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Casino Profile - Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa Kansas City, Missouri

By Rick Alm

Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa Kansas City, Missouri

Don't worry about getting seasick aboard one of Kansas City's four riverboat casinos. Each is firmly anchored in its own tiny, landlocked pond hundreds of feet from the muddy banks of the Missouri River. Built atop massive barges, these state-of-the-art gambling palaces are boats in name only.

Among them only the Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa in suburban Riverside is defying the odds and remarkably shrugging off the nation's economic malaise with property-record revenues, turnstile admissions and market share in recent months.

"It's the simple things, like the cleanliness of our restrooms...dealers who know their players' names," said marketing director Dean Doria. "We don't make a lot of changes and people reward you for that consistency with their feet and keep coming back."

 

Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa Kansas City, Missouri
Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa Kansas City, Missouri

A view of The Argosy Casino from outside

Located just a few miles north of downtown Kansas City's new, nine-square block Power & Light convention and nightlife district, the Mediterranean-themed and squeaky-clean Argosy is also a short hop from many other local visitor hotspots: the upscale Country Club Plaza famed as the nation's first shopping "mall;" the restored Union Station and Science City museum (a must for kids); Sprint Arena; and the world-class National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Penn National Gaming poured $66 million into Argosy's 258-room hotel that opened two years ago and last year was ranked by Expedia.com at No. 8 on its "Insiders' Select" list of the world's best hotels. If the long menu of luxury spa treaents doesn't float your boat perhaps the shower-stall "rain" experience in each oversized and elegantly furnished room will.

 

Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa Kansas City, Missouri
A standard hotel room at The Argosy

A Standard room in The Argosy's  hotel

Wake up to a complimentary cup of Kansas City's own and addictive Roasterie coffee before hitting the fitness center or the business center. (Be sure to request a room with southern exposure for a postcard view of the Missouri River and the Kansas City skyline. Note: Smoking rooms are available on one floor only, and smoking is permitted in some dining areas.)

The hotel's six high-tech meeting rooms and 5,000 square feet of smoke-free, pre-function space and 8,000 square feet grand ballroom won the Nielsen Company's MeetingNews magazine's "Planners' Choice" award in 2008 and have emerged as popular venues for wedding receptions, business meetings and other gatherings.

Hungry? Argosy has five restaurants including Zoe's bakery and gift shop and Leo's Deli on the casino floor with its big menu of hot sandwiches, soups and salads.
 
For fine dining the choice is Journey Wood Fired Steaks, where the daily special recently included Florida stone crab claws for $14. Really hungry? Go for the 18 oz. ribeye ($32) or twin pork chops in a brandy glaze ($24) topped off with a creme brulee ($7).

 

Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa Kansas City, Missouri

Journey Wood Fired Steaks inside The Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa

Journey Wood Fired Steaks, Argosy's fine dining experience

Of course there's a buffet, and the Terrace Buffet just might be the most intimate casino buffet room in the land. Cuddle up in a dining alcove with your significant other and a heaping plateful from the salad bar or carver table. Be sure to arrive early Wednesdays and Thursdays for wildly popular all-you-can-eat crab legs and prime rib nights ($24.99).

The Crazy Olives sports bar specializes in martinis and other libation concoctions (try the Flirt-tini with a splash of champagne and raspberry) or wander in until 3 a.m. on weekends to cure those late-night munchies after a go at the gaming tables.

Oh yes, the games. Argosy's 62,000-square-foot casino floor all on one Tuscan-themed level offers more than 1,900 of the latest in coinless slots plus 47 table games including an eight-table, smoke-free poker room.

One unique Kansas City offering at Argosy is its progressive "Colossal Cash" jackpot promotion that can be hit on any machine on the floor where a player is using a club card. Guaranteed to hit before reaching $25,000, the progressive tally board recently stood at $21,642.90` and quite due for its 13th winner.   

The casino floor decor - from faux stone castle walls to copper pots hanging overhead as they might in an old-world marketplace - could more accurately be described as Mediterranean melange, "with a little of everything from Italy to Morocco," says General Manager Ameet Patel.

 

Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa Kansas City, Missouri

The atrium inside Argosy

The casino floor inside The Argosy

The architectural fun at Argosy actually starts outside where 850 strobe lights are built into the casino's exterior walls and are switched on at dusk where they perform in one of the largest computerized light shows in the country. The lower floors of the 9-story glass hotel tower are wrapped in a Mediterranean village streetscape facade of modest dwellings and storefronts.

There are several entrances, including from the 1,200-car indoor parking garage. But be sure to stroll through the colonnaded main entrance atrium that links the casino to the hotel and where a stunning, 2,000 square feet stained glass dome streams sunlight onto an inlaid Moroccan tile floor for an effect that has drawn rave reviews in the architectural world all by itself.

Nevermind Missouri's infamous $500 "loss limit" cramping your gaming style. Voters last year repealed the state's unique wagering restriction and its mandatory player ID-at-the-door rules.

For a real multi-media adventure have a seat at the casino floor VP bar on any Friday or Saturday night where the stage above and behind the hardworking bartenders will be rockin' with local band talent. Drop by on New Year's Eve for a rare free performance by the home-grown, tap-dancing, jazz-playing McFadden Brothers who, for the third consecutive year, will make Argosy a year-end tradition for their legions of fans. 

Shortly after the Mediterranean-themed playpen for grownups replaced Argosy's picturesque and classic three-deck riverboat in late 2003, the American Gaming Association awarded its owners the industry's top architectural redesign award. "The tastes of today's casino customer are increasingly sophisticated, and Argosy literally transformed its property to respond to this trend, creating a destination resort that is truly unique for its market," said AGA president Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr. at the time.

 

Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa Kansas City, Missouri

The atrium at Argosy

The atrium at Argosy

"They have brought the Las Vegas casino resort concept to Missouri." Indeed. With Vegas out of reach today for many strained budgets Argosy, in sleepy Riverside, Mo., is a getaway destination offering much more than a mere taste of gaming opulence.

The  Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa is located at 777 N.W. Argosy Parkway in Riverside, Missouri. For more information or reservations, call them toll-free at 1-800-270-7711, or visit their web site at www.stayargosy.com  



 

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