Destination Spotlight: Harrah’s Cherokee Resort and Casino in North Carolina Offers a Plethora of Indoor and Outdoor Amenities for Event Groups

July 4, 2023

Located near the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park about 50 miles west of the Asheville Regional Airport, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in North Carolina opened the Cherokee Convention Center in 2021, adding 85,000 square feet of exhibition and meeting space. Owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Harrah’s Cherokee is managed by Caesars Entertainment


In May, TSNN joined Caesars Entertainment for a trip to the property to find out what Harrah’s Cherokee has to offer exhibitors, trade show organizers and corporate event planners. Here are some of the highlights in this photo recap.




pic 1 room
A standard room with a king-size bed at the Harrah’s Cherokee Resort & Casino. One of 750 rooms in the Cherokee Tower that opened in 2021. The hotel is located 55 miles from the Asheville Regional Airport, approximately one hour by car. 


Harrah's Cherokee Lobby
The lobby at the Cherokee Tower offers a Starbucks and Guy Fieri's Cherokee Kitchen + Bar, which features award-winning burgers and championship-level BBQ. The property spans 56 acres and offers more than 1,800 hotel rooms in four towers. It may surprise some to learn that the casino generates more revenue from gaming than Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.


Harrah's Cherokee
Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, Soco Creek runs through the property. One entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which was the most visited U.S. National Park in 2022 with 13 million visitors, is six miles from the hotel. The park offers more than 500,000 acres of pristine wilderness, and outdoor activities abound in this area of the country. Attendees and exhibitors can hike, bike, fish, float, raft, kayak and so much more. The penthouse suite on the 21st floor offers a venue with a stunning view of the creek and surroundings to host a small reception in conjunction with a trade show or conference.


The hotel features the country's only Gordon Ramsay Food Market, a food court concept by the world famous TV chef. Ramsay’s Food Market features eight cuisine concepts and one full-service restaurant. Dive into gourmet fare highlighting regional ingredients sourced from Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Spicewalla, Joyce Farms and many more. We dined at the Gordon Ramsay Truffle Pub.


Known for its sustainability practices, Caesars Entertainment boasts a living roof at the Harrah’s Cherokee Resort & Casino.


Attendees can enjoy breakfast by the creek if the weather permits. We dined at the Selu Lobby Patio.


An outdoor experience to remember: Networking while fly fishing in a beautiful setting. Cherokee’s 30 miles of accessible fishing water is the single largest managed trout fishery in the eastern U.S., according to the Cherokee North Carolina Chamber of Commerce. Exhibitors and attendees can sample the fishing experience, without leaving the resort, by fishing in the Soco Creek that runs through the property. A guide service can come to the hotel with gear, equipment, permits and training for groups. The creek is stocked with rainbow trout. I have never fly fished before, and even I caught a 2-pound trout, with some instruction.


Less than three miles from the resort, the Oconaluftee Indian Village provides visitors the opportunity to learn about the culture of the Cherokee Indians in the 18th century. A cultural experience to remember: Guided tours for groups or individuals feature Cherokee weaving, basket making, beading, dance and more.


The hotel offers the Mandara Spa, a full-service spa with an immersive range of treatments — from fire and ice massages and signature facials, to bathing rituals and sound wave therapy. Pictured is the relaxation lounge stocked with fruit, snacks, tea and water.​​​


hot tub
The women’s lounge features heated tile chairs for lounging and relaxing before or after a spa treatment. Spa guests can enjoy the hot tub in the women’s lounge and have access to a private deck with chaise loungers and chairs next to Soco Creek. It offers a beautiful spot to unwind, check email or gather with clients or colleagues.


The Resort Tower offers a spacious pool deck. Cabanas by the pool are available for rental for exhibitors and attendees. Food and drinks are served poolside.


A dinner experience to remember: A lo country shrimp boil. Our event was moved inside due to weather, but it could be hosted outdoors.


ultra star
More than gaming: The on-site bowling alley and arcade is a great spot to host events. It’s also a great option for family members who might be along for the ride. The venue features a bowling alley with 24 lanes, a private gaming station and a fireside patio for drinks and food.


gorge train
Take the scenic route by train: Take the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad from  Bryson City, located 13 miles from the resort. The Nantahala Gorge Excursion offered a front-row view of Fontana Lake, the historic Fontana Trestle, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Nantahala National Forest.


group at train
Attendees and exhibitors (or their spouses and families) can take in the mountains, lakes and rivers on this one-of-kind rail experience that runs daily at 10:30 a.m. Pictured is our group.


train station
The first-class car features drinks and lunch while onboard. The 4.5-hour roundtrip excursion carried us 44 miles to the Nantahala Gorge and back again arriving at the Bryson City Depot. 


The train stops along the Appalachian Trail, near an outdoor center that features restaurants, shops and a rafting school. We arrived at the one-hour layover destination in the heart of the Nantahala Gorge, where riders can relax by the river or a short hike.


wicked weed
An Asheville favorite since 2012, Wicked Weed is now open at Harrah’s Cherokee. This brewpub offers 22 beers on tap and 18 bottled varieties


Dining in style: Groups have a variety of options when it comes to planning meals. The catering team has served 3,200 guests within a four-hour period but has the capacity to do more.


pre-function space
The convention center features 85,000 sq. ft. of meeting and exhibit space, including a 32,000-sq.-ft. ballroom divisible into 22 meeting spaces, 11,100 sq. ft. of pre-function space, a 33,000-sq.-ft. exhibition hall with 6,000 sq. ft. pre-function area. Since the convention center opened in 2021, it has hosted a variety of events, including association trade shows, for-profit expositions, corporate events, conferences and much more. 

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