Cook Group takes control of casino

Cook Group takes control of casino

There are 69 comments on the The Indianapolis Star story from Dec 7, 2007, titled Cook Group takes control of casino. In it, The Indianapolis Star reports that:

The Indiana Gaming Commission on Thursday approved changes in the ownership structure of the French Lick Resorts & Casino, giving the Bloomington-based Cook Group 99 percent of the development and a ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Indianapolis Star.

FormerPaoliResid ent

Indianapolis, IN

#21 Dec 7, 2007
The Cook family has been a blessing for Orange County. They have done wonderful work with the casino, hotel, and the dome.

My family still lives in Orange County and when I am there we have dinner at the hotel and travel around viewing the improvements.

I will agree that the roads are not the greatest. However, they have spoken about it for years and now it looks like a road will be built to improve the traffic from Mitchell to French Lick via Paoli.

Yes they are not Interstate roads, but if you are planning to stay for a day or two, it is something that has to be tolerated. Look at areas like Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. It has taken years for it to finally get roads that are of decent quality. Be patient people...the roads will develop in the future.

“Vote or Shut it!”

Since: Oct 07

Sasparilla

#22 Dec 7, 2007
Jay wrote:
Couple friends went there and said they'd never go back. Too small, too long a trip.
Good to see the Cook Gruop, the casino, and the state all working out the most convoluted possible ownership scheme again. I'm sure it's all on the up and up.
Why they would give one cent to IU is beyond me - there's people without medical care in Indiana, without decent housing, but it goes to IU ?
I agree...Cook made his fortune by scrwing his business partner out of his startup company. No doubt Cook policies have remained the same. He is no TRUE philanthropist that's for sure. His name SHOULD be cRook! And as far as giving IU charity funding...are You serious? Of course...they TOO are crooks...Cellvin Sanctions! Birds of a feather I guess...
Disappointed

AOL

#23 Dec 7, 2007
We have taken our friends and families to French Lick and gone to the resort for many years. We recently made our first trip to the renovated resort and casino. I have to say that I was really looking forward to the trip, given that we LOVED our trips there in years past. While I LOVE the renovations and the casino is beautiful, I was sadly VERY disappointed.

French Lick, the Cook Group or whoever, only has one chance to make a first impression. You would think the machines would be loose, the service would be good and the experience would be wonderful. Well, it was none of that.

I took 14 women for a 21st birthday party weekend. I personally talked everyone into this. The rooms were overpriced, but we thought, hey - like Vegas, someone will win and make it worthwhile - nope, and it wasn't for trying...we had all saved for 6 months for this trip. There were also phantom charges on our bill. The service was TERRIBLE and VERY UNFRIENDLY - which was not what we were used to.

And, to beat all, the drinks were not free while we were spending our money in the casino...great for a 21st birthday party. But the kicker happened when I asked why we were charged for the drinks, the waitress said, in a VERY sarcastic tone, "The aint VEGAS".

I am hoping that this was just a fluke, but they have already lost 12 of the 14 in our trip who have decided not to travel that far again. Like another poster said, I can go to Vegas and spend that kind of money. Too bad, we LOVED the resort before and had SUCH HIGH HOPES.

I hope things change, but then you will have to do a heck of a lot of PR to get people to try it again.
Whats with the donating

AOL

#24 Dec 7, 2007
Why dont they donate to our property taxes, that would make a lasting difference...until the state creeps the taxes even higher....
Just pay out better, give better service and make this a good thing for that depressed community and their families. Quit the cute stuff, working on a legacy and getting a building or street named for you....
Don

Aberdeen, MD

#25 Dec 7, 2007
Just put casinos in every city & town. The politicians think that is the answer. I think it will backfire on them someday. I vote to remove all forms of gambling from the state. Let the little people play poker in their garages.
John

Burbank, CA

#26 Dec 7, 2007
I don't know who you've been taking too but I enjoy going to French Lick, it is a very nice place to visit. I have been there at least 20 times this year. Yes it is a long drive but it is well worth the drive.
Concerned wrote:
I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but, I think the French Lick Casino was a big mistake, everyone I've talked to here in Indpls says they just don't like it down there and I clearly didn't care for the place. They spent a lot of money to put it together and that money could have been donated from jump.
Besides, they weren't paying off any good hits. I think it may give the locals there something to do, but as far as traveling to and from for gaming, Not happening.
gangsta party

Palo Alto, CA

#27 Dec 7, 2007
Orange County Cheerleader wrote:
We own property in French Lick, and see the hotels and casino on a regular basis. Drive through the parking garage and look at how many out of state and county tags there are.
Orange County is striving to become a vacation destination, not just a casino. The hotel renovations are beautiful, and there is much to do besides gaming at the resorts. Next year a hotel water park will open for even more family type entertainment.
I have personally watched the life long residents of Orange County struggle for almost 16 years. I hope everyone will give Mr. Cook and Orange County a chance to let this work.
I agree there has been alot of interest in Orange County lately. I can't believe the number of orange county chopper decals I have seen. It's pretty sad that the best thing going in Indiana is the gambling. Oh well we all wanna be a gansta.
Orange Countian

Columbus, OH

#28 Dec 7, 2007
I really wish the casino would offer even a small "no smoking area".

JBM

“Look past the end of your nose”

Since: Nov 07

Indianapolis

#29 Dec 7, 2007
Randy wrote:
Once the Casino is up and running at Hoosier Park in Anderson why would anyone want to drive to French Lick from Indianapolis and Fort Wayne areas? This casino will be right off of I-69 at exit 26. Good Luck Cook Group.
There will be no casino at Hoosier Park. A casino is much than just mindlessly feeding your money into a slot machine, and is the reason that people will drive to French Lick.

I have only stopped ther once and only had about an hour, but from the posts that I've read, it sounds like they are doing their best to keep the hilljacks and the people who lose their welfare checks out, which would make it much more attractive a destination.

JBM

“Look past the end of your nose”

Since: Nov 07

Indianapolis

#30 Dec 7, 2007
Corbin Leape wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree...Cook made his fortune by scrwing his business partner out of his startup company. No doubt Cook policies have remained the same. He is no TRUE philanthropist that's for sure. His name SHOULD be cRook! And as far as giving IU charity funding...are You serious? Of course...they TOO are crooks...Cellvin Sanctions! Birds of a feather I guess...
what ever happened to Bill Cook being able to give his money to whomever he wants to? It is really none of your business what he does with his money.
Reality Check

Palo Alto, CA

#31 Dec 7, 2007
Randy wrote:
Once the Casino is up and running at Hoosier Park in Anderson why would anyone want to drive to French Lick from Indianapolis and Fort Wayne areas? This casino will be right off of I-69 at exit 26. Good Luck Cook Group.
Casino? You mean the rows of slot machines. That's not a casino....that's a pull tab tavern with lights and buzzers.

JBM

“Look past the end of your nose”

Since: Nov 07

Indianapolis

#32 Dec 7, 2007
Disappointed wrote:
We have taken our friends and families to French Lick and gone to the resort for many years. We recently made our first trip to the renovated resort and casino. I have to say that I was really looking forward to the trip, given that we LOVED our trips there in years past. While I LOVE the renovations and the casino is beautiful, I was sadly VERY disappointed.
French Lick, the Cook Group or whoever, only has one chance to make a first impression. You would think the machines would be loose, the service would be good and the experience would be wonderful. Well, it was none of that.
I took 14 women for a 21st birthday party weekend. I personally talked everyone into this. The rooms were overpriced, but we thought, hey - like Vegas, someone will win and make it worthwhile - nope, and it wasn't for trying...we had all saved for 6 months for this trip. There were also phantom charges on our bill. The service was TERRIBLE and VERY UNFRIENDLY - which was not what we were used to.
And, to beat all, the drinks were not free while we were spending our money in the casino...great for a 21st birthday party. But the kicker happened when I asked why we were charged for the drinks, the waitress said, in a VERY sarcastic tone, "The aint VEGAS".
I am hoping that this was just a fluke, but they have already lost 12 of the 14 in our trip who have decided not to travel that far again. Like another poster said, I can go to Vegas and spend that kind of money. Too bad, we LOVED the resort before and had SUCH HIGH HOPES.
I hope things change, but then you will have to do a heck of a lot of PR to get people to try it again.
Its illegal in Indiana for the Casinos or any other establishment that serves alcohol to give drinks away, hence the penny beer nights.
Sweet

Burbank, CA

#33 Dec 7, 2007
French Lick/Orange county is a fing horrible place. Sure there is a casino, but get into your car and have a drive about the actual town and you will see that over 50% of it is for sale. It also has one of the highest low income populations per cap in the state. Education is rough there. The place is a hole.

I am all for casinos. I think that the thought process to put one in this lowlife town was a great idea for taxes and dirt cheep land. Finding educated people that can count to work at the casino, well your not going to get that out of the general French Lick population.
Park later

Duncan, OK

#34 Dec 7, 2007
I go to FL every couple of months on business and always stop by the resort for lunch and to walk around. Very nice overall.

I'd like to clear up some factual errors in this discussion:

to the drinks not being free, that is not the casino's choice. Indiana's liquor laws forbid it.

to the slot payouts being "tight," just look at the numbers, they are public records and are regularly published by the industry. French Lick has been between 91.3% and 91.6% in 2007, which puts it in the middle of the pack, competitive with Caesars, and very near the median payout. If that's 'tight' for you, you have unrealistic expectations.

With all of the food choices, you have no need to go to the buffet. try the PowerPlant. Good sandwiches, friendly bar staff, and decent prices.

FL isn't perfect (only a 4 Diamond AAA rating!!!), but it is a vast improvement over what it was 5 years ago and the casino will provide enough revenue to keep the place alive and kicking.
Indy 1

Dumfries, VA

#35 Dec 7, 2007
Disappointed wrote:
We have taken our friends and families to French Lick and gone to the resort for many years. We recently made our first trip to the renovated resort and casino. I have to say that I was really looking forward to the trip, given that we LOVED our trips there in years past. While I LOVE the renovations and the casino is beautiful, I was sadly VERY disappointed.
French Lick, the Cook Group or whoever, only has one chance to make a first impression. You would think the machines would be loose, the service would be good and the experience would be wonderful. Well, it was none of that.
I took 14 women for a 21st birthday party weekend. I personally talked everyone into this. The rooms were overpriced, but we thought, hey - like Vegas, someone will win and make it worthwhile - nope, and it wasn't for trying...we had all saved for 6 months for this trip. There were also phantom charges on our bill. The service was TERRIBLE and VERY UNFRIENDLY - which was not what we were used to.
And, to beat all, the drinks were not free while we were spending our money in the casino...great for a 21st birthday party. But the kicker happened when I asked why we were charged for the drinks, the waitress said, in a VERY sarcastic tone, "The aint VEGAS".
I am hoping that this was just a fluke, but they have already lost 12 of the 14 in our trip who have decided not to travel that far again. Like another poster said, I can go to Vegas and spend that kind of money. Too bad, we LOVED the resort before and had SUCH HIGH HOPES.
I hope things change, but then you will have to do a heck of a lot of PR to get people to try it again.
You cant give away free drinks in the state of Indiana
Indy 1

Dumfries, VA

#36 Dec 7, 2007
You cant give away free drinks in the state of Indiana. No casino or bar can do this
IPS graduates 52 percent

West Manchester, OH

#37 Dec 7, 2007
Just for fun I decided to look up how much it would cost to fly from Indy to Vegas for the weekend of Dec 21-23. I can FLY to Vegas and stay at various locations on The Strip for less than I can book a room at the West Baden for two nights. They are going to lose too many people to things like this. People go to casino's to gamble, and that's how casino's make their money.
BJB

United States

#38 Dec 7, 2007
JBM wrote:
<quoted text>
Its illegal in Indiana for the Casinos or any other establishment that serves alcohol to give drinks away, hence the penny beer nights.
That's correct. They even have set minimum prices for drinks at the casino. These are not prices set by the casino, but by the gaming commision and the state.

Since: Oct 07

Bloomington, IN

#39 Dec 7, 2007
Corbin Leape wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree...Cook made his fortune by scrwing his business partner out of his startup company. No doubt Cook policies have remained the same. He is no TRUE philanthropist that's for sure. His name SHOULD be cRook! And as far as giving IU charity funding...are You serious? Of course...they TOO are crooks...Cellvin Sanctions! Birds of a feather I guess...
Your posts continue to amaze with their level of sheer unadulterated rubbish. Mr Cook started his business in his apartment with his wife and $5000. He and his business ventures have created thousands of jobs in Indiana and generated many billions of dollars for the states economy. He has kept most of the jobs here and Cook is one of the most respected names in the medical device industry. The reason they are so respected is because they do business the right way and that is because of Mr Cook's leadership. Is there no end to your uninformed blathering?
Ashley

Fishers, IN

#40 Dec 7, 2007
Indy 1 wrote:
You cant give away free drinks in the state of Indiana. No casino or bar can do this
But you can charge a quarter, if you wish.

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