North Carolina Bus Junkets Offer Unique Experience At Caesars Casino

North Carolina residents have two bus junket options if they want to experience Caesars Resorts’ Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in Cherokee.

Bob Kelly Tours and Grand America give customers two unique experiences traveling to the top casinos in North Carolina.

Here’s what to know if you plan on using either of the two services to Caesars Resorts’ Harrah’s Cherokee Casino.

What are NC casino bus junkets and where can you pick them up?

Casino bus junkets act as all-inclusive experiences for NC casino patrons. The buses pick up patrons, shuttle them between casinos, and often serve food or drinks between stops. Think of these as group trips for people wanting a small trip planned around casino visits.

NCSharp conducted a survey in August finding that 49% of respondents support North Carolina casinos. Since the state’s two largest casinos are way out in the western reaches of the state, these bus junkets are a good option for many of you.

Interested in attending one of these bus junkets? Here’s a look at the schedules and pricing for both Bob Kelly Tours and Grand America.

Bob Kelly Tours schedule from Raleigh

The Bob Kelly tour starts on Monday, Nov. 13, and ends on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

Patrons meet at the Brier Creek Walmart, located at 10050 Glenwood Ave in Raleigh. Bus doors open for boarding at 6 a.m. The bus officially departs at 6:30, so you want to be there on time. From there, you’ll head to Harrah’s Cherokee and the Caesars Sportsbook, with two restroom stops along the way.

If you have any questions, the Bob Kelly website says to call Ed for additional details. He can be reached at (305) 336-7397.

The trip dates are weather permitting.

Bob Kelly Tours pricing

NCSharp reached out to Ed, who explained the pricing packages for the Harrah’s Cherokee bus junkets.

First of all, Bob Kelly Tours partners with Caesars properties, which means you will need to be a Caesars Rewards member to book with Bob Kelly Tours. 

The Caesars Rewards program offers four levels of membership: gold, platinum, diamond and seven stars. Depending on your level, the cost of the bus junket is as follows:

  • Gold and platinum members: $100
  • Diamond and seven stars: $50
  • Patrons receive $50 in free play cash at Harrah’s Cherokee

Bob Kelly Tours also differentiates its packages based on the type of gambler you are.

There are the Complimentary Customers, the serious gamblers. Bob Kelly offers “breathtaking accommodations, five-star dining, and world-class entertainment” for this group, according to its website.

“Give Craps, Black Jack, and Baccarat your full concentration and leave the distractions of travel to us,” the website continues. “Be rewarded for your expertise and level of play.”

If you’re newer to the gambling scene or consider yourself an infrequent bettor, the company is happy to accommodate what it calls the Retail Customer.

“Let our experts guide and help you have a ‘once in a lifetime’ trip,” Bob Kelly Tours’ website says.

The website says that customers will fill out a player form to determine their level of play and what trip they are best suited for.

Additionally, Bob Kelly Tours’ website states that retail customers are responsible for all costs, fees, and taxes associated with their travel and stay. Participants must pay all costs two weeks before the trip begins.

Grand America schedule from Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Statesville

Grand America offers two different trips to Harrah’s Cherokee this year departing from Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Statesville.

The first trip starts on Sunday, Oct. 8, and returns the next day on Monday, Oct. 9.

The second trip is slightly longer, beginning on Sunday, Dec. 3. That trip returns on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

“Be sure to check back often for updates and additions,” Grand America’s website states.

Grand America pricing

For just $69 per person, you can get a one-night motorcoach junket with Grand America from Greensboro/Winston-Salem or Salisbury/Statesville. Patrons will also each receive $25 in free slot play.

For those looking for the two-night motorcoach deal, the price varies, according to Grand America’s website. Those are “scheduled at special times throughout the year,” according to the website. One bonus of the two-night deal: Customers get $50 in free slot play – double what they’d get on the one-night package.

Should you choose Grand America, your bus will include snacks and drinks, free Wi-Fi, outlets at each seat, entertainment, and restrooms on board. Each bus comfortably seats 50 people.

Grand America’s website also states that packages include a room at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and are fully escorted. In other words, staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help if needed.

Which is the better fit for North Carolina casino patrons?

Both of these are fine options, and it truly is based on where you’d like to depart, how much you’d like to spend, and what you really want to get out of your trip.

The fact that Bob Kelly Tours requires patrons to be Caesars Rewards members does not necessarily mean they’re reaching out to bigger gamblers.

Caesars Rewards is a free-to-join program and can be done online relatively easily. To get to the diamond tier status, which cuts the price of the bus junket in half, a member will likely be a more frequent gambler to rack up the required credits. However, don’t let the rewards membership scare you away. Recreational gamblers are welcome!

Both Bob Kelly Tours and Grand America offer luxury and a chance for patrons will all levels of gambling experience to have a great time.

About the Author

Adam Hensley

Adam Hensley's byline has appeared in the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and sites within the USA Today Network. Hensley graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 and spent his college career working as an editor and reporter for the Daily Iowan’s sports department.