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Best of Rudi Schiffer

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Tunica County Attractions Beckon Summit Attendees

18 April 2006


Cotton and that other cash crop, gaming cash, fuel Tunica County but watching cotton grow gets old soon and gaming needs to be interspersed with other things to give you a balanced agenda while attending the Gaming Summit being held at the Expo Center this month.

The action, food and entertainment are first class at Tunica's nine casinos but you may also want to take in the County's other attractions which are growing vigorously making the whole area an increasingly attractive overnight destination.

Lyn Arnold, executive director of the Tunica Chamber of Commerce, oversees the organization's magazine annual report magazine aptly titled "Tunica Is Taking Off," which is an apt description of what is taking place in downtown Tunica and in Tunica, the County.

The energetic Arnold welcomes visitors to not only the growing downtown area just south of the casinos on Highway 61 but urges not only Summit attendees to visit and enjoy the areas many attractions but invites casino employees and others to take in the sights only minutes away from where they work and where some live.

"Just like it is hard to think that many Memphians have never visited Tunica's casinos, we feel that many in our large gaming workforce have yet to take advantage of the many things we have to offer only minutes away," said Arnold.

The list of attractions is long and growing and visitors won't have time on one trip to take them all in so we present a summary lineup here for your selection.

The quality of Tunica's museums gives you an array and range that is hard to beat.

Consider the nationally-acclaimed $26 million RiverPark Museum set on the banks of the Mississippi adjacent to Fitzgeralds Casino and overlooking the landing dock of the 300 foot Tunica Queen riverboat that cruises daily on the river. . This award-winning museum (Miss. Travel Attraction of the Year) not only serves up the lore of the river with four large freshwater aquariums but also tells the story of how it was formed. Several hours are not enough to spend here. There is also an overlook of the river. Outside there is the Eco trail that winds through a wilder side of the river on 130 acres of virgin forest and wetlands that you can cover on boardwalk trails. . Buffalo don't roam here but other critters do so keep a watchful eye and have your camera ready. Pick up Jackpot and there is a 2 for 1 admission coupon available.

The Tunica Museum is just across the road from the Expo. It delves into the rich and colorful past of the County from the ancient times to the present and presents the story of the changing Delta economy and how the Delta was formed. It offers a comprehensive window into community history and life from the early Native Americans and explorer Hernando de Soto to the present. Another interesting attraction is the old Tate Log House Museum in historic downtown Tunica just two miles south on Highway 61. It was built originally in 1840 by early settlers and is the County's oldest structure.

Good food, good shopping and good and friendly people await you in the relaxed and charming atmosphere around the Veterans Square in downtown Tunica. You can stroll at leisure and browse through antique and specialty gift shops, or visit the outdoor market if it is open. Stop at the corner office of the Chamber of Commerce at 301 Main Street on the square for literature and helpful advice and directions. Adjacent to the Chamber is the old Hotel Marie, a quaint turn of the century landmark that has found a new life. The Café Marie serves some delicious southern standards and family style meals. It also has a bar.

Not far from the square on Highway 61 is the famous Blue & White Restaurant where comfort food is king and where homemade corn bread, greens and fried catfish are not strangers. You won't be one either when you experience the food and friendly service there.

If you want some more exercise try the Tunica Aquatic Center where you can dive off a 30-foot platform into an Olympic size pool—the largest indoor swimming pool in the state. Next-door is the state-of-the art Health & Wellness Center.

If you have time for golf, play the Mark McCumber designed Tunica National Golf Course, which is also a tennis club with first class indoor Har Tru clay tennis courts. The 18-hole championship course near the casinos on Highway 61 also has top practice and instructional facilities with a beautiful 8,000-square-foot clubhouse complete with restaurant and pro shop. Other golfing attractions include River Bend Links at Casino Strip Resorts adjacent to Hollywood and Resorts casinos, and the challenging Hale Irwin- designed Cottonwoods at Harrah's Grand Casino. If you have time and an urge to do some sporting shot gunning, it is available at The Willows sporting clays facility behind the Grand.

There is a lot to see and do in this growing County and the next time you visit, you can fly into the modern Tunica Airport. It now also runs three-times a week scheduled flights from Atlanta in addition to numerous charters carrying thousands of gamblers to the Delta. The hospitality of Tunica County is legendary, the gaming is great at the "South's Gambling Capital" yet there is still a small-town charm that thrives and grows and let's the visitor experience a delightful array of experiences. It only lacks your presence.

Recently elected Mayor, Her Honor, Lynn R. Sturgill, summed up the feelings of Tunicans when she said…"We are a small, quite hamlet in comparison with the bright lights and bells and whistles of the casinos. Small towns like Tunica embody all the good things in America. Come and visit us to discover we are the real deal, the real Tunica!"!

Rudi Schiffer

Rudi Schiffer is a long time columnist and contributing writer for Jackpot Magazine, the South’s leading gaming publication, and for casinocitytimes.com, the world’s leading casino industry internet news distributor. He is also owner and co-host of the 20-year-old Goodtimes Radio Show, now simulcast on Fridays from 3-6 PM Central Time from Country Classic 1180 AM, Memphis networked with KMIS 1050 AM, and 103.9 KGLU FM from Kennet, MO covering parts of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. His radio show is also archived at audiovegas.com. A Boston University Journalism graduate, he resides in Memphis, TN. Known as the "Voice of Tunica" for his support the gaming jurisdiction for two decades, he was also recently named to Memphis Business Quarterly Magazine’s 3rd annual “The Power Players, Who’s Who” of Memphis.He is also a contributing writer for Southern Gaming & Entertainment and Mississippi Gaming.

Rudi Schiffer Websites:

www.AudioVegas.com
Rudi Schiffer
Rudi Schiffer is a long time columnist and contributing writer for Jackpot Magazine, the South’s leading gaming publication, and for casinocitytimes.com, the world’s leading casino industry internet news distributor. He is also owner and co-host of the 20-year-old Goodtimes Radio Show, now simulcast on Fridays from 3-6 PM Central Time from Country Classic 1180 AM, Memphis networked with KMIS 1050 AM, and 103.9 KGLU FM from Kennet, MO covering parts of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. His radio show is also archived at audiovegas.com. A Boston University Journalism graduate, he resides in Memphis, TN. Known as the "Voice of Tunica" for his support the gaming jurisdiction for two decades, he was also recently named to Memphis Business Quarterly Magazine’s 3rd annual “The Power Players, Who’s Who” of Memphis.He is also a contributing writer for Southern Gaming & Entertainment and Mississippi Gaming.

Rudi Schiffer Websites:

www.AudioVegas.com