Turning Stone Casino and Resort in Verona, New York has all the ingredients for a perfect few days of romance, relaxation, and entertainment. And, for the budget-conscious, the accommodations run modest to luxurious, with rates to match. The resort also has an ongoing array of unbeatable promotions, too.
The resort was built in 1993, and at the time, was New York’s only land based casino. It is a “reservation casino”, that is, it is built on land of and run by the Oneida Indian Nation. Its full service casino features a sophisticated Vegas-style gambling arena, with all the standards: keno, roulette, blackjack, poker rooms, and 2400 multi-game slots. My experience is that the slots here are as loose as the notoriously loose slots in Vegas’ Fremont Street casinos, and there is usually an informal line formed for a turn at the lucrative “Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler” slot machines. The casino décor is pleasing; retro glitzy Vegas merged with contemporary elegance. It is a festive departure from Midwestern reservation casinos, which aesthetic inspiration seems to oftentimes extend more than a subtle nod to late 80’s mauve-and-beige-soap-opera-set-meets-nursing-home-lobby.
As fun as the table games and slots are, do not miss the spectacular Bingo experience offered at Turning Stone. Ten bucks gets you several hours worth of fun, and free soft drinks and coffee, too. The suspense of the bingo game is silly and exciting, and though the odds of winning are probably low, the jackpots are huge at thousands of dollars. Included with your bingo fee are drawings and door prizes, which increases your chances of winning something. The kitsch factor is high here too-the ‘professional’ bingoing retired couples of the snazzy beehive hairdo and spunky RV livin’ lifestyle, with their marker caddies and bingo blessing rituals are a precious benefit. The second hour, and your real lives outside the absolutely massive bingo gymnasium are blurred memories. I loved it.
Aside from the gaming opportunities, the resort offers a day spa offering a full menu massages, body wraps, beauty treatments, and facials. New to the resort is a destination spa, Skana. It integrates a full menu of modern spa treatments with Native American traditions. A sweat lodge experience is available, as well as ‘treatments for two”, and a private spa suite. The amenities of the private suite include, “…Purist Experience Bath soaking tubs, a two-person shower with two separate shower heads, a relaxation area with a chaise lounge, access to a private relaxation garden, a private steam and sauna and a private treatment room with two massage/facial tables.” Sounds indulgent to me!
The resort offers a wide range of dining opportunities. Included are the traditional casino buffets, upscale dining, and informal café fare. For an informal lunch, the fontina and tomato paninis at The Corner Market are highly recommend. A Starbucks is also onsite. Room service is also available.
One of the most pleasing offerings of Turning Stone is its top-notch entertainment. Their calendar is consistently dotted with first rate music concerts, comedians, and entertainers–usually at pleasing ticket prices to boot. On the stages at Turning Stone in the next few months are such performers as Ruben Studdard (tickets starting at just $15!) Toby Keith, Air Supply, LeAnn Rimes, and a promising Saturday Night Live Reunion, featuring Joe Piscopo, Victoria Jackson, and Father Guido Sarducci (now there is a blast from the past!) Also on the horizon are Josh Groban, Engelbert Humperdinck, Chippendales, Sinbad, and The Gatlin Brothers. In addition, there is a Comedy Club performance every Wednesday night; seats start at a mere $10.
Whether you are looking for a Valentine’s celebration destination, low-key honeymoon spot, or a simple, romantic weekend, Turning Stone Resort hits the jackpot.