For the start of the Sweet 16, I decided to shake it up a bit last Saturday and visit the Mount Airy Casino, Resort and Spa in Mount Pocono to check out the sportsbook and to get a different feel of watching games.
It certainly was a different vibe as current coronavirus restrictions were still in effect in Pennsylvania and throughout the property, with no beverages or food allowed in the sportsbook.
That will change on Easter Sunday as Gov. Tom Wolf in mid-March issued an easement of restrictions so restaurants within the state can resume bar service; alcohol service will be allowed without a food purchase; and the curfew for removing alcoholic drinks from tables will be lifted.
The indoor dining capacity will be raised to 75% for those restaurants currently self-certified and those that undergo the self-certification process, which involves agreeing to strictly comply to all public health safety guidelines and orders.
This is good news for the Mount Airy sportsbook. It has a bar area to the left of the big video wall and that should help bring in some people and action to the room.
“We do plan on opening up the bar this weekend once the restrictions are lifted. We are extremely excited with the expansion of capacity and lifting of alcohol restrictions,” said Glenn Cademartori, Mount Airy’s vice president of marketing. “It will certainly have a positive impact on our business across the property. Our guests have been looking forward to this day for a very long time now. It’ll be another step closer to getting back to normal.”
Unfortunately, the Final Four will be played in Indianapolis the day before the restrictions are lifted. But Monday’s championship game should be closer to normal in the sportsbook.
SPORTSBOOK OPENED IN NOVEMBER 2019
Opened in November 2019, the 3,800 square foot sportsbook (40 state-of-the-art TVs, capacity is about 75 people) is above the poker room level (12 tables, capacity for about 200), which was busy with activity as bettors were separated by dividers during play.
Two live tellers for sports betting were active to the right of the book and the property has eight self-service betting kiosks.
This could change in the future, however.
“We have been in discussions with both companies with respect to potential branding and naming rights, but nothing is definitive yet,” Cademartori said.
Light traffic throughout the sportsbook occurred throughout the night as Arkansas edged upstart Oral Roberts and a big MMA slate was about to begin. Plenty of seats were available and you never felt rushed to make a bet or move about the book. It was a relaxing night of watching some games and cashing some tickets.
CASINO, RESTAURANTS WERE BUSY
The PA Casino was bustling and all the restaurants were open, which includes Guy Fieri’s Mt. Pocono Kitchen (very good BTW), Bistecca by IL MULINO, Lucky 8 Noodle + Sushi Bar and Pizzeria Montagna.
The Mount Airy Golf Club, which opened in 1980, will be ready for play on April 5 for golfers across the region and now is a must-return trip later this year.
Designed by architect Hal Purdy after Sports Illustrated’s “The Best 18 Holes in America,” each hole is modeled after golf’s most legendary holes from championship courses throughout the U.S.