By Bob & Sandy Nesoff
In the relatively recent past the Pocono Mountains were know for small, cheesy honeymoon hotels and a handful of family resorts. Many of the Borscht Belt resorts were also aging but never managed to change and they began to close. The Concord, Brown’s, The Nevele are all little more than fond memories.
Some in Pennsylvania saw the handwriting on the wall and began to modernize and upgrade. Old resort buildings that had seen better days were torn down and replaced with modern structures that could offer the best in accommodations, entertainment and dining. The advent of gambling and the recent addition of table games to casinos gave the Poconos a distinct heads up over much of the competition.
One of the prime examples of this forward thinking by management is Mt. Airy Resort and Casino, recipient of the AAA Four Diamond award. Not that many years ago it was simply the Mt. Airy Lodge. Today it is a beautiful, modern resort with all the amenities of a first class destination. One major positive in its favor is that it is still family owned with a family member overseeing virtually every aspect of the operation from accommodations to entertainment to dining and decorations. They haven’t missed a beat.
Mt. Airy’s proximity to Interstate Rt. 80, directly across the George Washington Bridge provides fast run…just under two hours…and smooth, so long as you avoid rush hours. The resort is minutes from the exit. For the shopper there is the mega outlet center, Crossings, minutes away from the resort. Along the route between Crossings and Mt. Airy are scores of cute little boutiques, craft shops and much more. Without doubt one of the biggest boons for the Pocono resorts was the introduction of casinos. Until recently they were only permitted to have slots. About a year ago the state allowed them to add table games and they really took off.
Rooms at Mt. Airy are spacious and comfortable. The resort offers a spa that can hold it’s own against most any in the world and dining that will suit any palate from gourmet to casual cheeseburger. We dined at Red Steakhouse, LaSorelle, Betty’s Diner and the Buffet. While the positive far outweighed the negative, there was some of both. Food preparation, presentation and wait service were all impeccable, steaks came exactly as ordered and the wait staff was knowledgeable, offering both suggestions and the reason for the suggestion.
While many casinos have cut out low stakes games for players, Mt. Airy encourages the very small gambler as well as the so-called “Whales,” the high stakes bettor. The floor has more penny slots than any other casino that we’ve seen in decades. The bit players were treated with the same respect and courtesy as those at the dollar and five dollar slots.
There are still one or two of the old fashioned Pocono redots where you can bathe in a gigantic champagne glass (for those so inclined) but for the new era in Pennsylvania resorts Mt. Airy ranks at the top for convenience, comfort, accommodations and whatever else you may be looking for in a getaway.
Mt Airy Casino Resort
44 Woodland Rd.
Mt Pocono, PA 18344