Casino opens to praise from patrons

Published 12:15 am Monday, January 12, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
With an advertising campaign targeting almost all of Alabama and as far into Georgia as Columbus and Tallahassee in Florida, the more than 10,000 person crowd Wind Creek Casino and Hotel has brought in since its opening Tuesday is diverse in its geography but unified in its reviews of “beautiful” and “better.”
Better to Thomas Parnell of Perdido than the old Creek Entertainment Center and better than the casinos in Biloxi according to Curtis Bolden of Raleigh, N.C.
Brent Pinkston, marketing manager for Wind Creek, said he is getting the same reaction from visitors.
Pinkston said things are running “as smooth as you could want” for the casino, which is owned and operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. As far as the volume of people visiting the casino they are very pleased.
More than exceeding their anticipated amount of patrons, they are exceeding visitors' own expectations of Wind Creek.
Casino visitor Jack McClaskie traveled the little over two-hour drive from Perdido Key, Fla. for the first time to this area to see the new casino.
Unlike McClaskie, Parnell said he was a frequent visitor to the CEC and said it is a whole lot better than the old facility, with more games and more room to move around.
George Polansky of Gulf Breeze, Fla., who also used to visit the CEC, had already won $1,400 on Wednesday and agreed the new facility is impressive.
Delia Mead and Carolyn Patrick carpooled to the CEC with their coworkers and continued to do so to Wind Creek this past week.
When asked if they felt they were missing anything with the facility only offering the electronic bingo machines, which is class two gaming, both Mead and Patrick agreed they were not.
Mead said Patrick was the one to inform her of a closer gaming facility and she was grateful for it.
Bolden, a truck driver that frequently travels to the area, agreed it was a nice facility, calling it “gorgeous” and “better” than the Mississippi casinos, but said it does lack one thing in comparison.
Bobby McGhee is a Poarch Band of Creek Indians Tribal member and said he often visited the Creek Entertainment Center. He won $5,000 in free play the opening night of the casino.
McGhee also said he wants the casino to make the Tribe an independent community and thinks Wind Creek will allow this to happen.
Wind Creek Casino is located on U.S. 21 North near Atmore at I-65.