Sault Ste. Marie Michigan - Locks, Gambling and Good FoodAuthor: sightseeingsue (More Trip Reviews by sightseeingsue)
Date of Trip: May 2006
There's no doubt about it, the locks are a man-made marvel, and its waterway traffic system is the largest of this kind on earth. There is no where else in the US you can see huge freighters, within a few feet from you rise or fall some 21 feet in just a matter of minutes. So, regardless of if you are into boats or not, this is definitely worth the visit if you are in the area.
With the help of a very generous video poker machine and some luck at the blackjack table, our overnight trip ended up being a freebie. Our room cost $85 including tax, buffet dinner for three around $60 (which included a few cocktails), breakfast was around $20, and with about $30 worth of quarters for the arcade we had less than $200 spent for the night. After about 2 hours of being on the casino floor, I left up about $120 from my video poker machine and my husband (for once) was ahead approximately $100 when he left his Blackjack table, so this trip was definitely worth the $20 they paid us to take.
This 40,000 foot casino run by a Chippewa Indians Tribe has 700 slot machines, 400 seat bingo rooms, 19 table games, and is open 24-7. Three poker games are played: Texas Hold-EM, Omaha, and 7-Card Stud. Various other table games such as Blackjack, Roulette, Pai Gow Poker, Let it Ride, Craps, and Caribbean Stud are other games you can partake in. Gambling age is 21 at this casino, and is also our state's legal drinking age. Drinks are not free this isn't Vegas, baby!
Some of my favorite slots are Wheel of Fortune, I dream of Jeanie, The Price is Right, and the double and triple diamond machines that are available on the floor. They did have a few video poker machines and some that offered multi-lines. I don't recall any 1¢ machines, but they did have a good share of nickels, quarters, and dollar machines to choose from. I don't play higher than $1 machines and I don't recall how many high-roller machines they may have had.
Blackjack table limits vary from $3 to $1,000 and beside the traditional games, they also offer Two Deck Pitch, which is a hand-held blackjack game that is dealt with two decks. Most games, my husband recalls, were the $5-$100 tables limits. Other games offered are KENO and Bingo.
With it's 16,000 foot convention center, 318 room on-site hotel, two lounges, restaurants, casino, and its 1380-seat "Dream Makers Theater," which has featured many performances from famous celebrities such as Wayne Newton, Bill Cosby, Gordon Lightfoot, and Kenny Rogers, it is understandable why people enjoy coming here in all seasons. But don't come expecting to hit it big at the machines -- like I said, this isn't Vegas and Indian Casino's in Michigan aren't regulated by the state, so there's no telling what payback percentage they will be offering. I say if you play the machines, only play what you can afford to lose and think of it as entertainment. If you win then be thankful and take it and run!
We were starved and on our way to see the Soo Locks, but first things first -- find food. Deciding to eat near the Locks would assure we didn't miss any ships coming in, so we parked and quickly asked a ranger/guard when the next ship was due to arrive. Within the hour, so the restaurant needed to be close, and the service fast.
Looking no farther than across the street, we spotted this older 50s-style, two-story building with large windows. Its perfect location, with large picture windows, was the ideal spot for our stalk-out and some eats.
Lockview wasn't too crowded so we quickly grabbed a table near the window. The crowd inside looked mostly of regulars, reading the newspaper or chatting amongst friends. The setting was modest with older tables and chairs, old photographs of ships and buildings on the walls. You got the feeling this place has looked the same for the last 40 years. On the tables sat paper-place mats telling the history of the Locks and a older-style napkin dispenser in a typical "UP" establishment.
We were greeted by a friendly waitress carrying a hot pot of coffee and our menus. She told about a couple breakfast specials and would return shortly. The menus offered a little of everything but only breakfast was being served. We decided on a Special, which consisted of a couple eggs, toast, potatoes and sausage links all for under $5. We asked to keep the menus which offered some history about the Locks for our reading pleasure.
My husband's eyes caught several old framed newspaper articles mounted on the walls reporting how awesome Lockview's whitefish meals were, and how it was noted for being the freshest in town...and with it's motto "your fish slept yesterday in nearby Whitefish Bay Lake Superior," that's all it took to lure him in and he was hooked. We quickly plotted a return visit back here and one involving Whitefish.
The food arrived quickly, hot, had generous portions and my favorite lots of onions complimenting my potatoes, per my request. Eggs were done satisfactory, coffee filled regularly, sausage links very plump and juicy, (not sure what else they were filled with besides pork) and all for a great price. We even had plenty of time to catch the next ship coming in and I would definitely return. They are not open during the winter months. They serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner; eggs, sandwiches, soup, chicken, steak and, of course, whitefish.
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