The Paragon Casino Resort opened in 1994, as Louisiana's first land-based casino. Since then it seems the transition to full-scale resort has been met with success. The beautifully appointed lobby, including alligators and turtles, plus clean and dazzling appointments lends to the upscale feel. A visit in December of 2013 is the basis for this review.
The RV park was used for this stay - large, spacious, and clean! Check in and check out were easy and fast, free wi-fi, clean showers, and a free shuttle to the casino. The walk to the casino is just as easy and pleasant, but if unpleasant weather or other conditions are present, the shuttle can be called for, or waited for, depending on needs. The drivers were pleasant and efficient and often went out of their way to stop or ask if a ride was needed.
The casino area appeared clean and well-kept - looked new! There was a large variety of games available to suit all ranges and types of gaming entertainment wishes. A little live poker and a small Keno lounge were active. (Unable to comment on the horse betting area as that was not in operation during the visit.)
A few areas provided some disappointment. The shopping area did not seem as extensive as advertised. This reviewer was a little disappointed at the small size and specialty of the shops. The website mentioned a cultural display area - which seemed to consist of four small display cases - also disappointing. The cinema seemed like a very nice feature and very good for families (but we did not enter at this visit).
The atrium area provided a very nice diversion. Well-decorated, clean and sparkling like new, the alligators and turtles and fish appeared well and healthy. Small eateries were located in this area, away from the noise of the casino and would provide a nice setting for a respite. The casino's hotel rooms were located on and around the atrium area (not used during this visit). The casino also has spa services which were not used on this trip.
The children's area, Kids Quest, appeared well-kept and away from the casino area. A supervised arcade (neither of these services were used on this visit) also advertised can round out the entertainment and child care needs for a family visit.
Several dining options were available, including a buffet and steak house (not visited) and a diner within the casino. Roxy's diner provided easy access and hot meals a step away from the casino floor. Good food and reasonable prices were found here.
Now the down side - in a small RV, the roads to get to Marksville proved a tiring journey. The drive is extensive on some small roads and it doesn't appear that there is an alternative. It will take time and patience to get there, even though it is still closer for Texas visitors than some other casino destinations; farther for others.
Would this be a suitable destination for tweens? Perhaps - it appears that some thought has been put towards creating a family resort, and that with the kid-friendly options and attractions, mom and dad could get in a little gambling time, kids could have some play time, and of course, some all together time!