Somehow, within the last couple of years, my family started the tradition of brunch and gambling on New Year's Day. So I started 2016 with my very first trip to Lady Luck at Nemacolin--after a very brief and very cold visit to Ohiopyle, of course. And if you're up for putting up with the cold and don't like crowds, it's the perfect time to go!
To be honest, way back when Lady Luck first opened and I heard about their policy of paying to get in, I was put off. If you want to play for the day, you get a 24-hour pass that costs $10, but you're reimbursed via a gift card good anywhere at Nemacolin. You can also put it towards food if you eat at the restaurant at the back of the casino. If you want a year's membership, you can pay $40, which is admittedly a better deal if you live nearby and plan to go a lot. For me, since I live an hour away now, it wasn't worth it.
We started the trip with brunch, which was served buffet-style. I'm told this is different than the restaurant's usual setup. The food was decent but not impressive, although I was a fan of the massive omelette I got from the omelette station, as well as their dessert cakes. I regret not snatching a piece of strawberry cake while there was still some left, and it was replaced with some sort of bacon-topped cake.
Now, part of the reason we went to Lady Luck rather than our usual Meadows in Washington or Rivers in Pittsburgh is that most of my family tends to do better at Lady Luck, but yesterday, most of us did terrible and lost, with the exception of my brother's fiancee. It's hard to gauge from one visit, especially since I've visited most other area casinos multiple times, but this was one of the worst trips to a casino I've ever had in terms of money and winnings/losses.
Which brings me to the fact that all in all, compared to other casinos in the area, I found Lady Luck to be disappointing.
The quality and variety of food at other casinos is better. Other casinos are also bigger, though I admittedly don't care about how big a casino is. The catch is, though, that Lady Luck also doesn't have as much a variety of games, especially some of the ones I've come to love at Rivers and the Meadows. at Lady Luck, there were only a handful of slot machines I had fun playing--the rest were really generic and kind of boring, honestly, while at Rivers and the Meadows, I make my rounds between games like Jurassic Park or Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz of this one I like with goldfish or The Princess Bride or Titanic. Lady Luck had only two of those, and they had a much smaller number of them. And I lost.
My verdict? If you want to have a more fun overall experience and better food, go elsewhere. I've heard people tend to do better at Lady Luck, if you're more concerned with your chances of winning--although that wasn't my experience. But the thing is, if I'm gonna lose money, I'd at least like to have some fun doing it, and the chances for that were pretty limited at Lady Luck.