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Cherokee casino to be dry no more


Smoky Mountain News,  Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 2:31:51 PM

When Beverly Easton came to Harrah's Cherokee Casino for the first time and realized there was no drinking, she wondered how an alcohol-free casino could even exist.

"I think it is a deterrent," said Easton, who was visiting Harrah's from Charlotte last Thursday. "You come here to have fun and relax, and having a cocktail is part of it."

Such an integral part, in fact, that when Linda Moutray tried to orchestrate her five sisters to shift the venue of their annual rendezvous from Las Vegas to Cherokee, it was a deal killer.

"I thought, 'Let's all come here instead,' but they wouldn't because there's not alcohol," said Moutray of Gainesville, Ga.

That's all about to change, however. Spurred by the promise of bigger revenues, the Cherokee people voted "yes" in a ballot measure last Thursday (June 4) that will allow drink sales at the casino. The casino will become the only place on the Cherokee Reservation, known as the Qualla Boundary, where beer, wine or liquor can be sold or served.


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