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Trip Report Oct. 9 & 10

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Joined: 26 Dec 2005
Posts: 97
Location: California

PostPosted: Oct Sat 22, 2011 6:04 pm    Post subject: Trip Report Oct. 9 & 10 Reply with quote

Left early Sunday morning, taking our favorite route, Hwy 49 to SR88. Checked the road conditions before we left, no restrictions but there was work going on Mon. thru Fri. on 88 at the pass (blasting) from 1 to 4 pm, we'd miss it going and coming. Not much traffic going East.

There was snow on the peaks but the road was dry. Was disappointed that the Fall colors were not in full swing yet but it was still a nice drive. Hope Valley is really beautiful when all the trees have turned.

Hit some traffic going thru Carson City but still made good time. We made it to Reno just before noon, found a parking spot in Harrah's parking garage (which was pretty full) on the 6th level. Found the front desk, no lines Smile The man at the counter said that our room wasn't I asked when it would be, he replied by saying "about 2 or 2:30 pm". I must have made the right face because he started typing on the keyboard and said he had a "better room" for us. Better? He said we'd like it better than the one we were supposed to get (Classic West Tower Room). He gave us our room keys and off we went to check out our room.

It was on the 23rd floor facing Virginia St., it had a flatscreen tv, a mini frig, a safe in the closet, and lots of plump pillows on the king bed...not bad Smile We headed on outside to the Italian Festival happenings, lots of people! Lots of wonderful smells in the air, especially the garlic bread, wanted to get some but the lines were long! We walked around and listened to some of the live entertainment, really enjoyed that.

Had a couple of drinks, and they went right to my head....had to find a place to sit for a little bit, watched the crowd of people stuffing their faces. We started walking back to Harrah's and stopped to look at what they had done to "our Fitz", made me sad to see it that way as we had had so much fun there in the past.

The colors, to me, were crappy, gray and blue, their "motto" No Smoking. No Gaming. No Whining.... was as cold and uninviting as the inside looked. We peeked thru the front door and saw cement floors, no carpet. We didn't go in, it would have been even more depressing. The one thing left remaining of our old Fitz, was the Blarney Stone.....they left it in it place. Saw only 2 people climbing, as they only had one wall that was ready to climb.

Back at Harrah's, found that our machines from last year had been replaced, another bummer but we sat down to play for a little while anyway. The drinks were coming around pretty good, didn't have to wait long. My hubby was doing pretty good on his machine, WOF, play 1 to 5 coins, 5 lines. I couldn't do anything on my machine.

Went back to our room to rest before going to supper. Harrah's has a new buffet offer, for seniors 55 +, buy one get one free. We had our $15 food vouchers, so we used those. Went to supper at 4:30, probably should have waited a little longer so that the leftovers from lunch had been all used up. The rice and chicken were a little dry and the prime rib a little over-cooked. But, found some good salad stuff and some really
good potatoes. They don't offer breakfast at their buffet and the Hash House didn't seem to appeal to my hubby.

Played the WOF machines again after supper, hubby still doing good on his machine. I went thru my $50 in free play in less than an hour and then sat and watched him play until we decided to call it a night. When we got back to our room, we fouind that the lights were on (we didn't leave them on), walked in and saw that our bed had been turned down, on the nightstand there were chocolates and a little bottle of Kahlua, what a nice surprise! I was surprised to see that the SL had changed their color and
was no longer green.

Monday morning, woke up needing coffee in the worst way and the in-room coffee just wasn't gonna do, so I went down to the 2nd floor to Starbucks, yum! Sat in our room drinking coffee, opened the drapes to find that it was raining outside! So much for the weather report we had before leaving home. After coffee, we decided to go to Circus for breakfast, they had really good food last year along with an omlette cook station where my hubby could get his "one with everything" omlette. Their buffet opens at 7am and breakfast was only $7.99, not a bad deal. The food was good, no complaints.

Played at Circus for about half an hour, no wins, then played in the free daily slot tourney. Walked back to Harrah's in the rain, found the keno lounge and sat to play that for awhile. I like to play a 5 spot, all my numbers had been coming up a lot, except when I played them....grrrrr! Played somemore slots, hubby did good, again. Then, after confirming that the rain had stopped, we walked to the Silver Peak so hubby could sample a couple of brews, he really likes the beer there (coke for me).

We walked down to the river and back around, and went in to check out CalNeva, I hadn't been there in years. Lots of people in there for a Monday. Didn't play but had fun walking around looking the place over. Back to our room for a rest.

Went to play the slots again, we tried this big huge $1 machine, 5 coin max bet with Blazing 7's , we each invested $20 and played max bet, no wins. Back to our WOF, again, hubby did great and no wins for me. After our gaming session, we went for another walk just to get some fresh air and people watch. Nothing was happening at CommRow, in fact it didn't even look like it was open. Are they only open on weekends I wonder?

Not wanting anything big for supper, we ended up getting a burger (next time we'll try the Awful,Awful) and walked back to Harrah's for one last shot of gaming before calling it a night. Played about 2 hours, hubby broke even and I lost $60. Back to our room to find turn down service, chocolates and more Kahlua, nice Smile

Up early Tue. morning, sat at the table drinking our Starbucks coffee and watched the full moon set, really pretty! We decided to skip breakfast and get an early start back home, packed up and checked out at 8 am. Our trip went by way too fast!

Nothing exciting on the drive home, no traffic problems. What cash we had leftover when we got home went right into our Reno Fund for our next trip. We enjoyed our stay at Harrah's, except for the hard mattress, the room was nice. We'll probably stay there again.
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PostPosted: Oct Sat 22, 2011 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi PEB and thanks for the great trip report! Sounds like you all had a great time. I'm at Harrah's Reno right now and so far no luck!

It's good to hear they gave you a remodeled west tower room. I think this is a new feature at some of the Harrah's properties as I got a similar one at Harveys a few months back. The flat panels are awesome if you're travelling with a laptop

I will agree that the prime rib at the Carvings is very overcooked! Ran into the same problem last night, unfortunately. I'm thinking it's gone downhill a bit.

It does look like they've built up CommRow a bit since I was last here. I'm trying to figure out exactly where those climbing towers start, I'm almost thinking it's from that balcony-looking thing above the old Fitz? It seems weird that a complex of this type is where a casino once was. Oh well, I've heard the restaurants and bars inside are pretty decent. The shuttle bus driver was commenting that the system they're using to cover injury liability is really something. Great to hear there's at least one memoir of the Fitz left with the blarney stone being intact.

Thanks again for posting! (LOSING trip report to come, unless a miracle happens...)

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PostPosted: Nov Tue 01, 2011 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Dog and I noticed that the Harrah's buffet was closed for breakfast now, too, or at least, it didn't open until 10:30am or something. I realize that the Reno Harrah's is the original Harrah's property, but I vaguely suspect that Caesar's is planning to dump the property within a year or two. I'm not sure exactly what it is that gives me that feeling... though at one point this summer, the TotalRewards website only listed Tahoe at the top of the site for its properties and Reno only showed up when you hit Tahoe. They've fixed that for now though.

The colors, to me, were crappy, gray and blue, their "motto" No Smoking. No Gaming. No Whining.... was as cold and uninviting as the inside looked.

A perfect sum-up of that place. It wasn't open yet when we were there in the late summer, but I don't see a reason to visit. Reno is all about Smoking and Gaming and a bit of Whining and/or Winning....

I do believe we're overdue for a trip, but it may have to wait until New Year's... thanks for the TR to tide me over in the meantime!!!
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PostPosted: Nov Tue 01, 2011 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LilyDragon: Funny and interesting note about Harrahs. I too have had this feeling as well.

They have no shows scheduled in Sammy's Showroom after Claudette King in November. This is really unusual. I sent an email to the Entertainment Director a month ago who gave me a vague "We have something up our sleeve" note. I told him I was really looking forward to a Tits & Feathers Show and he said I'd not be disappointed. BUT, it does not seem like anything is in the works. Hmmmm.

I was thinking of a December trip but the shows are a draw for me. Nothing at Harrahs that month AND Eldorado is doing bleeding Peter Pan?! Are you kidding me? ACK! I admit I did enjoy one Eldo holiday show in 2009 but it featured Merrill Osmond which added to the cheesy entertainment.

But back to my ranting and long-winded point....I have the same feeling about Harrahs.
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BC Dave
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PostPosted: Nov Tue 01, 2011 5:14 pm    Post subject: Good info! Reply with quote

Thanks Peb and Mammoth for the info on CommRow. I've been kinda wondering about that place. It sounds about as depressing as I imagined it would. But I still wish 'em luck. An quirky, open business is better than a shuttered casino.

A friend of mine was down in Reno last week. He stayed at the Silver Legacy but won big at Harrah's (around $5000). He's been saying for quite some time that he doesn't think Harrah's is going to last. Hope that's not the case.
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PostPosted: Nov Wed 02, 2011 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the enjoyable and informative trip report. Always appreciated!

I am in agreement with the other comments about CommRow. Everything about it, from the floor to the marquee above the entry, seems to be done on the cheap. The ambience in the dining area is pure food court, but the food is pretty good and reasonably priced. The worst part is the concrete floor, which the owners say will be carpeted shortly (maybe they can get a good deal on some used carpet from the Peppermill). I have heard that the nightclub scene is pretty lively, depending on the night and who is appearing, of course. They are still working on many of the areas that are already open and it remains to be seen what the hotel will be like when it opens up next spring, so there is still hope. As others have said, I wish them luck because any open businesses better than a darkened shell. Also, they control properties all around them (old Golden Phoenix frontage, Old Reno Casino and the retail space on the ground floor of the parking garage, for example). Here's wishing for their success.

And just to take this thread off on a tangent, while most visitors come to Reno for the casinos, and the great variety of casino-based restaurants gives little reason to have to venture outside (especially with winter on the way), there are some recent developments with freestanding restaurants in the downtown area. Here, courtesy of the folks at, is a summary of some of those events. Feel free to comment.
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PostPosted: Nov Thu 03, 2011 11:09 am    Post subject: Fitz Ditz Reply with quote

Poor Peb! I forgot how loyal you were to the ol' Fitz, and this would have been your first trip since the "New" thingy that's at the site.

Well, I'm glad you made the best of it, but we all feel your pain!
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Location: California

PostPosted: Nov Fri 04, 2011 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep it's true, both hubby and I were diehard Fitz fans. The reason, instead of openly trying to find the fastest way to separate you from your money (like a few we've been to have), the staff at the Fitz actually made their guests feel welcome. They knew how to treat people and they made sure you had a good time.

I know we'll never find another "Fitz", it was one of a kind for sure. But, we'll always have our happy memories of that place, no matter what they do to it.

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