By Sharyn Kuneman
The splendor of the Roaring Twenties can be experienced at Indiana’s French Lick Resort Casino.
During the heyday of the area’s famous mineral water resorts, over 20 gambling establishments flourished in the region. The last casino closed its doors in 1949.
The French Lick Casino showing some of its 1920’s flare
Fifty years and $500 million later, casino gaming has made a triumphant return to French Lick.
Gaming – From the massive stained glass dome, to the sparkling chandeliers and thick carpet, opulence is on display throughout the casino.
The 51,000-square-foot, single-level gaming floor offers 1,200 machines and 42 tables providing blackjack, roulette, craps, and 3-card poker.
The Casino at French Lick
The casino’s fully automated poker room offers three 10-player tables and there’s also a high-limit gaming area with VIP services including a dedicated cashier cage and lounge area.
The High Limit Room at French Lick Casino
Air quality on the gaming floor is excellent. The casino’s high-tech ventilation system completely changes out the air four times every hour. A separate non-smoking gaming room is provided. The 9,500-square-foot space features 300 machines, along with roulette, crazy 4 poker, craps, and blackjack tables.
The casino’s sports bar offers several large television screens. Comfortable seating is provided at tables in the spacious area. Video poker is available at the bar.
Rewards Program – With the French Lick Resort Rewards card, French Lick Players Club cardholders earn both Destination Dollars and Resort Awards for each play. Destination Dollars provide cash that can be used for slot play in the casino or as money throughout the resort. Resort Rewards points are redeemable for a variety of services including dining, recreation, spa treatments, retail merchandise, or hotel accommodations. Club members also receive discounts on event tickets.
Entertainment – The 1,500-seat Windsor Ballroom, located in the hotel’s events center, offers a variety of entertainment options. Performers have included B.B. King, Beach Boys, Crosby & Nash, Guess Who, Loretta Lynn, Charlie Pride, and Randy Travis.
Free live entertainment is provided in the casino lounge on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Dining Options – The Grand Colonnade Restaurant, found on the lower level of the Events Center offers a bountiful selection of hearty breakfast foods to jump start any morning. Open for breakfast from 7a – 11a visitors can enjoy many of their all-time favorites at this daily breakfast buffet.
Diamond Jim’s Trattoria, located in the casino, is open 24 hours. Specialties include the Hoosier burger, T-bone steak, grilled Atlantic salmon, and eggs Benedict. Patrons should expect some noise from the casino floor.
Power Plant: Offers appetizers, salads, burgers and sandwiches. Favorite menu items include the southern Cobb salad, crab burger, and onion rings. Located in the hotel’s original electrical room, the restaurant’s walls feature a fascinating array of switches, gauges, and transformer boxes.
1875: The Steakhouse: The resort’s signature dining venue, located adjacent to the main lobby, has received the Mobile 4-Diamond Award and The Wine Spectators Award of Excellence. Specialties include the baked lobster macaroni and cheese appetizer, she crab soup, creamy five onion soup, braised beef short rib, lamb chops, and sweet potato biscuits with molasses butter.
Other dining choices include Nosh Deli, Pluto’s Pizzeria, Scoops Coffee and Creamery, and Spring No. 8 Pool Bar.
Accommodations: The 443 guestrooms feature elegant Victorian décor with polished dark wood and neutral colors. Amenities include wireless high-speed Internet, coffeemaker, flat-screen television, iron/ironing board, and daily newspaper.
The French Lick Hotel Atrium
The hotel offers heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools, horseback riding, bicycle rental, bowling, golf, retail shopping promenade, historical tours, and nature walks.
A 27,000-square-foot spa, with 24 treatment rooms, offers a full-range of services. Popular options include the Vichy showers and Pluto baths. A state-of-the art fitness center is located in the spa area.
An indoor walkway connects the hotel to the casino.
Plenty of parking is available in the attached four-level parking ramp and in several outdoor lots. Complimentary valet parking is also offered.
French Lick Casino Resort is located at 8670 W. State Road 56, French Lick, Indiana 47432; (812) 936-9300, (888) 694-4332; www.frenchlick.com. The nearest airports are located in Louisville (68 miles) and Indianapolis (108 miles).