On Saturday, October 24th, Adam, my awesome caregiver, and I loaded up into “The Green Machine” (my van) and headed to North Star Casino in Bowler, WI. It is over an hour away from Wausau. We were heading there for the North Star Beer Fest 2015.
Beer Fest is held in their event center. The cost was $25.00, which included $10 of free play. For some reason I received $20 of free play, must have been my good looks and charm! We also got a free t-shirt! The check-in table was not accessible to me, but the attendants walked around the table to hand me my t-shirt and free play card. I really appreciate this gesture because I feel recognized as a competent adult, a paying customer. Sometimes attendants will hand my stuff to my caregiver and not even address me personally, I hate this as it makes me feel invisible. So kudos to the fabulous attendants at North Star!
The layout of the tables was well thought out. I had access to all the tables, which was important considering they all had beer for me to try! My only obstacle in moving around was the crowd. North Star can’t control this aspect, only the table layout. There were a few hundred people there at the time we went!
The table heights were perfect for me to access the samples and to talk to the beer vendors. The vendors explained the flavorings and the beer making process. Some of the vendors spoke to me as well as Adam and some were too busy to talk with us. The vendors were all friendly, as well as the North Star staff.
We tasted beers for about an hour. I am a Bud Light kind of guy. I rarely like any other kind of beer or liquor. This event did not convert me into a beer cicerone, but I had fun anyway! I did not care for most of the beers I tried. However, this was a fun way to socialize and get out of the house! On the bright side, they also had meat samples!!! I love meat!!! I tried the grilled meat sticks and polish sausage…excellent!
After the tasting, we went into the casino to use our free play. I love North Star because it is nice and open, easy for me to navigate. Most of the slot machines are too high for me, but they do have some I can just roll right up to. I never travel alone, so I am not limited to those only, but this blog is to bring awareness for all wheelchair users. I am not sure if there are blackjack tables low enough for wheelchairs, but I did not see any and neither did my mom on a recent trip we took. The doorways in the casino and the doorways to get into the casino are generously wide enough to roll right on through. I have to say that I was so excited about going to the beer fest I forgot to take note as to whether the doors were automatic or not!! Adam opened all the doors, so I did not even notice!
I had to use the restroom while I was there. Since Adam was my companion, I did not worry about finding a family bathroom. The wheelchair accessible stall was roomy enough for both of us. They did not have a sink in the stall, which I prefer because it is usually the right height for me. However, they did have a public sink to use. I forgot to ask while I was there about a family bathroom, so my mom called and inquired. They do have one right in the casino itself!
My accessibility rating for North Star as a casino is 4 wheelchair stars! The Beer Fest event gets a 5 wheelchair star rating! The only “obstacle” at the event was the crowd itself, this is not something they can control. Nor would I want it to not be crowded, as I want the event to be a success for them!
Great Job North Star! Thanks for the t-shirt, it fits perfectly! I forgot to mention that I won $35 on the slots, this is amazing considering I had no clue as to what I was doing!