Decent video poker for $1-5 games. Mycash (the PNK equivalent of Reward Credits) earned on the better vp games was approximately 0.0045%. That's correct--less than five ten-thousandths of one percent. Eateries were good. Nice Asian restaurant (Asia); Jack Daniel's has very good burgers, sandwiches, and fries; Favorites has good food. Not horribly priced. Not sure if there is a high-end steak house. VIP lounge (Club 38) is a decent space, but not very good food (unless I was there at the wrong time). Seemed to be salami and cheese cubes. Nice pool area with a lazy river. Regular rooms are mediocre at best--no fridge, few toiletries, and Motel 6 bathroom. Short walk (or free shuttle) to Golden Nugget.
It seems clear that the mighty CZR has decided not to invest a nickel into improving this place. VERY tired looking rooms and property in general. The Diamond Lounge is pretty bad. You can get food, it's just not very good and you won't want to return. Every time I got in an elevator, I was joined by various multi-generational local families with towel-wrapped kids who were always dripping wet from either the pool or the scary beach. Water taxis are kind of fun. Beach Cafe is not very good and Guy Fieri's El Burro Borracho tries way too hard to be hip and over-priced.
At the end of 2013, Belterra gutted their few decent vp games. There are still three $1 Single Line 9/6 JB machines, but the other $1 machines are 9/5 or worse and the lower denoms are all 8/5 or worse. There are also 8 or so quarter NSUD progressive machines which have a HORRIBLE cashback rate. It's interesting that Belterra and the two Harrah's properties on the Ohio River all eliminated their decent vp at the same time. Belterra seems to have kicked out the Jeff Ruby's steakhouse, Ben & Jerry's, and Starbucks at the same time as the vp changes. They are building their own steakhouse, but maybe this is all indicative of serious financial problems with Pinnacle Entertainment in general and Belterra in particular. It appeared that Belterra was suffering the least from the opening of Horseshoe Cincinnati, but maybe the lesser loss of business hurt them even more than Hollywood and Rising Star. They have been updating their rooms which were showing a dozen or so years of hard use. The updated rooms are very nice.
Recent downgrades in the video poker pay tables make Horseshoe a very poor choice for your gaming dollars. Couple of decent eateries, but the buffet is average-below average. Nothing special here. Play elsewhere.