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Tapoco vs Fontana: Review

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Tapoco vs Fontana: Review

Old 04-24-2016, 04:39 PM
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Default Tapoco vs Fontana: Review

Writing this as I sit on the outside porch of my Outlook 1 cabin, watching s2000s come and go in the parking lot I thought about the differences between this location vs Fontana. Unfortunately there's no wifi, so Im just gonna save this out and post it later. Here's my take on them:

Location: About even. I like having 28 right there at Fontana, but I also like being closer to deals gap. Tapoco definitely has the better view and setting. I'm listening to the rushing river and birds chirping while knocking back a cold one and it's quite relaxing. I preferred the Lodge at Fontana over their cabins, but without staying in the lodge rooms here at Tapoco I cant give a fair comparison.

Cell Service and Wifi: Fontana. Even with Verizon, my phone will work down by the river and sporadically in the room. I drove towards Robbinsville today just to get to the top of the mountain where I could get some 4G. Fontana, at least in the lodge has pretty good wifi; vs the zero wifi at Tapoco.

Grounds: Tapoco is definitely more easy on the eyes. Not just the river, but the grounds themselves seems better cared for. The "paddock" style open garages are pretty cool too. Driving to my cabin was about the same as Fontana...narrow and bumpy.

Staff: DEFINITELY Tapoco. It might be because Raulito hasn't pissed these people off yet, or it could be they are genuinely nice and care about their customers, but dang...stellar job by everyone we've encountered. Denise at the beer swap put up with 30 belligerent drunks (myself included) and the other staff was nice, friendly, and easy to get along with. All good people in my book. Fontana is a bit lacking in this area, but again...could be that we wore them out over the years.

Rooms and Cost: Sooo. Is Tapoco worth the $130 vs $89 a night? For my cheap ass I'll say no. We come down here to drive and hang out, so having a "nicer" room was a moot point. Maybe if the wife had come and she could have appreciated it better then sure, but flying solo I'd like to save some coin. I'm sure others will have a differing perspective. Is the room nicer than Fontana? Definitely. While small, the mattress and pillows were probably the most comfortable I've slept on in a long time...including at home! The added features of a larger frig, single-serve coffee maker AND creamer in room definitely was a nice touch.

Food: Another win for Tapoco here too. The resturant's pizza and trout nuggets were epic. I recall a few New Yorkers even compliment the pizza, and that's saying something. Fontana's food is better than adequate (especially if you're eating with Ken), but I loved the quality of the food for the price. Im not a $50 dinner kinda guy unless it's a special occasion. I eat to live not live to eat

What else can I say? Did I enjoy my stay? Absolutely? Would I come back to Tapoco? You bet. Would I choose Tapoco over Fontana everytime? Probably not. If I could talk the wife into coming down, Tapoco it is. If it's just me though I'll take Fontana and then come eat at Tapoco.

What are your thoughts on the two?
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Old 04-24-2016, 04:55 PM
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A fair review.

I hear you on the WiFi and cell service...but I liked being "off the grid." I even heard a few folks say the same. If you REALLY needed the interwebz, there's a dedicated PC inside the main lobby of Tapoco (just sharing, again).

I like how you broke it down by category. My room at Tapoco was great and I agree with you on the bed (did anyone see what brand mattress??) LOL

Loved the in-room fridge, microwave (even if I didn't use it) and the Kurig coffee maker (which I used quite often). Sugar, artificial sweetner and yeah, even creamers! Refilled daily along with bottles of water. Loved coming to my room to find it clean, bed made and fresh towels.

Totally agree with the friendly staff comments you shared...not that the folks at Fontana are unfriendly, many are VERY sweet but then there's some that aren't and sooooo, you know how that can go. LOL at me pissing them off tho (that comment anyway).

Thanks for sharing your opinion/review Brett.
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Old 04-24-2016, 05:23 PM
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Dude the bed was so comfortable I pulled the sheets back and took a pic of the tag. Talking to the wife about putting our $3000 temperpedic in the guest room and buying one of the same models that was in the room!
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Old 04-25-2016, 03:42 AM
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Everything about this place was amazing and all of the newcomers are already planning their next time. Great venue great event.
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Old 04-25-2016, 04:44 AM
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Originally Posted by RedCelica View Post
Dude the bed was so comfortable I pulled the sheets back and took a pic of the tag. Talking to the wife about putting our $3000 temperpedic in the guest room and buying one of the same models that was in the room!
That picture should be made available on the Pics thread!

Great review and on point. I think for me it will boil down to whether I bring my family or not to the event...Fontana would be perfect for me alone but I'm pretty sure my wife would love the general experience in Tapoco more.
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Old 04-25-2016, 05:03 AM
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Tapoco was amazing. For me there was no comparison. The food was better and anything I needed the staff was there. My cabin was a night and day difference over Fontana. As far as wifi and no cell service call me crazy but I didn't need it. It's nice to disconnect and I was somewhere everyday that I could check my email. My only complaint about Tapoco was the size and it was unfortunate that it can't accommodate the whole group. I plan on staying here again even if the event is at Fontana. My wife and really enjoyed our trip this year
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:10 AM
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Wifi will be there next year. Too bad tapoco did not give us the full lodge and every cabin. There were some other visitors.
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:11 AM
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I didn't stay at Topoco, and that was my only problem with it.

The cabins and rooms sold out FAST at Topoco, and so we we stayed in Robbinsville. The place we stayed in was pretty nice. It was the Riverfront Treehouses. But it would have been SO MUCH better to be at the event location. From previous events, I liked being out driving all day, and then kicking back at the resort at the end of the day. Drinking without worrying about having to drive until the next day. Being able to hang out with people, meet different people, talk, drink, laugh and bitch about S2ki, Raul and gas prices.

Having to drive 15 mi along 129 into Robbinsville after dinner was a bit of a drag. I don't have great night-vision, so I hate driving the twisty roads in the dark. I had to be very conscious of what I had to drink. And I had to head back to the hotel WAY earlier than I would have gone to sleep in the past.

So I missed out on some of the social aspects of the event. I'm sure there are some that are glad that I missed out on some of the social aspects. But really anyone who couldn't get into Topoco was impacted by it.

The food at Topoco was excellent. The pizza was quite good (and I am from Chicago, so that's saying something.) The burgers were fantastic. The buffet food at the banquet was probably the best meal I've ever had at a Dragon event. The staff were regularly bringing out hot food, as opposed to using a larger tray or serving table. WAY more work for them, but having hot food was VERY much appreciated by me. I didn't love that the bar was so far from the banquet room, but that is a pretty minor gripe.

I like the location of Topoco better. I like the food better. That bar/patio/campfire area was AWESOME. I don't mind the lack of Wifi/Cell connection. I just wish it was able to accommodate everyone. For that reason, alone, I'd prefer to see a return to Fontana.
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:28 AM
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I loved Tapoco vs Fontana. The accommodations, staff, grounds and food was just better. Yes the lack of wifi sucked but i was able to get 3g signal sporadically when at the lodge. Fontana is great and I'd never let that stop me from coming if that was the venue used but Tapoco is a much nicer place.

Excellent choice Raul.
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ruexp67 View Post
I didn't stay at Topoco, and that was my only problem with it.
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