Welcome to upscale Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. Welcome to The Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem.
But no, it wasn’t always this way….
I’m from Pennsylvania, but now reside in Los Angeles, CA. Needless to say, when I go back home it’s a culture twist – quieter, calmer, slower. Some of the East Coast residents seem to enjoy that lifestyle, while others (those who belong closer to my ilk) are ready for a bit of speed.
So when I arrived over the holidays this time, I was driven by something new. Several new restaurants, nearly 3 football fields worth of space, it’s about to have hundreds of Vegas-style hotel rooms and dozens of high-end stores.
It’s got slot machines and electronic table games; blackjack, roulette and lounge acts. I had to take a visit. See. I’ve done Vegas, Baby on several occasions and I like Tahoe just fine. Could it be? Could my dreams come true and I’ll find another reason to venture home more often?
My self-led tour consisted of two trips, both in the evening and both during the week before Christmas. The decor feels low-end Vegas, but not distracting. The cocktails are delicious and the food is tasty (Emeril’s – BAM!). What it’s all lacking is personality. The security guards are more personable then the cocktail waitresses and that’s a problem. Unlike in the desert, there’s no one here ready to tell you a story. There’s no one ready to take a chance, bet it all and make a moment happen. Everyone looks bored and tired. It’s a Vegas venue without the Vegas feel.
There’s definitely potential. The wait staff, the excitement, the crowd. It can all tie together. Emeril’s Chop House and Burgers by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse. Also, The Carnegie Deli. The resort is home to three venues which feature live entertainment 5 nights a week.
And here’s the best news, the upscale expansions have only just begun. For those who like all the activity, it seems Michael Stershic is among the players to thank.
If you’re on the East Coast, keep the Bethlehem Sands Casino Resort in mind. It’s about an hour south of New York, twenty minutes from LVIA and it’s certainly among the better experiences in the area.
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