you live in the highly populous areas in the North East you don't have to take a long flight to get to Vegas. You might even be able to drop by a casino and get a room for only one night because you live close enough to make it a real trip but won't have to deal with jet lag or sore legs from sitting on an airplane.

Some New Yorkers have been shooting craps since infancy. I've posted before about the Atlantic City neophyte craps dealer who on opening night was told "if you don't know how much a bet pays off, drop chips until the New Yorker smiles, then take one back". These New Yorkers probably still gamble and probably have not switched to slot machines, but they no longer fly to Vegas. Some of them may do more restaurants, shows and golf than they ever did when they were flying to Vegas. They used to fly to The Horseshoe, shoot craps for three days and chat with Benny Binion about his chili. Now they spend three days at a luxury resort but probably only gamble for three hours.

Fewer gamblers, fewer table games players, more casinos, closer casinos... Vegas or Pennsylvania? What difference does it make?
pacomartin
pacomartin
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May 1st, 2011 at 8:31:51 AM permalink

DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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May 1st, 2011 at 12:28:59 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

... the stage will use the old blast furnaces as a backdrop.


Sounds like an interesting venue.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁 Note that the same could be said for Religion. I.E. Religion is nothing more than organized superstition. 🤗
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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May 1st, 2011 at 2:35:02 PM permalink
Probably a way to get taxpayer funds expended on parking and transportation that will aid the casino.
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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May 30th, 2011 at 5:07:32 PM permalink
I was there this past Saturday. The hotel opened Friday. Dealers said it was sold out Friday, although in typical casino fashion, a high roller was able to get a room at around 3:30am.

After I went broke at about 4:00pm, I walked to the hotel lobby. It felt like it was a mile away. For anyone who has been to the Sands, the hallway to the lobby runs parallel to the food court, on the other side of the Cobalt restaurant. It's about 3 or 4 times as long as the food court - which is already long. It has two small turns (i.e. a left then a quick right) but I suspect that's just to break it up so it doesn't LOOK like it's a mile long. You would expect it to be lined with retail or restaurants or banquet facilities or SOMETHING, but the bulk of the walkway has nothing. Just one restaurant, Emeril's Italian at the casino end, and a couple banquet halls on the hotel end.

There is no shortcut to the back end of the food court. If you're in the hotel and want to eat something, you have to go all the way to the casino first.

At the end if the hallway is the elevators. The lobby is one flight down. It was very small. A little smaller than two average hotel rooms - and it was PACKED. Then again, with it's small size, "packed" meant about 15 groups waiting to do business. With it's small size, I almost thought it was a temporary lobby. But it was the only thing between the elevators and the doors which lead to the valet driveway. So that really was the lobby. It had a counter with room for three clerks, and a table with three self-serve terminals. And the typical couple couches, chairs and a coffee table. All three clerk stations were manned, as well as a manager behind helping out and a manager helping people at the self-serve terminals, although during the couple minutes I was there, only one guest used the self-serve terminal.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁 Note that the same could be said for Religion. I.E. Religion is nothing more than organized superstition. 🤗
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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June 21st, 2011 at 4:59:17 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

No sign that NJ is planning to do anything radical to stop the slide which began in January 2007.

Whoa! What about all the tax money being dumped into the Revel project? True, that won't have an impact until it opens next year, but at least it's something.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁 Note that the same could be said for Religion. I.E. Religion is nothing more than organized superstition. 🤗

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