March, 13 2008
- from Sean Welsh March, 13 2008
There is a large lot, clearly marked with an illuminated sign, "Overnight RV Parking," visible from the highway (US95). Although the address is on Avenue B, which is where the old casino was, there is now a direct entrance to the new casino from US95, well marked with Vegas-style signage. Turn into this main entrance, then immediately make two hard rights to find the entrance to the RV area. There are around 50 spaces, numbered and well marked. All are long enough for rigs to 65' or so, and wide enough for slide-outs on both sides, and/or an awning.
The price is now $5, which is good for up to three nights. There is an entrance booth, but it has been unstaffed since we arrived -- a sign says to pay in the gift shop. The gift shop cashier will ask you what space you are in and how long you are staying, collect your fee, and issue you a card for your windshield.
There is, apparently, no stay limit. The lot is nearly full right now, and many of the rigs here have been here for weeks. You just need to keep paying your $5 per every three nights. Since it is more or less operating as a regular paid campground, albeit without hookups, there is no problem with lawn chairs, BBQ grills, awnings, slide outs, and so forth.
There is a hose bib on the little entrance booth, although the water appears somewhat brownish in color. Some rigs fill their tanks there periodically. I was told today that there is a WiFi signal in the conference center (between the casino itself and the attached hotel), but it is unclear what the usage policy is for that.
The casino has one restaurant, which is buffet style, and two bars. We had dinner at the buffet -- not bad for $10. On Wednesdays, a Player's Club card will get those aged 55 and over a coupon book (good for that day only) with dining and beverage discounts and some gaming bump-ups ($10 for $5 on one hand of blackjack, for example). The casino is a short walk from the RV parking on a well lighted path, though we have also noted marked shuttles (basically large golf carts) rolling through the RV area frequently throughout the day.
Somerton is three miles away, with few services -- half a dozen restaurants (mostly Mexican), post office, bank, two dollar stores, and a couple of gas stations with fast food and mini-marts. Major restaurant chains, big box stores, and the mall are about ten miles away in Yuma.
We were told that a dump station was available at a "Barneys" gas station in Yuma, but did not check this out.
In addition to the casino gift shop, the tribe operates a gas station and mini-mart at the very north end of the property (the RV lot is at the very south), on the other side of the old casino building that is no longer in use. It's a good walk from the RV area, less so from the casino.
This is a convenient stop for those entering or leaving Mexico via US95 and the San Luis border crossing. We were comfortable here and would stay here again.
Photo and Google Map/Aerial link on our blog in this post: http://ourodyssey.blogspot.com/2008/03/mail-less-in-somerton.html
(Click photo for full-size version. Right to copy granted to Casino Camper for use on the web site.) Note that the current aerial view on Google shows the RV lot, the new
casino, the old casino, and the gas station/mini-mart (in that order, from south to north), but the hotel and conference center has not yet been built on the empty strip between the new and old casinos. As of this writing, however, it is complete and in operation.