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Not Run of the Mill

Mill Casino offers fantastic dining, accommodations and gaming

By Adam Sawyer

Two years ago, my girlfriend, Paula, and I pulled into the Mill Casino in Coos Bay, Oregon on a Tuesday afternoon. We were in the midst of a three-week whirlwind Oregon vacation. Alternating between campgrounds and the occasional stay at a roofed lodging facility, we were feeling a bit rundown, and most certainly dirty. The Mill Casino was one of the places we had targeted as a home that would no doubt provide a hot shower and anything else would be gravy.


Beautiful Bay Setting
The Mill Hotel and Casino is set right on the Coos Bay waterfront. Thanks to the fact that we were arriving on a weekday, the price was too good to pass up. I’ll be honest. I wasn’t expecting to sample their wares much beyond the bed and the shower. We hadn’t come to gamble, so I figured we would just take advantage of the chance to get clean, relax and walk along the water.

Checking in was easy and I was quite impressed with the look of the place. It’s classy without being overly opulent, with fitting tributes to the region’s First Nation heritage and culture woven throughout. The combination of modern design elements and fixtures with Native art, crafts and historical photos produced an elegantly cozy feeling.

Tower Balcony Suite

Comfortable and luxurious
When we opened the door to our room, our jaws dropped. Our room was gorgeous! The feeling from the lobby carried over into our private quarters, with the added benefit of an amazingly comfortable bed and a widescreen, high-definition television. Hot showers and a little relaxation were our first priority.

Once we were all shined up, it was time for dinner. While we had initially planned on checking out what the town of Coos Bay had to offer, Mill Casino had made such a good impression on us, between check-in and the walk to our room, we were curious about the dining options. So, we went to give the Plank House a look. Paula liked the menu and I needed little cajoling as I was starved.


Delicious on-site dining
It turned out to be a fantastic choice. I was delighted by the caliber of food offered by the Plank House, with locally sourced, seasonal offerings and classic Northwest-style cuisine. The Dungeness crab was perfectly prepared: fresh, slightly sweet, and lightly seasoned. Plank House took a legendary local ingredient and skillfully curated it to the plate.

Being full in addition to clean, we now had some pep in our steps and felt like checking out the casino floor. Paula had never played blackjack and the night was young.

An evening of blackjack
Being more familiar with gaming, I explained my code to Paula. We signed up for the excellent player rewards program, pulled out $40 specifically for gambling and set a time limit. Now I won’t tell you this is the way it’s necessarily going to go for you, but in an hour we doubled our money! Then, we left the gaming area and headed to Warehouse 101 for a nightcap. The onsite bar is the perfect place for dancing and drinks. I went to bed beaming.

RV Park

Perks we hadn’t considered
The next day we woke refreshed having enjoyed the soundest sleep of the trip and got a satisfying breakfast once more at the Plank House. Then we proceeded to do laundry. That’s right, laundry. We hadn’t even considered this before checking in, but one of the amenities offered by the Mill is a laundry center in the RV park. We were elated. When we left the Mill, not only would we be clean but our clothes would be, too. We never dreamed life could be so sweet.

Shortly thereafter, we extended the stay one more night. Thanks to the previous evening’s boon, we decided that our budget could handle another night. Plus we could spend some time checking out the town.

The next morning we packed up, checked out, and continued up the coast. All of our needs had been tended to, and even some that we didn’t know needed tending.

Worth a return trip
When we planned our trip, we chose the Mill because of location and cost. But the list of reasons why we keep coming back since our first visit has become rather extensive. When we arrived at the Mill the first time two years ago I was beat—emotionally and physically. The road is a wonderful place, but it was time for a little break. Now I know that every time I stay at the Mill I can count on a recharged battery, without fail. When you tally up great food, great service, gaming, amenities, location, price and the wonderful rooms, you get an experience greater than the sum of its parts. When Paula and I check out of the Mill, we both feel great, every time.

Take advantage of Mill Casino’s great package deals.


Share Your Clam Chowder Recipe for Chowder Bounty!

Coos Bay, Local Events, Travel News Comments Off

Make a good Clam Chowder? The Coos Bay – North Bend Visitor & Convention Bureau wants to hear from you! In preparation for it’s fall/winter promotion, Chowder Bounty, the VCB is asking for area chefs; professionals and amateurs to submit their favorite clam chowder recipes to be featured on: www.ChowderBounty.com.

The new Chowder Bounty campaign is the VCB’s latest effort to increase overnight stays and will include the new website, chowder themed logo, print collateral, and both online and traditional advertising to promote overnight stays in the Coos Bay, North Bend, Charleston area.

According to Katherine Hoppe, director of the VCB, value based vacations and packages have become increasingly popular with travelers. “We’re already a very affordable vacation destination compared to other coastal cities, we want to capitalize on that by packaging one of our best offerings, our chowder.”

The campaign will offer visitors $50 in dining gift certificates when they stay for two nights or more in participating lodging properties. There will also be opportunities for people to vote for their favorite chowder through the Oregon’s Adventure Coast Facebook page (www.facebook.com/oregonsadventurecoast.com).

“We know that recipes tend to be a highly trafficked area on websites and we think it will add a fun component to the site. We’d love for our community to participate and share their favorite original recipes,” said Hoppe. Recipes can be submitted via email to info@OregonsAdventureCoast.com or by mail to 50 Central Ave, Coos Bay, OR 97420.

The website will launch August 23 to coincide with the annual statewide Oregon Bounty promotion which celebrates the state’s culinary abundance through unique travel experiences. Travel Oregon collaborates extensively with local communities, industry associations, government agencies and private business, and is proud to grow the Oregon Bounty promotion as a key campaign in the state’s $7.7 billion tourism industry, helping Oregon to be recognized as a not-to-be-missed culinary and travel destination. A play off of that, Chowder Bounty will run from October 1, 2010 to March 1, 2011.

Dean Runyan & Associates reports that visitors spent $163 million dollars in Coos County in 2009, with over $45 million spent on food & beverage. The VCB is hoping to increase those numbers with their Chowder Bounty campaign.

Win an Oregon Bounty Wanderfeast from Travel Oregon

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Travel Oregon invites culinary explorers to dig, gather and forage on an Oregon epicurean excursion across the state with ten of the state’s top chefs as guides.
One lucky “epi-tourian” will win an exclusive four-day, three-night Oregon Bounty Wanderfeast.

The winner will indulge in a five-course chef’s table dinner at Le Pigeon Restaurant in Portland plus two of these options for their own Oregon Wanderfeast: head out on a pier and catch Dungeness crab, be an artisan cheese maker for a day, discover the wineries of the Columbia Gorge, create spring ales with a craft brewer, learn the art of mixology with artisan spirits or stalk a steelhead on a wild and scenic river.

For a complete list of celebration information, contest rules and to enter, visit www.Traveloregon.com/Bounty.

Stay tuned for details on our own local culinary adventure happening this fall: Chowder Bounty.

Travel Oregon Wants You to Taste the Very Best of Oregon!

Travel News Comments Off

Oregon Bounty Wanderfeast Cooks Up Edible Adventures

Play. Catch. Eat. Travel Oregon invites culinary explorers to dig, gather and forage on an Oregon epicurean excursion across the state with ten of the state’s top chefs as guides.

Win an Oregon Bounty Wanderfeast Contest

One lucky “epi-tourian” will win an exclusive four-day, three-night Oregon Bounty Wanderfeast. The winner will indulge in a five-course chef’s table dinner at Le Pigeon Restaurant in Portland plus two of these options for their own Oregon Wanderfeast: head out on a pier and catch Dungeness crab, be an artisan cheese maker for a day, discover the wineries of the Columbia Gorge, create spring ales with a craft brewer, learn the art of mixology with artisan spirits or stalk a steelhead on a wild and scenic river.

To enter the Oregon Bounty Wanderfeast Contest, create an itinerary of your choosing from a variety of Oregon culinary destinations and submit in 25 words or less what makes Oregon the perfect place for your Wanderfeast. A winner, randomly selected from all submittals on Dec. 3, 2010, will have the opportunity to bring three friends or family members to accompany him or her on their culinary adventure, scheduled for April 7 – 10, 2011. The prize includes the chosen itinerary, airfare on Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air and lodging by Best Western. For a complete list of celebration information, contest rules and to enter, visit www.Traveloregon.com/Bounty.

And stay tuned for details on our own local take on this culinary adventure:  Chowder Bounty.

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