I have been “Permanent Barring” by Swinomish as of March 6th 2015 for posting the following review, which they did not like, but in their response agreed with every thing I stated in my review. Which also calls into question the glowing positive reviews they receive when they ban people they do not like the review from.
This review is my first hand experience and is meant for my fellow travelers and RV’ers. I do not expect any action by Swinomish as their responses to my reviews has been inappropriate in the past
They charge RVs to park, $10+ in their parking lot, they do not charge cars. I do not understand why they want to send customers to other RV friendly Casinos, which are close by. Their RV Park is substandard.
They have become RV unfriendly and have redesigned their parking lots making it difficult to park RVs or any over sized vehicles.
They have no washrooms (or services) in their RV Park, I have witnessed some disgusting activity by RV’ers that did not have adequate self contained RVs. It is a long walk to the lodge to use the washroom and at night the sprinklers may be on, you can hear them but cannot see them.
The RV Park has low power, which can damage the electronics and electrical systems in your RV.
Most food is spicy, I think due to their customer base of Mexican/Spanish customers.
They supply coffee whiter not milk in the Casino and Bingo Hall for coffee. They do have free soft drinks in the Casino located by the Sports Bar.
There is a busy train track that runs beside the RV Park, behind the Lodge, that sounds its horn, night and day when it crosses the Rail Bridge.
There is a large A/C about the size of a city bus at the rear of the Lodge that can be quite noisy, making it difficult to sleep in the RV Park.
There is a sewer treatment building just west of the RV Park. The smell can be quite strong around the Bingo Hall and RV Park when the wind is blowing in their direction.
From time to time they have live entertainment on the stage in the Casino that can be extremely loud I carry earplugs to protect my hearing.
They have some very nice people working in the Bingo Hall.
The Hotel requires that RV’s pay a RV parking Fee to stay in the parking lot. $10 to $30 plus tax according to Security. They do not charge cars to stay in the parking lot! I find this ridiculous that RV must pay to be able to go to the Casino play Slots/Bingo and eat food at the Casino. RVs are parked in a little used vacant part of the parking lot and no services are used except in my case one car parking spot. They do have a substandard RV Park that has very limited services and very low power (about 90 volts or less), which can damage your electrical and electronic equipment. Which it has done to me! My power supply and my fridge were damaged and I had to replace them at my cost, as the manufacture would not honor the warranty. Camping World in Burlington had my RV for about eight months trying to get the manufacture to pay.
I agree with many of the reviews posted on line, many which are as follows. In the fifteen or so years we have visited Northern Lights/ Swinomish Casino/RV Park there has been no real improvements and little maintenance to the RV Park, lights, damage plugs and pipes are repaired when someone complaints about them in writing. No facilities for the RV campers, no washrooms, no showers, no laundry, and sewer connector located between RV where the picnic tables are located, not pleasant to eat or sit at. Train runs right beside the camp ground at all times of the day and night, sounds its air horn three times before crossing the rail bridge, wakes everyone up at around 4AM in the Hotel and RV Park. Hotel has taken over reservations from the casino and wants everything charged to your credit card, they have to call a supervisor if you want to pay in cash and they still may charge your credit card which will take months to get a refund. Hotel does not take reservations but assigns campsites regardless of the size and type of RV. On June 13 and 14 there were three van conversions (toilets??) in 50AMP pull through sites and two large Class A motor homes in 30 AMP back in sites with several 30 AMP back in sites empty. They have been very unorganized and it can take some time to check in. Power is low, (about 90- Volts) you must have a cable box to get cable and channels are very iffy, possible due to the low power. Water pressure is very high so be sure to use a pressure regulator. A large air conditioner (about the size of a city bus) is located behind the hotel closet to the RV Park that can be quite noisy, Ducts can pulsate and some times has a high frequency noise that only some people can hear, I am one that can hear it and have to use ear plugs to sleep and not get a head ache.
Finding your way into the RV Park is difficult and at night as it is very poorly lighted. Wifi is intermittent; you can connect to the router but not the Internet. Site numbers are difficult to see they are now painted on road where road dirt will obscure them, before they were on posts.
They water the grass at inappropriate times, it can be a real challenge to get between the RV park and hotel especially at night as you can hear the sprinklers but can not see them. Granted the Casino is open 24/7 so no mater what time they turn on the sprinklers someone will get wet, but they could have them on between 1 and 4AM instead of the busy times of the day, timers are set by the lawn maintain people who, I do not think have considered that people need to get back and forth between the hotel and RV park.
There is not much of a variety of food offered at Swinomish just about all of it is very spicy and is more for the Spanish palate, which maybe is their customer base. They went high class and fancy after the Hotel was built. I ordered Poutine on Saturday being Canadian I know Poutine this was not Poutine, Fries were covered with a strong yellow cheese with very spicy thick spicy gravy. It was more like nachos smothered in pepper jack cheese and spicy salsa. We could not eat it. Take a took at their Menu, Jack cheese, Jalapeno, Spicy Slaw, and secret Sauce appear
As no washrooms for the RV Park I have witnessed some disgusting acts. When camping in site 11 I had to take my dog for a walk at 4AM and saw someone squatting at the rear of their RV in site 8. Later after they left I realized he had taken a dump behind the RV. I called the Casino and they sent someone out with a dustpan and broom to clean it up. While staying in site 32, I saw two people in site 33 who had a van, not an RV, use a bucket to go to the bathroom, later when it got dark they dumped the bucket in the long grass. I have also seen the same thing happen at the Silver Reef Casino. Another time we stayed in site 20, at least 10 people with five cars stayed in site 21 in a large popup camper. In the morning I witnessed both men and women taking a pee behind their RV and two males took a pee in the area behind my slide out where my power cord, water hose and cable cord is. I expect this also happened during the night, which I did not see. After they left I got my hose and washed the area. When you see something on the ground don’t assume someone did not clean up after their dog! I realize that the Hotel cannot control the discussing actions of some of the campers but providing services such as washrooms would greatly reduce this activity. Or only lettings RV that are self-contained use the RV Park. Some campers have nothing more than a Van or pickup with a canopy; they must think they are staying in a full service RV park and do not want to walk to the Hotel to go to the bathroom or get wet from the sprinklers. Reporting such acts would be committing suicide with so much violence and guns in the USA.
They give themselves a high positive rating I suspect the positive rating are by employees. They rate themselves as “The states best Resort RV park campground” on Internet.
Went to the casino New Years Eve-Paid over 30.00 apiece for the buffet-the salad was brown! I asked one of the workers if she would eat that-she was obliging and had someone bring out a fresh bowl, unfortunately it was as brown and unpleasing as the preceding. Furthermore, at the blackjack table I was dealt a 20 with a dealer 6 showing when the dealer knocked the whole shoe on the ground. I asked the pit boss if he was going to pay the table and you would have thought that I insulted him personally. His confrontational demeanor was not deserved and I can't believe a casino would give someone with his volatile personality a job with the responsibilities that are involved. I have since heard other reports about him that paint the same picture. My suggestion-choose another casino. P.S I can say one good thing about the experience-the music was very good, but I wouldn't go back there to see the band. This was the most unfriendly casino, out of more than 100, that I've ever been in.
This casino is currently doing a remodel and unfortunately the atmosphere is suffering. Lots of slot machines are inactive and the working ones are paying out little. The food in the Sports Bar has potential but the service is slow and indifferent. The hotel itself is nice - what a great location! They need to bring the standard up to compete with other area casinos, especially since the Samish Tribe plan to build a casino just down the highway.
After reading the reviews on this site I had higher expectations of the place. The non smoking section is subject to smoke drifting across the foyer from the smoking section so you still smell like smoke when you leave. Most of the slots are newer but all of the slots I played were extremely tight. If I put in 20 bucks and get no return then something is wrong. The only good thing about this place is the senior lunch buffet which was better than most native casinos. I cant understand if 80% of the US population are non smokers why do smokers get the best machines and better playing areas? If a tribe were to open a non smoking casino they would make a fortune. I may come back for the buffet but will leave the slots alone.