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Accidental visit to Oaklawn Racino Hot Springs, Arkansas

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by Valgal, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. Valgal

    Valgal VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    The husband and I took a quick trip to Hot Springs to meet a friend of his halfway from Nashville. We had the longer half. We decided Hot Springs so we could do a little sight seeing. We wanted to avoid the interstate going through Dallas on the way up. According to Mr. Google it was 8 1/2 hour drive if we used I-35 and about 9 1/2 hours if we avoided the interstate. Well it took 10 hours. We made good time taking 16 through Goldwaithe and cutting over to Waco. At Waco and past it was crazy. WTF happened to Waco?? Thanks Chip and Joanna Gaines. My opinion is there are too many damn people in Texas now. Texarkana was even worse - construction and delays.

    I had worked all night on 10/30 and we left about 9:30 am after dropping off our dogs at the Pet Resort/prison. We stayed at Winner's Circle Best Western for about $100 a night. More than I spend on Vegas Rooms. It was a decent room. Small but had a refrigerator, microwave, and small coffee pot. They also had a free hot breakfast - not great but okay for free. My husband's friend got in about an hour after we did. Because I have never learned my lesson about trying Mexican Food outside of Texas - we went to a place called La Hacienda - not good at all - but I love my Tex Mex and growing up in San Antonio I am hard to please.

    After being up for 30+hours I hit the sack early and the two guys stayed in his room drinking and visiting. I woke up around 3:30 am and he got back at 4:30. I never went back to bed and we all went to breakfast at 9:00 am then his friend had to leave back for Nashville. We were going to stay another night. My husband went back to bed. I started looking for things to do and found that in July Oaklawn had added a casino to their race track. Best Western was about 1/4 walk to the entrance. I will say that I don't think I would make the walk at night by myself. It has that kind of seedy feel to it like walking from the El Cortez. The ventilation was great it was fresh and brand new. I got a players card - although I doubt if I will ever be back. Not with a 10 hour drive. I only found VP machines at the sports bar. They were multi game and I stuck to .25 JOB with 8/5 paytable. I was happy having some alone time. About 30 minutes into playing my husband texts me - he is on his way. I did pretty good to start and was up $80 but as usual I get bored with VP and hit the slut/slots and lost $50 quickly. My husband lost $20 and I gave him $20 from my earnings and we both played a little. Went back to VP and was down another $30 crawled my way back to even and cashed out. There were plenty of cocktail waitresses on the floor - I don't know if they comped on the floor. They did not comp at the bar. I had a Cuervo Gold Margarita for $7.

    We decided to get a quick late lunch grab a nap and drive back during the night to avoid the weekend traffic. We left Hot Springs around 8:00 pm and stuck to the Interstates. It still took 10 f-ing hours. Traffic was ridiculous until we got past Dallas. The only good thing about Texas Interstates is Bucees. I posted on another thread about Bucees. Sparkling bathrooms - and for those who grew up with Road trips in the 70s it is like a gigantic and improved Stuckeys. It is a travel center dedicated to travelers and it is not a truck stop. They do not allow 18-wheeler parking.

    We didn't stay to see the lakes or forest around Hot Springs, but I was too tired. I did hit a few 4OAK and drew 4 to a Royal several times but I'm still chasing the Royal -- some day.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
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  2. Valgal

    Valgal VIP Whale

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    There was construction going on and I heard the bartender say they are building a hotel on the property. It looks like it will be several stories high. There seemed to be ample parking across the street. I wouldn't consider going back because of the 10 hour drive and with gas etc. and time Las Vegas is the better value. We only have once casino in Texas at Eagle Pass -- called the Lucky Eagle - I refer to as the Dirty Bird. I have a friend who is always asking me to go. It is about 2 and 1/2 hours away -- I have never considered it. I would never feel safe.
     
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  3. CheeseHog

    CheeseHog Low-Roller

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    We live just outside Hot Springs and try not to go too much. Has a sportsbook now so stopping more than I like. When I take Laurel, I give her 90 minutes while I hang and drink. Most folks I notice are happy unlike other venues we occasionally go to....Tunica/Shreveport. Enjoyed the post.

    Jeff
     
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  4. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    The actual racetrack is on my bucket list called Someday Isle
     
  5. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    VP only at the Sports Bar? That's a bummer. Southland Park in West Memphis had a lot better VP selection. STP, UX, etc. But afaik, no comp drinks in AR period.

    Thanks for the report!
     
  6. Valgal

    Valgal VIP Whale

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    I'm not 100% sure I could have missed them. I didn't realize I skipped one area of the casino until I was leaving. I should have asked the bartender. They also had a self serve non-alcoholic drink station
     
  7. FormallyTD

    FormallyTD Big Time

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    "It has that kind of seedy feel to it like walking from the El Cortez."

    How dare you type this in a public forum.

    Shame on you, @Valgal!!
     
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  8. Valgal

    Valgal VIP Whale

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    I’m so ashamed.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. JasonK

    JasonK Tourist

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    shame that ya'll did not grab a couple of corned beef sandwiches - they are legendary (and cheap). But I think they are only served during racing season, for some reason.

    I've been to Oaklawn a handful of times. It gets bigger each time I visit, and I understand they are expanding the casino considerably, in addition to the aforementioned hotel that's being built.

    Enjoyed the report.
     
    Wilder-Ortiz II
  10. TJC

    TJC High-Roller

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    The sports bartop are All Star Poker II machines if I remember right. There is also a decent sized VP cove towards the back of the casino with single, multiple hand, and carnival VP. Paytables are a little better than the typical LV Strip casinos, but not much. Bounce back was not bad, as I got $125 free play offers and some food after about $5k coin in mostly on VP. I was impressed with the casino and the restaurants in town. I also had a good time browsing at Ollie's Bargain Outlet since we don't have any of those in Oklahoma that I know of.