Grand opening announced for September 28th, 2015.
Murphy to Manteo is how I often describe where I grew up. Having lived in the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill area for over a decade I can honestly say I have had to describe the small mountain town I grew up in to thousands of people. While I grew up in Topton and went to Robbinsville High School most people have never heard of those specific areas.
Instead, I use the question, “have you heard of Murphy?” Most of the time, those not from the mountains of North Carolina have heard of Murphy. They have not heard or Robbinsville, Bryson City or even Franklin. January 2015 Photo Update:
UPDATE: If you are looking for Murphy, NC Casino job information click the link.
If you plan to visit the Murphy, NC casino location below is the exact spot in which it is location. It is just past the WalMart and Snap-On Tools heading towards Andrews, NC on US Highway 19-74-129. Just Google Map search “Walmart Murphy, NC” and you will be less than two miles from the casino location.
UPDATE: During the early part of August 2014 I was able to spend a few days in the mountains of North Carolina. I actually stayed on the Upper Nantahala River but was able to make the trip over to Murphy. After eating lunch with a friend at Doyle’s I spent a few minutes taking photos of the construction site on the left hand side of the road when heading into Murphy from Andrews. Below are some of the images.
I was also informed that the Cherokee Indian Tribe might be looking to partner with a golf course closer to Tennessee or even in Tennessee. They partnered with Sequoyah National in Cherokee but that course was built the same time as the Cherokee Harrahs Casino was being built. From what I understand, this is a private golf course that has been a mainstay in the area for quite some time. It is important to note that this is not one of the golf courses in Murphy or Hayesville. As I get more information about this particular golf course I will be sure to pass it along.
When I was in high school in the small town of Robbinsville the Cherokee Harrah’s Casino broke ground. When the casino opened there was no alcohol, no card dealers and no major hotel. Boy, how things have changed in Cherokee. In 2009, the council OK’d alcohol and in 2012 traditional card games were introduced with dealers. It was truly shocking to hear there were going to be card dealers as the mountains of North Carolina are not exactly a hotbed for numbers minded individuals. In fact, there is a very small percentage of the population that actually has a college degree.
The success of traditional card games and actual dealers has allowed the Cherokee Indian tribe to expand their casino. Not only have they expanded the hotel but they are building a brand new location in Murphy, North Carolina. The official name of the casino is the Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel. The Valley River is the river that dissects the terrain from Murphy to Andrews. If you are driving from Murphy to Andrews you will cross over the Valley River many times. Once inside Murphy the Valley River heads towards Peachtree and Hayesville. If you are in this area you may also be interested in the Port Royal Resort in Jasper, Georgia.
Below is a rendering of what the Murphy, NC Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino will look like when it opens in 2015:
Remember that the area in which the Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel is going stand was once a very green mountainside. If you do not believe me, just take a look at the photos below taken by Ben Boykin in September of 2013:
As you can see, there was plenty of lush green vegetation on the side of the mountain behind the Murphy WalMart. When I was growing up in the mountains of North Carolina this WalMart was actually the #1 selling WalMart in the United States. As other Super WalMarts have been built in the area I am not certain that is still the case. Now that the Cherokee Valley River casino is coming to town this WalMart is going to get crushed with much more business. I will be interested to see when Walgreens, CVS and all other retailers try to surround that area as those staying at the hotel will want to buy the necessities.
Cherokee County Wants to Keep Strip Clubs Out
This article was published in the Cherokee Scout and republished in the Graham Star in the early part of January 2015. This is something that is going to be a hot topic over the next few months. Cherokee County does not want to have the problem of strip clubs or adult entertainment clubs coming to Murphy, Andrews, Robbinsville or Hayesville. I will continue to update this as the “adult entertainment ordinance” is voted upon in Cherokee County.
One thing that still shocks me about Cherokee, North Carolina is the fact that there are no healthy eating options with a busy casino in the area. When I visit Cherokee I always want to grab a sandwich at a local sandwich shoppe or a Panera. Unfortunately, Cherokee basically has a Wendy’s, Arby’s, McDonalds and a few other rinky dink places. Trust me when I tell you there are not many options. I grew up in the area, I know.
I would imagine that Murphy would be ripe for the picking for a sandwich shoppe or any type of healthy eatery. I know those in the area do not necessarily want to eat healthy but those coming up from Atlanta or other major metropolitan areas do. I would also expect to see a Chickfila in the area very soon. Zaxby’s, Bojangles, Smithfield’s BBQ, PDQ and many other fast food chains will likely stake their claim to real estate in and around the Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel.
There is currently not a Marriott Hotel in Murphy but you can expect for that to change as well. In Cherokee there is a Fairfield Inn Marriott hotel right across the street from the original Cherokee Casino. Some other hotels that will likely be built include Doubletree, Hampton Inn, Budget Inn, Hilton and Crowne Plaza. I know the hotel at the casino will be a popular locale but the hotels across the street will likely be much cheaper per night. If you have stayed at another hotel in the town of Murphy please feel free to let me know how it went in the comments.
If you are planning to visit Murphy for the first time please understand that this is not a large town. Even if the hotel is on the “other side” of town it won’t take you more than five to ten minutes to get to the casino. Heck, you can stay in Andrews and still be able to get to the casino in less than 15 minutes. This may be a strong consideration for someone that is really looking to save money so they can gamble it away at the casino. A word of warning: there is absolutely nothing in Andrews. There is a Mexican Restaurant and a small steak house but there are certain nights of the week that these restaurants close at 7:00 or 8:00 pm. There is a McDonalds and a movie theater (2 cinemas) in Andrews but that is about the extent of it. Do not expect to find much entertainment in Andrews, North Carolina.
As far as entertainment in Murphy, there is a golf course (Cherokee Hills) and a unique downtown scene. If you go to the downtown area on a Friday or Saturday night you will see kids for neighboring high schools cruising “the strip”. If you happen to be in Murphy on a Friday night in the fall you can be rest assured that the entire town will be at the Murphy Bulldogs football game. If they are playing the Swain Maroon Devils or the Robbinsville Black Knights you are in for some quality entertainment. Pay the $10 for a ticket as it will be a sight to witness. You will be shocked at some of the things you see and hear at a Murphy high school football game.
There is a golf course in Murphy but I have not heard great reviews. In fact, there are no bunkers on the entire course. There are a few golf courses in Hayesville including The Ridges and Chatuge Shores. Remember that mountain golf is a little bit different than your classic flat golf course like Pinehurst. I have a few friends that have played both of these courses and I will give them a call to get a solid review. I will post those reviews when they are available.
Sequoyah National Golf Course, in Cherokee, NC, is a very interesting course to play as it is a true mountain course. I would strongly suggest playing Sequoyah National with someone that has been on the course before. If you play it along you will lose 18 balls on the first nine holes. I kid you not. You will hit a great tee shot with a driver and you will never find your ball as it likely went off the side of the mountain. A word to the wise, learn how to hit a dead straight 200 yard shot if you want to play Sequoyah National well. Also, you will have a ton of uneven lies so prepare for that. I have played Sequoyah National dozens of times so I will do a separate review so you can determine if you want to spend the time driving to Cherokee and the money for greens fees.
As far as other entertainment in Murphy, NC, forget about it. There are no shopping malls. The Henn Theatre is very old and there aren’t a ton of other options. When I was growing up, the best entertainment was going to WalMart and people watching. I would strongly suggest doing this. Bring a camera and a straight face. It will be very difficult to keep a straight face. The website People of WalMart must get 50 submissions a day from this particular location.
I have much more to say about the potential for the Murphy NC Harrahs Valley River Casino and Hotel but I will stop here for now. As we continue to get closer to the grand opening I will have much more. Also, if you have stayed at the Cherokee Indian Casino in Cherokee, North Carolina please feel free to leave a review. I would love to hear how your trip went. Did you play Sequoyah National Golf Course? Did you stay at the hotel in the casino or somewhere else?
Are you excited for the brand new Murphy casino to open? Will you gamble your money? Do you think you will visit a few times a year? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.
Will There Be a Bingo Hall Near the Murphy, NC Casino?
It is highly unlikely there will be a bingo hall anywhere near the Murphy, NC Casino. Unlike the Cherokee Casino, most of the land around the Valley River Casino is not tribal land. This means there cannot be certain types of activities and businesses like there is in Cherokee. Also note that the Cherokee Bingo Hall was established well before Harrah’s came in and put up a casino in Cherokee.
If there is an update on a bingo hall I will be sure to post it here but I do not think there will be bingo in Murphy, North Carolina in 2015 and/or 2016.