SOURCE: Barona Resort & Casino

Barona Resort & Casino

March 25, 2010 18:49 ET

The Good Old 'Big Top' Days Are Back at Barona Resort & Casino

Big Top Buckets, Discounts in the Buffet, 'Iipay Corner Menu and Nostalgic Big Top Promotions Will Be Offered for a Limited Time

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - March 25, 2010) -  Barona Resort & Casino will take a nostalgic look back to the days before table games with electronic betting terminals to remember some of Barona's earliest moments as the first Tribe in San Diego to open a major casino with Las Vegas style gaming action.

From March 26 to April 24, Barona will celebrate its past and look to the future with a month-long Back to the Big Top Celebration, which will feature weekly drawings, special meal deals and chances to win on such big top-inspired promotions as the Crazy Wheel, Big Top Blinko and Big Bang Balloon.

"Those exciting, early days of the Barona Big Top really set the stage for where we are today," said Rick Salinas, general manager of Barona Resort & Casino. "And, on occasion our guests reminisce about their favorite things from those days. So, we thought we would bring back some of those memories while creating new ones at the same time."

When Barona unveiled the 39,000 square-foot Big Top Casino in a sprung structure tent in 1994 with its turn-of-the-century circus theme, the gaming area featured wooden replicas of acrobats overhead and small acts such as jugglers in the center ring.

"To pay tribute to Barona as the first Native American casino with a theme, it'll be a circus all month long," added Salinas, describing the festive atmosphere and three-ring entertainment that he expects will draw thousands of first-time gamers and long-time patrons to the high-flying casino celebration.

From wandering magicians and stilt walkers to caricaturists and carnival barkers at the weekly prize drawings, Salinas says the Barona Big Top promotion will be a throwback to simpler times when folks had fun just clowning around in a carnival setting. 

"Before the Barona Big Top, San Diego players had to travel to Las Vegas to experience a major casino," remembered Edwin "Thorpe" Romero, Chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians. "It was such an exciting time when we opened the Big Top, especially when we rolled out the new slot machines and added the first all-you-can-eat Las Vegas style buffet in California. It's amazing to see just how far we've come since that time."

Guests' palates will be reminded of the good old days with several restaurant specials during the Big Top celebration, including:

  • 'Iipay Corner Café -- The original 'Iipay menu will be served in the Sage Café through March 31 featuring old favorites such as the Frisco Melt, Mom's Fried Chicken, Monte Vista Meatloaf and Dieguito Huevos Rancheros.
  • Big Top Bucket Mondays -- For reminiscing guests, the casino will specially offer the Barona Big Top Bucket every Monday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at your favorite slot machine via Gameside Dining, the Sage Café, El Rancho Grande and The Plaza restaurants. For just $9.99 guests can savor Carne Asada, Pollo Asado, Slipper Lobster or Shrimp served over a bed of rice.
  • Prime Rib Tuesdays -- The casino classic slow-roasted Prime Rib dinner will be offered every Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Sage Café and through Gameside dining on the casino floor for just $9.99.
  • Seasons Fresh Buffet -- Barona's award-winning buffet will be available all day for just $9.99 every Wednesday for guests 18 and older.

At the casino, a weekly drawing once wildly popular with Club Barona members will make a comeback. On Throwback Thursdays throughout April, all eligible Club Barona members may enter into drawings for a chance to play a randomly-selected game for up to $5,000 in cash. Players may also step right up to the final giveaway drawing on Saturday, April 24 for a 2010 Ford Mustang and $10,000.

According to Salinas, everyone can participate in the Big Top drawings and restaurant discounts by joining Club Barona, which is fast, easy and free. Sign up is available at the Club Barona booth in the casino or online at

Along with the return of the Ringmaster drawings and promotion games, he says Barona is decking out its casino and restaurants in colorful Big Top memorabilia from banners to kitschy advertisements reflecting the last two decades that have been filled with fun promotions, great giveaways and historic jackpot winners.

In just 15 years, Barona has evolved from a small bingo hall to San Diego's leading casino resort destination with an award winning casino, a championship golf course consistently ranked in the top five in California by Golfweek magazine since its opening, world-class restaurants and meeting and convention facilities.

Today, Barona combines modern gaming technology with good old-fashioned wagering fun, explains Salinas. "We've got a mix of classic and new games that appeal to casino-goers of all gaming levels as well as those that have been with us since the Big Top days to those that have only recently discovered us."

In addition to 2,000 slots, including progressive slots and video poker machines, Barona has more than 75 table games including blackjack, Pai Gow poker, Caribbean Stud, Barona Craps, three-card poker, four-card poker, Mississippi Stud, Let It Ride and new chipless table games including Barona Roulette, Rapid Baccarat and i-Table Blackjack.

About Barona Resort & Casino
For the last two years in a row, Barona Resort & Casino has won the J.D. Power and Associates Award for the "Highest in Satisfaction in the Southern California Indian Casino Gaming Experience" in the J.D. Power and Associates Southern California Indian Gaming Casino Satisfaction Study.

Barona Resort & Casino blends the best of San Diego's leading resorts with the gaming excitement of Las Vegas. Barona is San Diego's leading destination resort featuring 400 guest rooms and suites, all with beautiful views of the Barona Valley, a variety of award-winning dining options, the AmBience Day Spa, a full-service events center and the 18-hole championship Barona Creek Golf Club, rated the 3rd best resort course in California by Golfweek magazine.

Barona Resort & Casino received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2008-2009 Indian Gaming Casino Studies SM-Southern California Region. The 2009 study, which only surveys casinos with a minimum of 1,000 slot machines, is based on 4,452 responses from gaming players who visited an Indian casino in Southern California between December 2008 and May 2009. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed in May 2009. Your experiences may vary. Visit

For Barona Resort & Casino reservations and information, visit, or call toll free 888-7-BARONA (722-7662).

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