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Wind Creek Wetumpka gift shop manager Camille Dauchez looks over the balcony edge in the penthouse level of the newly opened hotel Tuesday. (Photo by David D. Goodwin)
Wind Creek Wetumpka gift shop manager Camille Dauchez looks over the balcony edge in the penthouse level of the newly opened hotel Tuesday. (Photo by David D. Goodwin)

Luxury on top of the town (updated with video link)

Published 8:21pm Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Wind Creek Wetumpka Casino and Resort opened its palatial hotel for tours by the media Tuesday, giving residents their first look at the world-class accommodations overlooking the Coosa River.

The hotel opened in stages beginning Dec. 17, 2013 when the expansive gaming floor was unveiled to the public. The hotel was fully operational early last month. The 283-room tower has been “almost 100 percent occupied” each weekend since it fully opened in mid-March, according to general manager Cody Williamson. To see video of the hotel’s luxurious new penthouse, including 180-degree views of the Coosa River, downtown Wetumpka and the Capitol City in the distance, click here (YouTube).

“What it does, hopefully, is to bring a different level of clientele to the market, people from Atlanta or Birmingham used to staying in luxurious places,” Williamson said during a tour of the hotel that focused on the VIP 19th and 20th floors – “the concierge floors.”

During the week, he added, the hotel is “80 or 90 percent occupied.”

The amenities in even a regular suite are impressive, with spacious double-headed showers, feather-top beds and ports to connect and charge guests’ devices in almost every logical place.

But the 20th floor, with Wind Creek Wetumpka’s exclusive SkyBar and 5,000-square-foot penthouse tops the rest many times over.

The two-story penthouse has a living room, dining room, bar and serving area, full commercial kitchen, upstairs billiards table, indoor/outdoor fireplace, shower and jacuzzi tub and many other luxury upgrades.

By a quick count, Williamson said there were at least a dozen televisions spread throughout the penthouse and on the balcony.

Even the toilet in the penthouse’s master bedroom is state of the art, with a lid that raises automatically, blue-lighted tank, radio, mp3 player and on-board speakers. Every bathroom mirror on the 19th and 20th floors boasts a built-in TV.

There’s also an upstairs fitness room with sauna.

The board room adjoining the penthouse doubles as a movie theatre with projection screen. There is also an exclusive SkyBar on the 20th floor, which is open only to VIP guests and “Black Card” holders.

“Hopefully we’ll bring a lot more traffic on the weekend, people beyond just the local group,” he said, noting they’ll court wealthy guests in Atlanta, Birmingham and beyond. “That will help not only us but also the community. If the husband or wife wants to gamble but their spouse doesn’t, they can go and see some of the history and other sites in Wetumpka.”

The concierge-level suites and penthouse, he said, don’t really have a pricing range because most guests there will be “comped” to keep the action flowing at the casino downstairs.

Asked to estimate, though, Williamson said “the number we put in the computer” was $5,000 per night for the penthouse. The upper-level suites, range upwards of $300 per night on average, though prices vary depending on time and overall occupancy.

One final item awaiting completion, Williamson said, is the hotel pool. It’s around four feet at its deepest, but has been built to allow swimmers to walk straight in like at the beach. A pool bar and cabana areas will also be available to hotel guests.

Williamson said they hope to open the pool May 1.

The first Poarch Creek Indian casino and resort, Wind Creek Casino in Atmore, served as a testing ground, Williamson said, as officials refined the layout of the rooms and the specific amenities offered.

Williamson said they reviewed comment cards from Atmore guests, learning, for instance, that customers found it hard to find a good plug to recharge their electronic devices.

That led to a panel of USB ports and electrical outlets above each bedside table, ready-made for charging iPhones or other portable devices.

“If it was good in Atmore, we used it; if it was not so good or not as well-received, we changed it a little bit to make it better,” Williamson said.

They also adjusted the dimension of each room, adding space in the bathrooms based on customer comments.

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