"We're off to the see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz.
No this isn't the story of Dorothy. There are no characters seeking brains, hearts or courage. There is however, an Emerald City. There are adults having fun there, an adult amusement park. It is located in Yonkers, New York, just across the border (north) of New York City.
Emerald City is known to New Yorkers as Yonkers Raceway ( a harness track). It is a slot parlor/casino (racino). It is at the Yonkers Road exit on the New York Thruway (Route 87). Travel time from any place in the New York City area should be less than one (1) hour.
Emerald City (racino) opened for business on October 11, 2006. with about 1800 VLT'S (slot machines) at cost estimated to be about $225 Million ($225,000,000.00). Today there are an estimated 5,300 VLT (slot machines). An eighteen (18) year old can pay the slots at the Emerald City. In other states like Connecticut, you must be 21 years old to use the slots.
I recently visited the Emerald City on a Saturday afternoon. We were on the Cross Bronx Expressway, when all of a sudden, traffic jambed up.We got off the Cross Bronx Expressway and went on the Bronx River Parkway (north) to the Yonkers Avenue exit. We then proceeded west on Yonkers Avenue to the racino. The sign telling drivers to turn left was the size on a NO TURN ON RED green sign on the side of the road. We went further and had to turn around.
All the spots near the entrance to the racino were taken. People were waiting for people to leave and get the close spots. There is little transit buses to take the customers to the front door. We got on one, people were standing and sitting , it felt like we were on a subway. I thought, hey this is New York. Oh, well.
The exterior of the building is old. there are about four floors. The first floor is where most of the VLT machines are. The isles are narrow. It seems they jambed every slot machine possible into the space. The interior has raised stepped ceiling in different places with the lighting built into the ceilings. The pillars look like Empire State Buildings. I would estimate that between eighty and ninety percent (80% to 90%) of the slots were in use.
In the middle of the racino, is small band shell, like something you expect to see outside. They had a big screen television hanging down showing an NFL Football game. The chairs with small round tables were on different levels. At the top was a bar. The beige seats were quite comfortable. It was set up really nice. We found two bars on this floor, the bartenders weren't very busy.
At the back of the first floor, is a food court. To me it was more like a cafeteria. You picked what you wanted, took it to a cashier, paid for it, and then sat down at one of the tables. Totally self service. The pizza looked good. The floor was bare cement, I think it was painted gray.. It looked bad. Maybe the racino is going to put down tile or a rug?
In the back of the first floor were doors leading out to stadium seating to watch the harness racing. All the chairs were painted red, and covered with bird crap. I wouldn't sit on the seats, but there were people who were. There were only about four ticket booths open for those who wanted to bet on the horses. It wasn't that busy.
If someone wanted to, they could park in the lot, and just walk in and watch the racing at no charge. They wouldn't even have to go into the building. It might make for an inexpensive day out for some families.
We took the escalator to the second floor. On the second floor was a restaurant that looked out over the race track through glass windows. This is very similar to the dining area at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There was also a steak restaurant. It looked expensive.
At the top of the escalator is the buffet. The buffet was $21.95 each without a players card and S19.95 with a players card. You are charged tax and gratuity, so you don't have to tip the waiters or waitresses. The walls are decorated in dark wood (looked like walnut)_ with a brown carpeted floor. It was made to look like the Victorian time frame.
It had long tables covered in white table cloths. There were no glass covering over the food. The food was just sitting out on the table. We noticed that the wait staff never took any food away, they just proceeded to add more food to the food trays. They didn't take the pudding, they just kept bring out more, so a customer could get an old one or a new one. They were not being cooled in any fashion. It was a bad scene.
At the Mohegan Sun from time to time, I have seen the wait staff take away food. I did;t understand why, the Emerald City people weren't doing the same.
The vegetables were over cooked, they were soggy.and soft. The meat was over cooked, too.
If you wanted some fresh fruit, all they had was a small bowl to get some out of (melons, and pineapple, a few grapes). The desserts were very limited. The ice cream was really good. The fixings for an ice cream sundae were quite meager. The carving station had some really good tasting meats, and were served very professionally.
We asked the waitress for an ice tea and a cranberry juice. She brought them to use quickly. Later on we asked for two cups of coffee. She came by later and said "I will be right back with your beverages." The only problem is she came back with more ice tea and cranberry juice. She had forgotten what we had wanted. It was not that busy.
Later in the evening, we observed that the buffet had a line, but most of the tables were not being used. Could it be there were not enough wait staff? Maybe they couldn't handle the people. At the Mohegan Sun, the only thing that seems to keep customers from getting tables is that the wait staff just can't clean off the tables fast enough. A REALLY GOOD PROBLEM TO HAVE.
In the front area on the second floor is a small slot area. It seemed more upscale, than the first floor. What I didn't understand is how the racino could have nickel (5 cent machines and on the other side of the isle were one dollar and five dollar ($1.00 and $5.00) machines.
On the top floor, is the Race Book area, very similar to the one at the Mohegan Sun. There was a Two Dollar ($2.00) charge to enter the area. At the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods there is no charge to go into their Race Book areas.
Emerald City plans to build a parking garage in 2010.
YOU ONLY HAVE TO BE EIGHTEEN TO PLAY THE SLOTS AT EMERALD CITY. IT IS A NON SMOKING VENUE.
The Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resorts Casinos in Connecticut have far superior products. However, if a New York City resident or from the neighboring areas, (Eight Million 8,000.000 ) people want to play the slots, this place is ideal for an evening out.
The MTGA (Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority) need to find a way to compete with this racino as well as the Twin Rivers Casino in Rhode Island. We (the Mohegan Tribe) need to be smarter. We need to capture some of this business. How? I don't know. Should we? Yes. What do you think?
NO DOROTHY, YOU CAN'T CLICK YOUR HEELS ON YOUR RUBY RED SHOES AND GET BACK TO KANSAS. YOU CAN'T GET A BRAIN, COURAGE OR A HEART HERE. THERE IS NO YELLOW BRICK ROAD. THERE WAS NO WIZARD OF OZ. I TRIED, I JUST COULDN'T FIND THEM, AT THE EMERALD CITY. What do you think?
THESE ARE THE OPINIONS, IDEAS AND FACTS OF BROKENWING.