About 5 miles east of where we live is The Slot Palace. It's directly across the street from the Soaring Eagle Casino Resort. The big resort is on Leaton Road just off of M-20 between Mt. Pleasant and Midland. It's located to the south of the administrative buildings associated with the tribe's enterprises. A shuttle bus circles between the various components of the complex - hotel, main casino, slot palace, museum, water park, and hotel.
The Slot Palace is an older facility. When the casino first opened in Mt. Pleasant, it had progressed from a bingo game at a drive in movie to a pole barn type structure that had table games but no slot machines to a facility that had a full array of services. The tribe moved on from this to open the major resort complex of Soaring Eagle that includes a resort hotel, a casino, an entertainment venue, a second hotel that has a large water park, a campground, and a museum.
The building that had an interim casinos is now The Slot Palace. It has low ceilings and lacks a good air circulation system. Stepping inside the entryway patrons can smell the smoke from years of smokers at the building.
A security desk is just inside the doors and the Player's Club is a short distance away. The Player's Club is an extension of the Soaring Eagle Club and there is no need for additional cards or registration.
To The Left
Immediately to the left of the entrance is a hallway and doors to the Bingo Parlor. The ceilings are much higher in this section of the building and the ventilation is much better alleviating the heavy smokiness of the other areas. It is the largest bingo parlor in Michigan and offers jackpots that equal anything in the midwest.
It is a large, open area with seating for well over 100 players. After being closed on Monday and Tuesday, it's open from Wednesday through Sunday. Games begin at 11 AM with early birds at 12:45 and 6:15 where costs are at $5. Most sessions cost $10 for paper or $20-$40 for power. The power screens have four cards per screen.
When we're usually there at around 2 or so in the afternoon, we see a $1,000 coverall going. Actually last time we were there, someone bingo'd in less than the cutoff number and won the $1,000. On some special days the jackpots can range up to and beyond $100,000.
There is much information on their web site.
In the back of the room behind the Bingo Parlor there is a snack bar - The Little Eagle Cafe. The food ordering and prep area is separated from the bingo area as is one dining area. There is a free self serve coffee machine in the area. The second dining area opens to the bingo parlor and will seat about 50 people. A player could sit in the dining area and participate in the bingo games but would have to be very attentive.
The menu at the snack bar is sandwiches and fries and chicken tenders and pizza. Most of the time we get a supreme pizza and take it home. It's amongst the best pizza in Mt. Pleasant. It is moderately priced.
To The Right
Up a slight incline to the right is the Players' Club desk. It is small and an extension of the larger organization in the big casino. The ramp up leads into an auxiliary casino area.
There is an array of slot machines and video poker machines. Most of the video poker (some 10 machines) are of the upright variety. However, tucked around a corner are more modern slant tops that house triple play, spin poker, and games such as Ultiimate X. Pay scales on the older machines are up to the Soaring Eagle standards of 9/6 JOB and the specialty games have substantially lower payback.
This area seems to have even lower ceilings that the large central room and so is smokier smelling. There is probably a couple hundred machines in this auxiliary room.
Immediately in the front of the Security Desk are two banks of video poker machines. An aisle runs between them on in to the slot machine area. The machines on the left are uprights. The machines on the right are slant tops. Payoffs are the same on both groups - 99.5 on Jacks or Better and 98.9 on Deuces.
Many of the slot machines are new and have the newest games. There are some slant top video poker machines in this area.
Tucked amongst the slot machines in the main room of the casino is a cashier's cage and a bar. Most of the slot machines in the casino are multi denominational and have limits from 1 cent to 50 cents. Near the cashier's cage are a few higher limit machines have limits up to $5. All of the machines are multi coin machines creating some large jackpots on the top limits.
I really prefer the comfort of the slant top video poker. Here's a couple recent hits on machines in this area.
There are several entrances into the bingo hall on one side of this central area and these areas are usually occupied by a free beverage machine and a few more machines.
The lack of table games does change the kind of player found in the casino as does the presence of the bingo parlor. I personally like the Slot Palace. It is more convenient to the parking lot and the smokey smell doesn't bother me. My wife on the other hand dislikes the older environment because of the smoke.
On Senior Day, the Players' Club gives us each a $5 food coupon and we go there a lot of the time because we do like the snack bar. We usually wind up with a large supreme pizza to take home and it costs us $4.