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Four Winds Casino & Resort

March 28, 2010

  • 11111 Wilson Road
  • New Buffalo, MI 49117
  • (269) 926-4500
  • Website

We knew the real reason my parents wanted to meet in New Buffalo.  They probably wouldn’t have brought it up if we didn’t, but we all knew they were going to hit a casino on the way home.  They hadn’t decided if it was going to be in New Buffalo or Michigan City, but after J and I said we’d tag along for a little bit, they decided to stay in New Buffalo.

Four Winds Casino & Resort is on the edge of New Buffalo right off Exit 1 on I-94.  After you get off and turn left on Wilson Road, you’ll find the casino on the left hand side of the road.  The actual casino is not visible from anywhere because you have to go down a long, winding private road to find the parking garage connected to the casino.

There’s a valet entrance up front and that’s about the only decoration adorning the building.  The property is set up so you go in to the parking garage and you never have to go outside or use a “front door.” We found a pretty empty parking garage which is pretty good news.  The great thing is that on each level there is a counter that shows you how many empty spaces there are on each level.  You don’t have to drive around on every level looking for an open spot which we’ve done at a couple other casinos which caused a lot of frustration.

The casino entrance is on the ground floor, so you take the elevator down and it spits you out in to a long, long hallway.  On the right is the gaming floor.  On the left is a series of shops and even a play area for those under the legal gambling age.

As soon as the automatic sliding doors opened from the elevator area to the casino, the smell of smoke rushed into our nostrils.  The smell was overpowering, as you would expect at a casino, but J said they must have had better ventilation than some of the casinos in the state.  While the smell was awful, you couldn’t actually see the smoke and it didn’t make either of our eyes water so it was a little more bearable than some of the other places we’ve been too. 

The gaming floor at Four Winds is huge.  There are several entry points from the main hallway into the floor which is something I still can’t get used to.  I’ve noticed at the Native American casinos in Michigan that they don’t really check ID’s.  You enter the building and the gaming floor with almost no one to check to make sure you’re old enough.  At the Illinois casino’s, there is only one way in and one way out and almost everybody gets checked.  You have to walk past a security person and through a turnstile to get in.  Access to the gaming floor at Four Wings (and Soaring Eagle and Firekeepers) seems to be unchecked…like it would be easy for someone underage to sneak in…and minors are allowed in the area.  An obviously underage kid would probably get caught, but it seems like it would be easy for someone around the legal age to walk in unnoticed.

Anyway, gaming.  I’m not a gambler and neither is J.  My mom is strictly a penny slot person although I did catch her playing $1 slot.  I’ve been to several casinos, but I never spend more than $50.  I’m just not a gambler.  I’ve never played a table game and never really wanted to.  I like the slot machines with the “7’s” and that’s where I usually go.  J plays a lot of the one cent and five cent ones just because you can make your money last longer.  Sure, winning would be nice, but we really go just to play.  It’s kind of like playing a video game.

Neither one of us had any lucky.  We dropped only $40 between the two of us and at no point were either of us really up.  We took a few breaks to sit at the bar and watch the MSU/Tennessee game on one of the big screens, but other than that, we spent our money and left.  We were there probably an hour before we tracked my mom down and headed out.  My dad likes to hide when we go to casinos for some reason.  We never could find him.  Turns out, he won fifty bucks right away, cashed out and found a different TV to watch the basketball game on.

Four Winds is another great casino in Michigan.  Like I already mentioned, I’m not a gambler so that could be my only trip to Four Winds unless we meet my parents again.  If you’re looking to make a weekend out of it, they do have a hotel on site and several dining options.  There’s the stereotypical The Buffet right near the entrance which is all ages as well as a little coffee shop serving Starbucks coffee (but not all the specialty drinks…just the coffee).  There’s also Timbers Fast Food and Deli, Copper Rock Steakhouse, and Willowbrook Cafe which are all 21 and over establishments.  The final option is the Grab ‘n Go which looks to be an array of cold meat sandwiches and the like.

My parents seem to really like the place and my brother’s in-laws have made the two-hour trip to New Buffalo on several occasions after my parents found it when J and I moved here.  It’s definitely a destination for some and a nice place to gamble in a serene wooded setting….if that’s your thing.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Garry permalink
    March 29, 2010 7:41 am

    I don’t entirely agree with your comments about security. We also been to the Soaring Eagle and everything You said about them is true! But last year my son turn 21, we took him to Four Winds. After we enter but just before we reached the cansino area three plain clothes security pople approached us, all three came from different directions and they checked his I.D.! My son is 6 foot six inches and looks alot older than 21, but there wouldn’t been a way that He could of made it onto the gambling floor without a big fight!

  2. SW Michigan Dining permalink*
    March 29, 2010 11:05 am

    I’m sure they have something in place, but it’s not as obvious as it is at most places….The Illinois boats, Indiana casinos and even Windsor have an obvious presence and you have to walk right past someone. The Native American casino’s seem to be not as worried about it. If I was going to try to sneak in, it would be at one of those places.

  3. Garry permalink
    March 30, 2010 8:07 am

    As fast as they swam in on us, @ Four winds, I bet money you wouldn’t make it in!!

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