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Traveling Around - Tunica, MS - The Fitz Resort
The Theme and Location of the Hotel
Located about 30 miles south of the former home of Elvis Presley is The Fitz. It has been constructed in the midst of cotton fields in what used to be the poorest section of the United States. The airport closest to the hotel is in Memphis, Tennessee, and most hotel guests arrive by automobile. Occasionally a tour bus will make a stop.
Driving west of US61 after crossing into Mississippi from Tennessee will lead to a winding road through those cotton fields. As the river gets near, the road expands into a parking lot with a magnificent palace - like structure beyond it. The parking area is both on the flat ground and in a raised area that covers an underground parking structure.
To reach the parking area, however, one must pass through a levee that has been constructed to keep the waters of the Mississippi River on the river side of the cotton fields. This entryway reminds many travelers of a moat because lying beyond the levee and on the banks of the river is the large castle like structure that contains the Fitzgerald Resort.
Part of the elaborate structure is built on a barge that floats on the water of the river. Although it can move as a barge would, it is primarily designed to be docked permanently in the area. When laws in Mississippi were changed in 1995 to permit casino activity, it was in the law that the casino must be a boat and floating. Most of the auxiliary activities around the casino such as the hotel, the restaurants, and the parking facilities are all on land. The transition from boat to land facility are so well disguised that most patrons don't know when they are moving from one to another.
Immediately in front of the castle structure is a large parking area. One area is on a lower level and the roof of that lower level is also a parking facility. The roof parking is on a level with the entrance to the resort. Surrounding this parking structure on three sides is a large paved parking area. A portico on the front entrance of the resort shields patrons from inclement weather if they use the lower level of the parking structure.
To the left of this main entrance is more of the permanent structure. This part of the castle contains the hotel. The casino is directly in front of the entrance and to the right are restaurants.
A circular road angles away to the south and leads to the rear of the hotel structure where there is another entrance to the hotel. Parking is available in that area also and normally is less congested than that at the front of the facility.
The hotel is home to more than 500 rooms. Guests can enter the building through an entrance at the front that offers valet parking and bellhop convenience. Driving around the building reveals a parking lot and a second entrance that is convenient for folks that want to care for themselves
When entering through the river side entrance, the indoor swimming pool Is the first area. It is enclosed in a solarium type room and includes a jacuzzi. The lobby of the hotel proper is ornate with a large fireplace and overstuffed chairs and couches for seating. The desk clerks and bellhops are located just beyond the large lobby. This then leads out through the front entrance where there is a large portico to protect arriving guest that use that entrance during inclement weather.
The lobby and registration area is located in the center of the hotel. A long corridor leads north or south from this area and each of the two wings contain hotel rooms on the first two floors. From the third floor up, the space used by the lobby on floor 1 is devoted to guest rooms. There are 507 rooms available. Rates normally are from about $39 for a regular room to as much as $139 for a suite. Usually there is an abundance of special prices and packages available for the asking. One of thebetter promotions can be found on line.
The casino can be entered through the front entrance through the parking lot area or through two separate entrances from the hotel. There are two levels to the casino and access to the second level is via elevator (located near the front entrance) or by escalator (located behind the bar in the center of the casino on the river side). There is an exceptional river view that can be had from the escalator.
Directly in front of the main entrance on the lower level are the table games which include blackjack, craps, and roulette, as well as several other card games. There are 20 plus table games and above them are televisions that are usually tuned to the current sports activity. Both to the right and the left of the table games there are slot machines. To the river side of the casino behind he table games is a video poker bar. There is a stage behind the bar where a big screen television shows the sports action when musical entertainment is not using the stage.
There are more than 1,000 slot machines and video poker machines located on this lower level and on the second level. On the far wall to the right of the main entrance is the cashier's cage and to the left is the Player's Club and the counters where the casino hosts work.
The casino sponsors specials during most weeks that include a Senior Citizen Day and a Ladies Day Party.
The most popular restaurant in the resort is the Riverview Buffet. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and features popular fare for the northwestern Mississippi area. In addition to such staples as pot roast and fried chicken, they usually have fried bologna and black eyed peas. The seating area directly opposite the entrance (along the outside wall) offers another spectacular view of the Mississippi River. There are 3 hot food areas as well as a salad and soup area and a dessert area. Prices are competitive for the area and at least one day a week, there is a special. Currently, seniors eat for $5 on Wednesdays.
The Steakhouse is open only for dinner and only open Thursday through Sunday. It features normal steak house dinners but adapts to the geographic area on its appetizer menu with fried green tomatoes and New Orleans style BBQ shrimp. Meals are served in a quiet, elegant atmosphere.
There is also a snack bar - The Indulge Cafe - tucked into a corner between the hotel and the casino on this second level. Hours seem to be in a state of flux but it serves sandwiches and drinks. Next to the snack bar is another video poker bar.
Other Activities - Inside and Outside The Hotel
In the main hotel entrance area, there is an indoor swimming pool and jacuzzi. Next to it is an exercise facility that is available to guests.
On the road into the resort is where the Tunica Riverpark and Museum are located. There are three floors of interesting exhibits to be explored. In addition to the museum, the riverboat Tunica Queen departs from the RiverPark landing. As well as 1 1/2 hour sightseeing cruises, it offers a dinner cruise on Fridays and Saturdays.