Today at 2pm the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in association with Caesars Entertainment will open their highly anticipated Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino on the edge of Murphy, North Carolina less than a two hour drive away from Atlanta, Georgia. The new venue, a sister-site to the legendary Harrah’s Cherokee Casino is also only about an hour and a half from Chatanooga or Knoxville, Tennessee. But if you don’t feel like making the drive home there are plenty of hotels in the vacinity.

As of noon Sunday reservations were still available for a little more than $300 with tax at the attached 300 guestroom non-smoking hotel. Visitors can expect heavy traffic on the highway as the 1,700 unit parking lot will not open until 1pm. Tuesday is likely to be as busy as Monday as several posts on local media are from customers planning to skip opening day in hopes of avoiding crowds.

Most or all of the dining venues are expected to be open, which include casual fare from sandwiches and pizza to hot dogs, coffee and a Panda Express.

The Total Rewards system is expected to be fully functional so players can earn points including fuel rewards.

It looks like all 70 tables will be staffed and operating along with over 1,000 slot and video poker machines. Staff offering drinks on the casino floor are all trained and ready to serve. The machines are all inspected and operating, and the VIP room will be open. The dealers have 16 weeks of training under their belts and the rest of the 900 employees including surveillance and slot attendants are tuned in and ready for opening day. A busy opening day or Saturday night could see as many as 400 employees on shift.

Smoking will be allowed everywhere except the hotel and connecting promenade. The casino has installed a state-of-the-art air circulation system to keep the property as fresh as possible for all visitors. Rather than the overhead system used at the Cherokee property, the new casino will introduce fresh air from hundreds of vents on the floor, pushing air up to be removed.