Foxwoods Resort Casino
350 Trolley Line Boulevard, Mashantucket, CT 06338
The Wonder of It All. If you were lucky enough to live in a radio or TV market where Foxwoods ran its ads, you not only knew that jingle by heart…
Take a chance make it happen, pop the cork fingers snappin’, spin the wheel round and round we gooooo!…Good luck getting that tumor out of your brain
You also know the bold claims those ads made. Foxwoods, located in rural Connecticut, once boasted of being the largest casino in the world. Then I think some monster in Macau opened up and then there was a voice over on the radio spot that added in a computerized “smoke free” in one of the all-time mail it in moments in advertising history, but I digress.
Opened as a bingo tent in the mid 1980s and then transformed into the first real entertainment/gaming destination on the east coast outside of Atlantic City by the mid 1990s, Foxwoods has been the big dog in all the things gaming executives and industry experts cream in their shorts over for a long time. However, there have been some serious chinks in its armor from local and not so local competition in the past few years. The question becomes, is Foxwoods still any good? Let’s find out…
If you lived in northern New England or around New York City, you said the same thing, “what the fuck, why is this so far away?” in the whiniest voice in your head while driving to this monstrosity.
But in reality, it’s not THAT far away. A little over 7 miles off I-95 and a few more coming from the west, the Titan in Trees (let’s see how many corny-assed nicknames I can come up with for this place) is on Route 2 on what used to be lazy country road. It’s still just two lanes. It still cuts through the woods and some farm land. It is legitimately in the middle of no where. Plenty of parking, outside and in the many garages, makes this Oversized Orca (bang – there’s 2) a spot you can visit for 4 hours or 4 days and get in and out easily.
Look and Feel
One thing I always thought was cool when I was driving towards the Gambling Goliath (ding – that’s 3) was that as this crescent moon shaped road starts to get closer and the Big Lewoodski (#4) comes into view, you see what appears to a massive structure.
You say to yourself, “shit that’s pretty big”. Bro, that’s just the f’n parking garage. A little further on this road and you see an even bigger building that just seemingly grows and grows. And then more building and then for good measure another massive tower to finish off the big reveal of the John Holmes of entertainment complexes.
One more thing on the outside….the off-white facade with the blue roof makes me chuckle every time. Reminds me of what your kid would make a Lego house look like after he used all the cool black and grey Legos on a kick ass Batmobile. I know it has some Native American significance as it resembles this belt I have had since I was a youth. What a bizarre long term design choice. Imagine the paint bill if you wanted to spruce up the outside of the Sultan of Slots.
Once you get inside, there is so much space it is really hard to give Foxytown a theme or a style. Each casino and each hotel has its own look and feel. The Rainmaker has lots of green and dark wood with the giant glass dude shooting an arrow to the clouds. Downstairs in the massive poker room, there is more mahogany. The Great Cedar has some of the worst carpet you will ever see. The Pequot is brighter with natural light and well….yellower? Yeah, that’s a word for now. The Fox Tower is an attempt to be hip, Asian and trendy and misses the mark for the most part. And DO NOT get me started on how fucking far away this place is from the rest of the action. It is borderline cruelty to all the blue-hairs and lark drivers and those who’ve had multiple knee surgeries who believe that just changing tables, and not properties, changes your luck (ahem). Utterly ridiculous. Just as ridiculous as the Aria. There is one common theme however. If I wrote this review 10 years ago, much of it would be the same. I think that is probably the main issue with the ole gal. She is just kind of there in some spots. Sure she’s put on some new make-up or started working out a little for that new dress she just bought but there is a “been there done that” feel to her. That’s probably why her stranglehold on the Northeast market has loosened a bit.
There is so much more but I have to assume your feet are starting to fall asleep on the shitter right now. Time to speed things up.
Dude, all it is missing is a sports book. “But Casino Guy, I can bet on horses and dogs!” That’s a race book donkey. You want legalized sports betting, you have to go to Rhode Island or New Jersey (or call “a guy” and but make sure you use account P10) for at least a few months.
It has the biggest (and most competitive) poker room going, the most slots under one roof (more like 5 roofs but who cares) and the most tables by a mile. High limit areas both visible and discrete. I fell in and out of love with classics like Caribbean Stud Poker (R.I.P. I hope) and Let It Ride. I played my first Deuces Wild Video Poker at Woodyville and everything in between. Its got it all.
This is where The Massive Meat Stick gets a little iffy for me. Between the crowds that the nightlife attracts to the families staying for the weekend (yes, KIDS walking the hallways) to the Mount Rushmore of Gamblers (click on it, it’s true…it’s damn true) that flock to the Woods, you have every type of person under the sun here. It’s a little overwhelming for a people watcher like ya boy Casino Guy. Some of the saddest shit you will see on the planet are these poor bastards who took the bus down for the day and are sitting near the food court or in the many hallways around the place who are just waiting to go home because they busted their whole gambling nut in the 30 minutes. HEY ASSHOLE, the bus does not leave for another 9 hours!!!! Go to the ATM. Go do something else. Stop depressing me and taking up all the open seats at Fuddruckers!!!
The restaurant, bar and club scene has a little of everything so it attracts all kinds. As long as some of the jokers here for an epic bachelor party at Shrine don’t spill out to my table, oh wait I ain’t making that 40 mile trek to Fox Tower so let’s move on…
I’ve stayed in all the hotels. I’ve probably done business in every bathroom in the whole damn place and the verdict is the same, wonderful. The have so many people working in the common areas/casino bathrooms that everything is clean 90% of the time. With this many people, that is a MASSIVE accomplishment.
And if you did ask the Sherpa to bring you to your room at Fox Tower, then you know the bathrooms there are incredible. Stone showers with seats, separate shitter closets with phones, it has all the useless amenities that makes you feel special. All the other hotel’s bathrooms get the job done, and isn’t that all you really want?
Look, a place this big clearly has an army of people working. I mean an actual army. They have about 2,500 dealers on staff. At any time, you can see 5-10 maintenance crew swarming the pits in just one of the areas of one of the casinos. With that many people, there are bound to be some characters and the occasional bad egg. You can’t judge the whole crew by a few bad eggs. When you deal with this many jemokes who think they are the most important guest/player out of the 40,000 people that roll through this joint daily, I don’t know how you just don’t go around saying this to everyone:
In any event, Fox-A-Rama is notorious for time between drinks at the tables. You are more likely to get approached by, secure the services of, pay for and be serviced by a shoe shine guy (what were you thinking of there?!?) than you are of getting multiple drinks in a night. That’s just a fact Jack.
Grub & Liquid Courage
Choices, choices and more choices. Some of those choices are good and even great. Some of them are junk. The high end steak place Cedar Steak House is great. The Panda Express is not. But if you want a full blown food review, go hit up another website.
You want bottle service, head to Shrine. You want tall beers and cocktails, head to the Hard Rock. You want tequila and tacos, go to Scorpion Bar. There used to be a very good sports bar (pour one out for Stadium boys and girls) but there are enough spots like High Rollers or PLAY to watch a game….I can’t. I can’t hold my tongue any more. I have been to this fucking place a zillion times. Nothing angers me more on the planet than what I am about to tell you. Better yet, please refer to the following professionally made graphic:
And that’s all I got to say about that.
The Monster in Mashantucket (okay, that’s the last one I promise) is a true revolutionary. Properties all over the country have tried to replicate what Foxwoods does right and many have failed. However, there are more and more each day who are blazing their own trail or have found a portion of the secret sauce that worked for them. Foxwoods introduces new shit all the time, and will continue to do so to keep players coming back to rural CT instead of just going down the street. It really does have it all. BUT FOR GOD’S SAKE, SERVE FULL SIZED F’N BEERS AT YOUR TABLES!!!!!
Official Casino Guy Rating: Ace High Straight – The old standby is a winner. The old standby gets it done. The old standby looks f’n awesome from afar, with one or two tweaks it can rise up to be a lot better. But a lot beats the old standby these days. If the old standby is not careful, they will be get dropped like a bad habit – no matter how spectacular they used to look.