Atlantans itching to roll the dice in a mountain setting without having to drive there and back could be in luck soon.
The same company that launched a frequent bus service between College Park and Panama City Beach, Fla., this summer is gearing up to begin a day-trip service four times a week to Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort, tucked in a mountain setting just north of the state line in North Carolina.
Atlanta Casino Bus will begin service from downtown’s Civic Center MARTA station to Cherokee on Labor Day Weekend, the first weekend in September, reps tell Urbanize Atlanta.
The bus company, a subsidiary of Atlanta Sightseeing Bus Tours, has been operating in Atlanta since 2016, offering a North Georgia wine country tour and five-hour sightseeing tour of the city.
The direct casino route will be available for $65 round-trip, from Thursdays to Sundays, beginning September 1. It’ll work like this:
Buses will depart the Civic Center MARTA station at 9 a.m. and arrive at Harrah’s at roughly 11:45 a.m. each day.
After six hours, the bus will depart for downtown Atlanta, with a goal arriving back in town at 8:45 p.m., according to company reps. (Buses are Wi-Fi enabled, and parking is available for MARTA-averse patrons in nearby lots and at the W-Atlanta Downtown Hotel.)
Unlike with the Florida bus service, multi-day trips aren’t allowed. And all riders must be at least 21 years old.
It’s roughly a 160-mile trip up Interstate 85, I-985, and mountain highways to Cherokee.
The bus company picked 150,000-square-foot Harrah’s as the closest highly amenitized casino with a resort setting (think: celebrity chef restaurants, golfing, spas, shopping, and more) alongside table games, slots, and poker within a relatively quick drive of Atlanta.
We’re told the company’s 300-mile Florida route (now $60 each way) has been “going great so far,” following its debut last month.
“About half the guests are interested in going to the beach, and the other half just needed fast transportation to Atlanta [or] Panama City,” a company rep wrote via email. “Since school is starting, and it’s almost the end of summer, we’re going to focus on large private groups for now, [although] we plan on restarting it for individual guests next year for Spring Break.”
• Bus-only lane bound for busy downtown Atlanta corridor (Urbanize Atlanta)