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Hey Jerry,

This is my reply to your questions from your post in the RV Park Discussion forum.

First answer: As far as I know wifi is free at Coushatta, but our site was fully comped so I am not sure. I assume that if wifi was not free we would have had to pay separately for it. There was no password or anything else to indicate it wasnít free. When I wrote my ďfireĒ post from there I said there was a good connection. I spoke too soon. Right after that we had trouble getting a signal, but once we were connected it seemed to hold OK. We then discovered that if we placed the computer in a different part of the motor home we got a better signal, so we used it like that for the rest of our stay.

Answer two: Yes, the construction was still going on at Paragon, but since we have never been there before we canít say how far along they are. There was no visible construction inside the casino, but we didnít go in the hotel. There was lots of scaffolding on the outside. The construction office was near the entrance to the RV park making it noisy and messy and muddy. They even mentioned at check in that it would be quieter in the back of the park so thatís where we stayed. We were just one row over from the bath house and heard absolutely nothing from the work or the trucks.

Answer three: Pluses and Minuses. Both parks were very nice. Coushattaís sites are wider, but their bath house was not as nice as Paragonís. It was usable, but needed cleaning. (Iím referring to the facilities out in the park. The bathrooms in the lodge were nice and clean.) Both parks were quiet although we thought we were in for a wild party at Paragon on Mardi Gras weekend. Saturday morning a trailer pulled in beside us and two couples unloaded and set up a boom box with two huge speakers, 2 coolers with beer, and 6-8 lawn chairs. But that was it. They got in their truck and drove off and we never saw them again until they packed up and left 24 hrs later. Strange! Course we were gone a lot so they may have been around, and we just didnít see them, but weíre glad the party didnít materialize.

By the way Paragon does not have fire rings or grills, but we did see a few portable fire pits being used. Also you do have to pay for their wifi. $2.50 a day, I think. I canít tell you how good it was because we chose not to pay. Not because weíre cheap (which we are), but because they have an outside wifi vendor. Basically you have to give them your credit card number and then they bill you. For the few days we were going to be there we did not want to go through the hassle. Paragon has more cable channels, but there were enough for us at Coushatta also.

Finally, you didnít specifically ask what we liked and didnít like about the casinos, but I am going to tell you anyway. Coushatta seemed a little prettier and maybe not quite as crowded. By crowded I am referring the physical space not the number of people. They also seemed to have more of the types of machines we like to play, but that is certainly a personal preference issue. We like the restaurants at Coushatta better, but they are the only game in town. At least Marksville has a couple of fast food places. They both took our money so no difference there. Well, that is not quite true this time. My husband did hit a royal flush on a quarter progressive machine and got a decent payoff. I did about the same at either place. I would get a little ahead but then put it all back in. The Coushatta clientele seem to be from other places while Paragon seemed to have a lot of locals playing. I bring this up because they saved places for their friends and played 2 machines at a time. One night we saw three women who were obviously together playing 7 machines at the same time. Yes that means one of them was playing 3 machines at one time. And they played like that for hours. I donít think that is right especially if the casino is really fullówhich it was. How can I ever win if all the machines are tied up?!

Coushatta is about 2 hours closer to us so all things being almost equal I imagine we will go there more than Paragon. BTW we may be hitting Tunica and the Biloxi area in April and May. Weíll try to leave some money for you and hope you have a great trip.

One other story: While we were at Coushatta we had a really scary night because of bad weather. There were reports of tornados just south and west of Kinder moving north and east. The local news channels were constantly breaking into programs telling people to take cover. As you know there is nowhere to hide in that open field where the park is so we werenít sure what to do, but no one else seemed to be leaving. It was pouring rain and the wind was rocking the RV, but it was dark so we really couldnít see how bad the clouds were. We both got dressed (we had already gone to bed) just in case we had to make a dash for cover. Fortunately the storm passed by with no problem. However, it did do quite a bit of damage over in Breaux Bridge and Lafayette. That is the worst storm weíve been in the motor home, and that includes hurricane Arlene which we went through almost 2 years ago. Hope all our other trips (and yours) are warm and sunny.
Jerry S

Thanks for the quick reply.

1. I'm glad to here the WIFI is still free. I just hope they keep it that way. Our recent stays (last Oct. and May) have also been comped but I seem to remember their rates being $17 weekdays and $25 weekends.

2. If memory serves me right (and that is questionable), the construction was in full swing last May and still going in October. I really thought it looked much closer to completion than to have it still going now. We like to stay in the first row, if possible, because we tend to use the pool on a daily basis, use the laundry several times, and it cuts down on the walking distance to the lodge, casino, Walmart, and town. Yes, I walk to Walmart - usually once a day during our stays - for exercise and to stay out of the casino. Our locaion and the walking made the construction dirt and noise very noticable.

3. Put the the pros of the two parks together and even I might give that park a 10. Both have nice big sites, golf courses, good laundry and bath facilities, and pools. I have had levelling problems at C. P has 60 cable channels vs. <20 for C. P is cheaper at $14 and honors PPA for up to 5 days for a single stay in any one calendar month. Cused to honor PPa but stopped a number of years ago. C has free WIFI, a fishing pond, tennis courts, and a half basketballcourt. P is "in town" and close enough to walk to thing outside the park. We've used everything but the golf courses and tennis courts.

That leaves us with a true full service park: big, level, full hookup sites, free WIFI and 60 channel cable, recreation (pool, golf, tennis, b-ball, fishing), close to shopping, etc. All for less than $15 a night. Dream on.

All that and a 5 minute walk to the casino (at P, anyway). I tend to agree with your review of the the casinos. Remeber, however, that C is twice as big - I think it has twice the number of slots (about 220 vs. 1100) - in a much bigger building. Your commens about local is interesting. You see P as full of locals while I see C as full of Texans. I have also seen the multiple machine players - at both casinos. For what it is worth, I usually complaint in a Customer Comment card.

I was at 3 or 4 Octobers ago when Hurricane Lilly was bearing down on Lake Charles. They closed C and we moved over to P and checked into a chalet. Lilly shifted and came through Lafayette and Marksville. After 12 stormy hours, 75 mph winds, and no electicity for 2 days we headed up to Shreveport for two days. That was kinda scary.


Jerry S.
Jerry S
Once again I should not be posting at 10PM: a dozen typos, some bad spelling, and, worst of all, using "here" instead of "hear" in the first line of the post. The one error that does need to be clarified is concerning casino size - there are about 2200, not 220, slots at Coushatta.

A few more notes on my "storm" story. As Lilly hit Paragon, the entire area lost power but the casino was able to stay open because it has its' own generators - not the hotel or RV park, just the casino. What was then their showoom for concerts became the area evacuation center. Everything else was in the dark (and hot and sticky), but the slots were dinging away. Casinos know what to keep powered up.

From Shreveport we returned to Coushatta once they re-opened. When we set up at our site there was only one other RV in the park. It was weird seeing that huge park with only one other RV in sight.


Jerry S.
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