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Top 7 Reasons to Visit Oregon’s Adventure Coast

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By Oregonian Media Group
on October 22, 2015 at 10:26 AM

“Most Oregonians have never visited the southern coast,” says Katherine Hoppe, Tourism and Content Manager at The Mill Casino Hotel & RV Park on Coos Bay along the coast. “It’s too bad, because there are spectacular things here that you just don’t get in other parts of the state.”

The small, coastal towns of the Adventure Coast – Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston – offer endless opportunities for exploration and relaxation. Here are just seven of the beautiful, historic and exciting reasons to visit.

1) Fantastic Fishing

Fishing enthusiasts will find something to hook every month of the year. Fall is the season for Chinook salmon, albacore, crabs and clams. Steelhead return in winter, while spring adds rockfish and bass. In summer, look for ocean salmon and bluegill.

2) Giant Jackpots

Gamers can play with extra confidence on the southern coast. Instead of only jackpots that go to participants in a large, multi-state pool, The Mill Casino has in-house progressive jackpots that someone gaming at that casino could win.

“Right now we have two jackpots over $100,000,” said Hoppe. “It’s unusual for them to be so big, but we’re going to have two huge winners any day.

3) Dramatic Stormwatching

Coastal stormwatching is all about the huge swells created after a storm has passed. Best done the day after a storm, seat yourself safely atop an 80-foot cliff at Shore Acres State Park and enjoy the spectacular crash and roil of 100-foot waves.

4) Beautiful State Parks

There are four state parks in the area that are perfect for serious day hikes, leisurely walks and birdwatching.

“Of all the state parks in the area, Golden and Silver Falls [State Natural Area] is a hidden gem,” says Hoppe. “I recommend it to everyone interested in hiking.”

5) 500-Foot Dunes

Imagine driving an ATV over the open dunes. Suddenly, you crash through a stream, and then you’re surrounded by dense forest. Experience that and more at the Oregon Dunes – wind-sculpted wonders that change each year, giving visitors unique landscapes to discover.

6) Rich Oregon History

Lovers of Oregon history will enjoy the historic area, including museums and classic architecture. Start at the Coos History Museum, or grab a brochure to discover your own corner of Southern Oregon’s history.

7) First-Class Accommodations

There are several waterfront hotels and resorts for all kinds of travelers to Oregon’s southern coast. After a fun-filled day of beachcombing, hiking or sightseeing, unwind with premium amenities at one of the area’s deluxe getaways.

The Mill Casino Hotel & RV Park hosts thousands of visitors throughout the year. Hoppe is an expert on all of the activities available in and around the hotel.

“There’s literally a season for everything on Oregon’s Adventure Coast,” she said. “It’s a wonderful place to explore year-round.”

Favorite Hiking Trails

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It’s a popular question we get asked a lot, and a tough one to get a straight answer about… So without knowing a lot about you, we’re going to go out on a limb and just tell you our favorites. Strap on your hiking boots, a water bottle and get going!

Cape Arago State Park

Made for those who believe hiking is just walking with great scenery…  the Oregon Coast Trail is the one trail you should do if your just here for a short visit. It starts at Sunset Bay State Park and is an easy hike. You can separate it out into a shorter trail by ending at Shore Acres State Park, or make it a good long hike by going all the way to Cape Arago State Park.

South Slough Estuary courtesy of Liz Dodge

For those that love wildlife viewing and nature, the South Slough Estuary Trails are the pick for you.  There’s a whole system of trails at this federal reserve and hikers can take; from short easy hikes to longer more difficult ones.  There’s also an interpretive center where reserve employees can help you choose the trail best suited for you.  Trail maps can be downloaded here.

Dellenback Trail courtesy of South Coast Striders

We’re not gonna lie… the Dellenback Dune Trail is a tough hike,  you’ll be climbing through loose sand, there’s no restrooms in-between and if the wind kicks up, you’ll be treated to a free facial. But oh the views and the sense of accomplishment you’ll have as you travel from the top of the dunes to the beach… dress in layers, bring plenty of water and plan to spend a few hours on this trail.  There is an easier self-guided interpretive trail for those that want an easier experience.

And for those that want to meet fellow hikers, check out our South Coast Striders hiking schedule, visitors are always welcome and encouraged to participate

The Annual South Coast Clambake Jazz Festival is Back in March!

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Planning an Oregon Coast vacation in mid-March of 2015? If so, you are in luck! The annual South Coast Clambake Jazz Festival is happening here March 13-15, 2015.

Look how much fun we had at last year’s event (photos courtesy of Clambake Jazz Festival)

South Coast Clambake Jazz Festival

Photo @ South Coast Clambake Jazz Festival

South Coast Clambake Jazz Festival

Photo @ South Coast Clambake Jazz Festival

South Coast Clambake Jazz Festival

South Coast Clambake Jazz Festival

The Mill Casino Hotel & RV Park will once again be the sole venue for this outstanding 3 day music festival, now in it’s 26th year. Music lovers from all over the region will appreciate these talented musicians performing everything from Doo-Wop to Zydeco to Big Band and more!

This year’s line-up of bands includes crowd favorites like The Young Bucs, Dave Bennett and the Memphis Speed Kings, Midnight Serenaders, Gator Nation, High Street, Blue Skies, Lab Band, Twice as Good, Red Skunk, and Stompy Jones to name a few. Just try to resist the urge to move your feet and smile as you feel yourself energized by the music.

The Annual South Coast Clambake Jazz Festival has been an Oregon tradition for the last 26 years. In its early years it was called the Dixieland Jazz Festival, but the music has evolved somewhat to include a wide range of musical styles including Blues, Gospel, Rock & Roll, Oldies and Dixieland.

Once you have attended the South Coast Clambake Jazz Festival you are going to want to attend every year. Wear what you love, be who you want, dance all night like nobody is watching, and break past the limits. Stay right here at the Mill Casino Hotel & RV Park and bring your friends too! The Mill is offering special group rates starting at $120.00, plus tax for a deluxe room, March 12-15, 2015 and RV sites starting at $25.00, plus tax. Call 800.953.4800 for reservations or visit us online. To receive the group rate, guests need to make reservations prior to March 1, 2015.

Get your Early Bird Badge Vouchers at KoKwel Gifts or click here for tickets.

Festival of Trees Is Back November 24, 2014 – December 2, 2014

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Festival of Trees

Reunite With Your Holiday Spirit at the Bay Area Rotary Club Festival of Trees Event November 24, 2014 – December 2, 2014

There is something very special that happens here at The Mill Casino every November & December. Even Ebeneezer Scrooge would be hard pressed to ward off the holiday spirit that fills our hotel & casino when Bay Area Rotary club presents their annual Festival of Trees!

The Festival of Trees is an event where participants demonstrate their holiday-decorating talents while raising thousands of dollars for local charities like Shots for Tots and Women’s Safety & Resource Center.

Businesses and individuals throughout the community come together annually to create this seasonal charity extravaganza by decorating or sponsoring special holiday trees and wreaths. The decorated trees and wreaths are then placed on public display for a week in our lobby, then auctioned off and delivered to the home of the winning bid or to a local family in need*.

Check out some of the winning decorations from the 2013 event:

Festival of Trees Mill Casino

Festival of Trees Mill Casino

The 2014 Festival of Trees schedule is as followed:

Sponsors’ Decoration Party: Monday, November 24 4-8 p.m The Salmon Room
Public Viewing inside The Mill Casino • Hotel lobby November 25 – December 4
Gala Auction: December 4 7 p.m.

Decorated trees will be recognized in the following categories:
• Best of Show
• Best Themed Tree
• Most Traditional
• Most Elegant
• Best Wreath
• Judge’s Choice

Businesses, organizations and individuals interested in helping those in need are encouraged to participate by sponsoring and/or decorating a tree and/or wreath. To find out how you can get involved, please contact Heidi Proett at or 541-269-7929. Your contribution to The Festival of Trees/Bay Area Rotary Club is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

About Coos Bay, North Bend Rotary Club
The mission of Rotary International, a worldwide association of Rotary clubs, is to provide service to others, to promote high ethical standards, and to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. To learn more about our local chapter, please visit or “Like” them on Facebook.

*Purchased trees may be donated to a needy family through Community Action, Services for Families or Coquille Indian Tribe Housing Authority. Delivery limited to a 30 mile radius.

Coquille Tribe to complete $1 million in grants to Coos Historical and Maritime Center

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The Coquille Indian Tribe’s $1 million contribution to the Coos Historical and Maritime Center will near completion this week when the Coquille Tribal Community Fund presents an $82,000 grant to the museum at its annual grantees luncheon.

This year’s grant completes the Fund’s promise to provide $600,000 to the construction of the bayside Historic and Maritime Center in Coos Bay. The Coquille Tribe is supplementing the grant funding by providing an additional $400,000 in monthly installments that will be completed in April.

According to Coquille Tribal Council Chairperson Brenda Meade, the Tribe has maintained a decades-long relationship with the museum and its efforts to present the region’s history.

“Our Tribe is defined in part by its history and traditions and by its ties to this place, so it is important that our story be told in relation to the larger history of Coos County,” Meade said. “We are very pleased with the close relationship that we have with the Coos County Historical Society and are happy to do our part to help them tell this great local story in a new and modern facility.”

Community Fund representatives will distribute $342,000 to 39 area non-profits at their annual grantees event on Thursday, Feb. 20 at The Mill Casino.

Where to Find the Best Halloween Festivities on Oregon’s South Coast

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We take Halloween very seriously here and there is no shortage of spooky fun for Halloween lovers on Oregon’s South Coast!

Whether it is haunted houses, costume parties, or safe trick or treating- there is something for everyone to enjoy!

Here are some safe bets for a haunting and fun experience in the Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston area.


Friday, October 25, 2013 7:00 pm to Saturday, October 31m 2013 10:00 pm
Who better to “act” like vampires, ghosts and ghouls than community actors? Costumes pulled from Little Theatre on the Bay’s own costume room, lighting specials and wicked music effects and mazes that would fool a rat. $1 per trip. Open 7pm – 10pm on weeknights and open later on weekends if needed.
2100 Sherman Ave North Bend, OR 97459
(541) 756-4336/ 877-756-4336


Saturday, October 26, 2013 6:00 pm to Thursday, October 31,2013 10:00 pm
The North Bend Police Officers Assoc. and K-DOCK 92.9 FM will be hosting the annual Haunted House. It will be in the old Athletic Club location inside the Pony Village Mall – 1611 Virginia Ave, North Bend, Oregon. The Haunted House will run from October 26th through 31st and be open 6:00p to 10:00p daily, Midnight on Halloween Night. Ghouls, Ghosts and Goblins rule the darkness! Can you survive the terror? $4.00 kids (12 an under) $5.00 adults (13 and up)
1611 Virginia Ave North Bend, OR 97459


Friday, October 25, 2013 at The Mill Casino 8:00pm-12am
This Annual Fundraiser for Coos Historical & Maritime Museum features a fun costume contest, spooky prizes, entertainment with St. John Entertainment and more! $13.00 per guest or $25.00 per couple. 21 & OLDER only. Tickets may be purchased in Ko-Kwel Gifts.
Please note, costumes that disguise identity such as masks or full face paint are prohibited on the casino floor. Toy weapons of any kind are also prohibited.


Thursday, October 31, 2013
Warehouse 101 at The Mill Casino invites you to join us (if you dare) on Halloween night for sweet treats, bonus drawings, cash prizes for all and slots of fun for all costumed guests. There will be a costume contest so be sure to dress up in your scariest, funniest or most original costume! Stick around and watch Done Deal perform starting at 9pm. Everybody in costume will have a chance to win more prizes at 10:00pm!
Please note, costumes that disguise identity such as masks or full face paint are prohibited on the casino floor. Toy weapons of any kind are also prohibited.



Thursday, October 31, 2013 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm
Join the stores of downtown Coos Bay, just look in the windows for the big giant orange pumpkin poster. Downtown Coos Bay, 3pm – close. Pick up a list of locations at the Coos Bay Fire Department at 450 Elrod Coos Bay, OR 97420 (541) 269-5312


Thursday, October 31, 2013 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Join the stores at Pony Village Mall for a safe trick-or-treat’ing with loads of candy, free Cotton Candy, Free Cake Walk, and a costume parade at 6pm. 1611 Virginia Ave North Bend, OR 97459 (541) 756-0433

Trick or treat photo credit: Justin Beckley via photopin cc

Jersey Boy-Band Quartet “Under The Streetlamp” to Appear at The Mill Casino!

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Have you heard about Under The Streetlamp?  You will now!  This ultimate Jersey “boy band” is bringing retro back in style and will be performing at The Mill Casino this Fall.

Under The Streetlamp is comprised of four talented performers – Michael Cunio, Michael Ingersoll, Christopher Kale Jones and Shonn Wiley – all of whom are former leading cast members of the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys.

Perhaps you have seen them recently on PBS:

“The Boys” as they are affectionately known, are bringing rock ‘n’ roll, doo-wop, and Motown-era soul classics to a new generation of fans, while reminding original fans just why they loved this great music in the first place.

Under The Streetlamp are here for 2 electrifying live performances of classic hits from the American radio songbook of the 50s, 60s and 70s. two shows on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

Tickets for the Under the Streetlamp’s 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Salmon Room performances are $28 per person and are now available by phone or at Ko-Kwel Gifts.

Under the Streetlamp
October 19, 2013
2 shows: 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Tickets are $28 each and available at Ko-Kwel Gifts or calling (800) 953-4800

BBQ, Blues & Brews on the Bay is Back this Memorial Day Weekend!

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Last year’s BBQ, Blues & Brews on the Bay event was such a crowd-pleaser, how could we not bring it back?

Brace yourselves for more finger-lickin’ good barbecue, hand-crafted beers, and sizzling hot blues music at the 2nd Annual BBQ Blues & Brews on the Bay May 24-26, 2013

There is nowhere better to be this Memorial Day weekend than The Mill Casino for this free three-day celebration that features a KCBS sanctioned BBQ competition and music from Coup d’Bop, Soulpie, and The Vipers.

It gets more interesting… we added something new: “Jim Monihan Mac N Cheese Challenge” on Sunday afternoon at 2:30, the challengers turn in their wares. Then from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. you can sample from the participating competitors for $1 per sample.

Mr. Jesse Henry and his team “Movin’ The Chains” were named the BBQ Champs after a heated competition with over 20 BBQ teams at last year’s event. Will they be victorious again? Only one way to find out!

2012 BBQ Champs- Movin' The Chains with Head Cook: Mr. Jesse Henry

Think you got what it takes to dominate this year’s competition?  There is still time for teams to register, Click here to register your team.  You can also register to be a certified Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) judge by clicking here! For more information please call 1.800.953.4800 or 541.756.8800

The Kansas City Barbecue Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and enjoying barbeque. The KCBS sanctions over 300 barbeque contests coast-to-coast throughout America.

Announcing “The Mill on Tap Package” and Other Hotel Deals The Mill Casino

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We brag a lot about our wine selection, but many of you enjoy a good brew and a good value during your stay at The Mill Casino.

After all, the Mill’s cool  nightspot, Warehouse 101, is known throughout the Coos Bay/North Bend and Charleston area for having great entertainment, a tempting menu and over 30 microbrews on tap!

For you beer lovers, we now have a special hotel package just for you! Book The Mill on Tap Package now through March 31st, 2013 and receive

  • An overnight stay in the hotel
  • $40 dining credit
  • One voucher for two to enjoy Oregon micro beer exclusive samplers at Warehouse 101
  • A beer inspired recipe card from our renowned chef Mark Henry

You get all this and access to non-stop casino fun and luxurious amenities like our relaxing indoor pool and heated hot tubs, fitness room, arcade, business center and more.

All of The Mill Casino Hotel’s rooms feature televisions with cable, HBO and Showtime, complimentary wireless internet, as well as phones, radio-alarm clock, safe, ice bucket and glasses, luggage rack, plus iron and ironing board.

With rates starting at just $150.00, this deal is an exceptional value!  To book this special stay, call reservations at 800-953-4800, ext. 3. This package will no longer be available after March 31, 2013! If you need a late check-in, simply tell reservations at the time you book your stay. Complimentary Valet Parking is available.

Celebrate a special occasion, or receive the most value out of your stay with one of our hotel packages. Visit to learn what other special packages are available this season.

photo credit: Simon Cocks via photopin cc

Chef Mark Henry brings experience, new vision as Executive Chef at The Mill Casino

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The Mill Casino • Hotel & RV Park has a new Executive Chef!

His first job, at age 16, was washing dishes in a seafood restaurant on the Jersey Shore. Now, after more than three decades in the kitchen, Chef Henry is Executive Chef at The Mill Casino • Hotel & RV Park.

Chef Mark Henry took The Mill’s culinary reins in late September after serving as Executive Chef at the Portland Marriot Downtown on the Waterfront. He had worked with Marriott International for 17 years beginning at the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, the company’s flagship location in Arizona, and including stops at the Marriott Harbor Beach in Fort Lauderdale, McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale and the Sea View Resort and Spa in New Jersey.

But Chef Henry’s culinary roots go back much further. He credits his New Jersey childhood for sparking his interest in food preparation.

“Growing up in North Jersey we always had good food made with fresh local ingredients,” Chef Henry said. “We also learned how to prepare meals at an early age. I’ve been working in the kitchen since 1977.”

Chef Henry is wasting no time in bringing his commitment to local and sustainable foods to The Mill’s kitchens. He already is at work revising the menus at The Mill’s key dining venues.

“I want to re-energize our kitchen and our restaurants by introducing different foods and some of the newer trends to our menus,” Chef Henry said. “We need to have menus in place that will cater to the differing diets and preferences of our guests.”

Taking advantage of his experience with a variety of international cuisines in restaurants throughout North America, Chef Henry said he also plans on introducing new ingredients and dishes to guests at The Mill.

“Although we will focus on local, regional and West Coast foods,” Chef Henry said, “we also want to offer our guests and opportunity to explore some unfamiliar dining experiences.”

Chef Henry graduated in 1983 from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) program in Hyde Park, New York. He was just 19. During his training he moved to Southern California to complete an externship at the Anaheim Marriott. Immediately after graduation, he had a brief stint at the New York Hilton before returning to California and the Irvine Marriott.

His culinary odyssey took him to the Plaza Hotel in New York City and then to the Poseidon Restaurant and the Westin Harbor Castle in Toronto before returning to the U. S. and the Vista International in Waltham, Mass., and the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. From there, he began his career with Marriott International.

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