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Traveling Around - Little River Casino - Manistee, MI

Updated on January 10, 2020

Black Friday Sale

On Black Friday in 2019 in browsing the internet I came upon a special hotel rate at Little River Casino in Manistee, MI. "Special" and "Casino" in the same sentence was enough for me so I changed my attention to their online reservations and figured out that shortly after New Year's might be fun. I made a reservation and started thinking about how to break the news to my wife.

It seems that quickly the date got here and we left home about noon. It was supposed to be a 2 hour drive but I added the addresses of some thrift stores along the way. Our GPS got confused and we missed the first two shops, the 3rd and 4th were exceptionally nice, the 5th and 6th were out of business. Then we were tired and headed for the resort. Got there about 3:30.


Little River Casino - Manistee, MI
Little River Casino - Manistee, MI

Friendly People

The clerk at reception was very friendly and helpful. I'd researched a little and knew there were 3 towers. It appeared that we'd be closest to the casino in the South Tower and the clerk found us a room around the corner from the elevator in that tower. I should have realized that it was saying something about my luck when the room wasn't made up and wouldn't be available for a while.

We stopped at the Player's Club. We'd been to the casino once many, many years ago but they still knew who we were. They produced new cards for us and explained any promotions and specials that were going on while we were there. There is a pretty good discussion about those at their web site.

We wandered to the casino and walked through, trying to make a plan for the order of things. It's a very spacious place with lots of room and a good mix of machines. There isn't any order to what we could find. Here and there we found video poker machines scattered amongst popular slot machines. It didn't cause us any concern at the moment but later when we tried to find certain machines they were elusive.

I did succeed in finding a not unreasonable bonus poker machine and donated $20 to the profit line of Little River Casino.

Our tour helped us locate the restaurant area. Off to one end of the casino is a large "Sports Bar" area that looks as if they are anticipating the change in Michigan law that will allow sports betting. It is very spacious and comfortable looking but without the sports betting activity there weren't many people around.

Completed our tour and found our room.


Room At Little River Casino - Manistee, MI
Room At Little River Casino - Manistee, MI | Source

Room was nice. King bed, lots of pillows, and an easy chair with it's own light so I could read late if I wished. Unusual arrangement in the bathroom in that there was the normal sink and shower in the water closet area but in addition there was a vaniity and sink in the entryway to the bathroom

The wife exclaimed when she opened the closet door and a light came on by itself.

Checked out the television and found it had a strange arrangement of channels. Luckily we had experienced this strangeness before and promptly found HGTV so were satisfied.

Basic rooms start at about $109 and more info is available on line at their website.

We decided we were hungry and went back downstairs.


Buffet - Little River Casino - Manistee, MI
Buffet - Little River Casino - Manistee, MI

Restaurants at Little River Casino

It appeared that we had 3 choices for food. The Sports Bar had a reasonable menu but it was more finger food such as chicken tenders and BBQ pork sliders. What appeared to be a snack bar had an extensive menu and was appealing but standing in line to order and pick up food wasn't appealing. We settled on the buffet.

It surprised us.

Time was probably 6 PM and there were only some 3 or 4 people eating. To some extent the casino had also had a rather deserted look but while neither instance bothered me, I realized that I'm not used to seeing a dearth of customers in a casino.

The buffet showed the results of not having a crowd. There were lots of choices - probably 50 or 60 hot food ranging from carved pork loin and prime rib through chicken, fish, and side dishes that were really good. However, the serving area had a feeling of sparseness and the food on the line while very fresh and good was in quite small amounts.

Overall it didn't give a sense of a bounteous buffet.

Some of the food was outstanding, though, and both my wife and I ate more than we really wanted or should have eaten.

My Gambling

After we ate I restricted myself to video poker. There was an 8 o'clock television show I wanted to watch and that limited me to about 1 1/2 hours in the session.

I searched out a 25 cent progressive bonus kind of poker that was up to over $1500 on the royal with progressives on everything above a full house. I spent about 45 minutes of my hour and a half on that machine. At no time did I get better than a full house so never experienced one of the progressives. It was not a profitable session.

I wandered around and found a 1 cent Super Times Pay Spin Poker that looked like it could be fun and inexpensive. The game I played was double double bonus poker. I began playing 5 lines at 1 cent a line - mainly to understand what the game was all about.

After about 15 minutes of play I realized I would never understand the game well enough to be very intelligent about how to do it. But, I went ahead to finish playing the $20 I'd put in. As the urge struck me, I'd change from 5 lines to 9 lines to 3 lines and from 1 coin to 5 coins to 2 coins.

I was getting weary so playing to just use up credits, I played a 9 hand 2 cent game and got this:

Fun Time - Little  River Casino - Manistee, MI
Fun Time - Little River Casino - Manistee, MI | Source

I got so tickled with it I took the picture, left the winner on the screen, cashed out and went up to have a glass of wine with my wife and watch my television show. At 9 after the television, I got involved in a Wm. Johnstone book I'd brought along and read till 11 when I conked out.

Day 2 didn't turn out to be a casino day. I slept longer than normal and had some coffee and a donut when I awakened. And then it was 10:30. Decided we'd get around and get on the road. Probably a good decision for although it wasn't snowing the roads for the first 75 miles were covered with snow and ice which made the speed reduced.

We did stop at the thrift stores that the GPS hadn't found the day before. They were both nice. Our thrift store forays, however, didn't net us any treasures and we went home empty handed.

I'm not sure how much play I would have had to give the casino to be getting an offer of two but told my wife that if we did get something from them I'd be inclined to take advantage but felt like I'd have to figure out a museum or zoo or some other appealing activity.

Perhaps if I'd gotten involved in a table game I'd feel differently but didn't want to spend time in an abbreviated session. I did have fun on that penny machine however.

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