It was time to leave Leisurlee Acres Cattle Company (the Oklahoma cattle ranch of our friends, Randall and Julie) and head for Branson, Missouri. We left later in the afternoon when Mike completed his workday, so we knew there would be a stop somewhere for the night. We planned on a Wal-Mart for a quick sleep, but noticed there were many casinos while we drove through Oklahoma. We’d heard of other RVers stopping for the night in casino parking lots, so we figured we’d give it a try.
We were driving through the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and saw billboards for the Grand Casino Hotel and Resort. Mike looked for the exit while I called their general information number to see if overnight RVs were allowed. A friendly voice on the other end welcomed us to park for the night and gave us directions to their preferred lot. We parked the RV and noticed we were one of two RVs and a couple 18-wheelers. Security was patrolling and we stopped one of them to double check our parking spot. They told us to pull out the slides and make ourselves at home–something we would not have done without the specific invitation to do so.
We wanted to show our appreciation by giving them our business, as we usually do for a stop-to-sleep stay in a parking lot–be it Wal-Mart or other arrangements. We bought a couple of drinks ($5 margaritas since it was Cinco de Mayo) and selected two slot machines that were open. Mike and I aren’t gamblers, but we committed to the process and set ourselves a small limit to play. Mike won first. Then, I won. Then, our winnings won. We didn’t win a huge amount, but it was enough to get us excited and feel a little lucky. We probably could have kept playing our winnings, but money is way too hard to come by to throw it all away.
We really tried to give the casino some money, but the odds were in our favor. We got a free night of lodging, won back the margarita money, and walked away with almost $100. It was a win/win situation for us. Not to mention all the lights, bustling activity, and sounds were an excellent mental reboot to prepare for the long travel day in the morning.
We pulled up stakes and got on the road early the next morning after a good night’s rest and a positive casino experience. We may consider doing this in the future for those stop-to-sleep nights while traveling. It’s safe and free. It’s also a fun way to be able to show appreciation by spending our dollars in their beautiful casino and resort. They have great meals, as well, for both late night and breakfast.
We left the Citizen Potawatomi Nation feeling rested, grateful, and ready for some road time. Thank you for the wonderful hospitality.
Watch out, Missouri, here we come.