Valley Forge Casino Resort opening March 30

There is going to be a party beginning at 9 p.m. on March 30 and on past midnight on March 31 as a new type of casino experience in Valley Forge is unveiled. Photo: Photo: B. Kolesar

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. March 29, 2012—After this week’s set of final touches, last-minute testing, and inspections, the newest entry in Pennsylvania’s recently-expanded casino landscape, Valley Forge Casino Resort, promises an experience unlike at any of its competition in the State. 

The property, managed by GF Hotel Management, includes nearly 100,000 square feet of meeting, business, exhibit, and banquet space in addition to the casino, hotel, and restaurant/bar space.

Though the casino resort concept represents the first management company’s first foray into the gaming industry, with over 125 properties under management, they are clearly not new to the world of hospitality. From the initial entrance, it is obvious that they are aiming for anything but the typical experience.

Washington’s Continental Army surely would not recognize Valley Forge today. The property overlooks PA-422 just across from the historic and bucolic Valley Forge National Park. The scene inside the resort and casino, on the other hand, should be quite bustling from the first day. 

The resort will house seven restaurants of varying service levels, a relaxing spa, a nightclub with bottle service (formerly Ice), and facilities for the business travelers. While all non-casino facilities will be open to the general public, the casino floor may only be accessed by overnight guests of the 486-room hotel, patrons of the onsite retail amenities, business meeting attendees, or those with either a seasonal or annual dining/entertainment membership plan.

Casino operations are due to include everything from traditional slot machines to Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Pai Gow Poker, and Baccarat. The casino, under its Class III gaming license, will house 50 table games and 600 slot machines. The license also allows  for one 24-hour period per month when additional tables may be added for special events like poker tournaments. 

The multitude of restaurant and bar options will be spread around the facility with Center Bar located in the middle of all the casino action.

Two dining options have been open since March 17 to give guests a sneak peek of things to come at the resort. Nosh Deli, a casual breakfast and lunch spot, and Valley Tavern, a decidedly more pub-like atmosphere with full bar and occasional live entertainment, are two of the more casual food and drink options on the property. Other dining options will meet a wide range of tastes including Italian pastas, steak, seafood, pan- Asian, and American.

Martin Doyle, vice president of food and beverage operations is excited to bring in local culinary names such as Wei Wen, most recently of Susanna Foo Gourmet Kitchen, and Michael Inferrera, most recently of Table 31 in Philadelphia. Mr. Doyle brings his own pedigree from Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa., Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, and 21 Club, Redeye Grill, and Windows on the World in New York City.

Doyle looks forward to working with the wealth of locally-sourced ingredients from Lancaster County to New Jersey and local products from craft brewers as well. Yards Brewing Company from Philadelphia and Victory Brewing Company from Downingtown, Pa. Will be on tap opening night. Other notable breweries expected to take up residence on the taps beginning opening night include Yuengling, Harpoon, Boston Beer/Samuel Adams, Stella Artois, Guinness, Harp, Smithwick’s, and Magner’s (hard cider) — the last four of which are available to be served as a Flight of Ireland.

Doyle also mentioned that it won’t be long before beer-loving guests can expect a formal beer dinner in Valley Tavern. He plans to work with Yards for the first of what he expects to be many beer dinners.

Until then, expect a big party in the nightclub, Seven, beginning at 9 p.m. on March 30 and on past midnight, when the casino officially opens, on March 31 as a new type of casino experience in Valley Forge is unveiled.

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Bryan Kolesar

Bryan Kolesar has been tracking down great beer for over twenty years. From the most hard-to-find delicately balanced low alcohol beer to the big monsters weighing in at over 10% ABV, he has yet to find a style that does not have a story to tell and a taste to share. Though, when pushed, Kolesar has historically staked a claim to the Saison style as one of the most versatile and his favorite.

In 2005, Bryan co-founded The Brew Lounge blog/website as a canvas to illustrate the best of the craft brewing industry and to document his own travels within it. Though he has lived in Philadelphia and is currently headquartered in the city's western suburbs, Kolesar shares a wealth of information and images that he collects from his travels around the world and some of the best beers that he has tasted along the way.

In 2010, Kolesar came aboard the Communities section of The Washington Times to contribute stories from across the craft brewing industry as it continues more than ever its explosive growth amongst increasingly more of the mainstream alcohol-consuming public. 

While the beer - its tastes, aromas, and incredible pairing opportunities with food - is often the beginning of a story, he often finds it more interesting to dive into the stories behind the people, places, and events associated with the final product. 

Locally around Philadelphia, he has been named a Beer Writer of the Year finalist multiple times, hosted beer/running events during each annual Philly Beer Week, served as a Philly Beer Geek judge, paneled local beers for submission into the Great American Beer Festival competition, judged beer and food competitions, been featured in local publications chronicling the beer scene, and been named the "Best Beer Guy" of 2008. 

In addition to his beer-y pursuits, Kolesar works a professional career in the business world by day and dabbles in distance running, cooking, homebrewing, gardening, photography, and is a staunch advocate for animal rescue/adoption. He lives with his wife, Patty, of fifteen years and has been a long time, mostly suffering, supporter of local Philadelphia sports.

Contact Bryan Kolesar


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