It's in the CardsDec 31, 2020 09:00AM ● By Gayle Morrow
How about a wedding celebration that includes a mix of activities, entertainment, and lodging—something for everyone, as they say—and all in one place? Choosing to have your special day, or weekend, or week, for that matter, at Tioga Downs Casino Resort, just off Route 17 in Nichols, New York, would be a very safe bet, even if you’re not inclined to be a gambler.
“Tioga Downs is a unique venue for a wedding,” says Stephanie L. Rogers, director of sales. “We have multiple locations for ceremonies and receptions alike. Couples may choose to incorporate the racetrack, the golf course, or the casino floor as much or as little as they would like. We have the capabilities to host the bridal shower, bachelor/bachelorette parties, wedding, and farewell breakfast, making Tioga Downs an easy one-stop shop. Having the hotel connected to the event center makes getting ready and overnight accommodations a seamless transition.”
Area residents may remember Tioga Downs Casino Resort from years ago as Tioga Park. Stephanie, something of a facility historian, relates that the park originated as a quarter horse track back in 1976, then was revived and refurbished to become the 5/8-mile harness track known as Tioga Downs Racetrack in 2006 as a Class II gaming facility. At the end of 2015, Tioga Downs Casino Resort won the bid to become a New York State Commercial Casino with Class III gaming. In December 2016, table games at Tioga Downs officially opened. One year later, Tioga Downs completed construction on the 160-room hotel and event center.
“In the spring of 2018, the Clubhouse at Tioga Golf Course was completed, providing another amenity to Tioga Downs Casino Resort,” Stephanie continues.
Tioga Downs is not new to the wedding venue business—the facility has been hosting nuptial celebrations for over ten years. But “the event center and clubhouse are newer, having been completed in 2017 and 2018 respectively,” Stephanie says. “Couples seem to like the fact that they can have guests come in, spend the weekend, celebrate, and never have to leave the property. With a variety of entertainment options, guests can celebrate all weekend.”
In addition to the obvious—attending a race, trying your hand at betting, the slot machines, and the table games, or playing a few rounds of golf—wedding guests and wedding party members can treat themselves to a few relaxing laps in the heated saltwater indoor pool, take a turn on the outdoor water slide (a great option for younger wedding guests), or enjoy a massage or a facial at AgeLess Spa. Brides, you could even make participation in a spa package part of your attendants’ “duties.”
As for food, “receptions can vary from buffet to served dinners to stations, allowing for each bride and groom to make the event as personalized as they can envision,” Stephanie says. Wedding guests who arrive early or stay late also have a full plate of other dining and beverage options, including the County Fair Buffet, Mr. G’s Post Time Pizza, Sideshow Lounge, P.J. Clarke’s, Java G’s, and Carousel Bar.
Couples planning a wedding for this year can still opt for a Tioga Downs event.
“We do have some limited availability for 2021 weddings,” Stephanie says, and “we are currently booking well into 2022.” And, since the world we’re in now still includes COVID-19, the facility is “obligated to follow all New York State COVID-19 guidelines,” she continues. “At this time that requires events of fifty people or less, masks worn at all times unless seated and eating or drinking, maintaining social distancing, and no dancing.”
Need help with planning or deciding which of Tioga Downs’ options might be best for your special day?
“Alicia [that’s Alicia Iacovelli, sales manager] or myself act as wedding coordinator during the planning process and the day of each wedding,” Stephanie says. “We have worked with a variety of cultural traditions and are constantly educating ourselves to offer the best service to our couples.”
Find out more about Tioga Downs Casino Resort at tiogadowns.com or (888) 946-8464.