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Council Bluffs Iowa Or Laughlin Junket ... Which one

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Hotels & Casinos' started by JJLV, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. JJLV

    JJLV Low-Roller

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    Hi looking for thoughts from folks that might have been to Council Bluffs and if Laughlin as well even better to compare. We take junkets to Laughlin at least once sometimes up to 3 times a year. We were just there last month. Looking to book another Junket and thought we might try something new. Was all set to book Laughlin for May but got an invite to CB with a zoo dinner included. I did some research and sounds like Harrahs is a quite small casino (500 slots) with no pool but there are shuttles to Horseshoe CB (1700 slots) pool but owned by Hilton so can not use. Have you been? What was your thoughts in general on CB, casinos, diamond lounges, dining, anything.

    I am torn as I know what to expect in Laughlin. We do enjoy the river and pools. We usually get a car for a day or two to explore. Even look at places to live someday there as snow bird. Have done a day in Vegas now and then and so on. Just thinking there is not much to do in CB, and it is rather like where we live. Thinking we would get bored with just casinos for 4 days. Or do you have any ideas.

    Thanks for any thoughts.

    jj
     
  2. kankan53

    kankan53 Low-Roller

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    I have a similar offer - except mine is in April and the dinner is at Omaha's Botanical Center instead of the zoo. Unfortunately - won't be able to take advantage because we already have a concert booked at our local.

    As far as what we experienced on the Council Bluffs trip - it was not a junket. It was commercial airfare that they booked for us (up to $600 for two people). The Harrah's casino is very small and very smokey. The rooms are really small but it is a nice location for walking. If you go out the back of the hotel - you can walk to a nice park and across the bridge and you are in Omaha. Very nice view of the river. The DL is not bad - they usually have a salad and then food a little later like hamburgers etc. You cannot take your drink on the casino floor.

    The shuttle to Horseshoe runs about every 30 minutes and Horseshoe is a good size and I liked it. The diamond lounge there is on the casino floor and the GM lounge is really nice. We had prime rib one night there. Reminds me a little of the 7 star lounges in AC.

    I talked to the front desk and they arranged for a driver to take us over to the Zoo in Omaha one day. It was very nice.
     
  3. JJLV

    JJLV Low-Roller

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    Thanks Kankan. Thanks for sharing. So sounds like you would do again. Hmmmm :)
     
  4. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    I did like Council Bluffs but both casinos are so small for the amount of traffic they get. I don't remember the rooms being small. There were three of us and we were comfortable. Our trip was also on a commercial airline flight and our host had organized a golf tourney that we did not participate in. There was also a concert on their lawn during our trip and that seems to be a regular summer thing. The food at all the dining outlets we tried was good to excellent. We enjoyed the steakhouse more at Harrah's than at Binions even though it was comparatively more downscale. The menu at Binion's was more ambitious but we just weren't impressed. At Harrah's the steakhouse overlooks the river so it we had some excellent views during dinner. What I remember most about the DL is that they did have a daily menu with a small buffet but they were also always popping popcorn. We were only in the one at Horseshoe long enough to go online. We didn't inquire on where we could go on the shuttle but they were running people to the zoo. There is a movie theater between the casinos and I bet they would probably be willing to drop folks off there. I would go back but I think I would want a car next time. They are not far from a nice part of Omaha that would be good to explore and there is also an Ameristar that wouldn't be too far away.
     
  5. TXactuarial

    TXactuarial Low-Roller

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    I was in Council Bluffs last September staying at Harrah's for one night. The casino is fine - but not that extravagant. Crapless craps was the only craps game running at the time. They have a poker room upstairs with games that are always running. It's not that big of a casino, and the drinks are pretty expensive too. I ordered a craft beer and they charged me $8 for it, and I was even playing their crappy bartop VP!

    CB was part of a longer trip up the Iowa/South Dakota border. I stopped at every casino I could, and some of them are way out of the way, but it's kinda fun and adventurous to go play at all of them.
     
  6. dvandentop

    dvandentop VIP Whale

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    If you do CB be sure to check out ameristar as well better selection then both the harrahs casino Imho
     
  7. Jaci2014

    Jaci2014 Low-Roller

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    Have spent a week in both places and each has its charms. Omaha has some first class restaurants and theaters and a very nice historical section should you want to cross the river from Council Bluffs. Laughlin has a much greater selection of casino games/tables and a we always make a side trip to to the old mining town of Oatman.
     
  8. JJLV

    JJLV Low-Roller

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    Great info all. I was going to book tonight but held off a bit yet. I'll have to share all your thoughts with the DH. All information and thoughts do help. Thanks again.
     
  9. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    Harrahs is one of my friends & my weekend destinations. It's a 7 hr drive lol. BFF & I will go to zoo (wouldn't be a bad taxi ride either as it is close). Hubby & I have done the movie theater. All of us did the Bass or whatever the sports store is by Horseshoe. The steakhouse is outstanding at Harrahs. We already have a ressie at end of March. A couple employees told me they like Harrahs better than Binions too. Rooms are comfy at Harrahs. No pool as mentioned. A few months ago drinks on floor were free if Diamond or above. They have the ordering system right on the machine. Buffet not open for breakfast during week at Harrahs but the diner is great. I believe open at Horseshoe. We did have a person on the bus that was actually dropped off at Ameristar - I expect due to card level. Not sure if you have to be 7Star or if they'd do that for Diamond- we just drove over. Live Ameristar casino also. I'd take one in a flash if they'd offer it to me. But I doubt that will happen as we manage to find our way there without help lol
     
  10. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    When we were there, one of the junkets perks was free drinks. They gave us pins and treated us like 7Stars on the casino floor. I was under the impression drinks were free for Diamonds as well.
     
  11. jf3976

    jf3976 High-Roller

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    CB is my local, though I rarely go. I prefer Horseshoe and rarely (practically never) go to Harrah's. I've never been to Laughlin. Agree with most of the posters comments, and the Zoo in Omaha is excellent!

    Regarding Horseshoe, I never pay for drinks, diamond level and up is probably right. You can order from the machine (literally, like where you'd enter your players card pin), get them in the DL, or just show them your card at the bar. If you are Diamond Aspiration Level 1 or higher, you also have access to the General Manager's Lounge, which is nice (right across from the poker room).
     
  12. JJLV

    JJLV Low-Roller

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    Thought I would update. Actually booked Laughlin last Friday Afternoon. Thanks again for all the input. We just decided we were not in a Council Bluffs mood and with Laughlin can run up to LV if desire.

    Later Friday night hubby brought in mail and our independent local casino host had sent out a mailing with all sorts of junkets including Las Vegas and New Orleans. (We do not normally qualify for those, they were trying to fill and had very limited seating.) I called right away and they were closed with a message will open Monday morning. I called ASAP in the AM and of course all filled. Oh well. I just wished when I called to book Laughlin, they would have mentioned those. On waiting list now for either. Sure won't happen... at least there is always Laughlin. We'll probably will run up to LV for a day. Just would have been nice to get the free flight to stay all 4 nights there.

    Thanks again