Dates Of Stay: August 2015
The Tulalip Casino was my first experience with camping in a casino parking lot. I read and heard that many casinos allow overnight RV parking for free (be sure to call ahead or check online; not all casinos offer RV parking). I looked the casino up online and found these rules and regulations. I also double-checked the outdoor concert series, assuming that camping would be difficult if not impossible on a concert weekend. The schedule was clear!
As I drove into Marysville there were signs for the casino and for RV parking. The signs led me to a large parking lot reserved for employees, but there were several RVs parked there. I was not aware that another parking lot due east was also available for RV parking, and it is directly across from the security office. That lot is also closer to the casino entrance. In the future, I would attempt to park in the other lot if possible.
A casino security officer drove past as I arrived. I flagged him down and asked if I needed to register or take any additional steps. He replied in the negative; the security office keeps track of the RVs in the lot and the duration of their stay. The maximum allowable stay is seven nights. There are no hookups or amenities, but opening slides and awnings is allowed.
The officer stated that security staff drive through the parking lots three times per hour, but advised me to keep everything locked at all times. I nodded gravely.
Observing how others parked, I realized there were a few choice locations in the lot. Most desirable were areas adjacent to or overlooking grassy and/or treed areas. The rigs were parked lengthwise in several stalls striped for motor vehicles, entry doors toward what little nature was available. There was a trade-off, however. Most of the spots with grassy areas were near a main road, or a bit secluded.
I opted for a spot in the middle of the lot, away from traffic noise, and I positioned myself for an easy exit. There were no trees for shade, so I opened my awning. Nellie was directly under a streetlamp. I was happy.
My three days and four nights at the casino included a lavish meal on Friday night, the buffet and some gambling on Saturday, and a spa day/massage on Sunday. I must say that every employee I encountered, from dealers to buffet busboys to the towel stocker in the spa, was courteous, efficient, and professional.
Here is an insider tip: RVers can request a day pass for the pool at guest services. The pool includes a Jacuzzi and showers. Towels are also provided!
As I walked the dog on Saturday morning I encountered another camper, who advised that overnight there had been two thefts. One gentleman who parked in a corner of the lot in a remote location left his front door unlocked and awoke in the middle of the night to find someone standing over his bed, stealing his wallet. A couple who were gambling late at the casino returned to find their window broken and RV burglarized.
As a single woman traveling alone, I was obviously not thrilled to hear this news. I continued to keep my basement bay doors locked, as well as all my windows and doors. In the daytime while I was away I ran the generator for air-conditioning for the animals. At night when I went to bed, no windows were left open or unlocked. During quiet hours when the generator could not be used, I relied on fans.
When I have camped at more casinos I will have a better frame of reference for how the Tulalip fares in comparison.
Tammy’s Tip: Park in the lot directly across from the security office for added safety and a shorter walk to the casino.