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What I dig about Reno
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Joined: 03 Mar 2009
Posts: 425

PostPosted: Jun Wed 23, 2010 8:12 pm    Post subject: What I dig about Reno Reply with quote

So we've been to Reno twice now and are probably heading back again in a couple of weeks.

Here's a list of what I like about Reno:

1. Ample free booze served by polite waitresses (and one lone cocktail waiter at the Harrah's...)

2. That all-way crosswalk wherein you walk diagonally to the Cal-Neva

3. All the cool lights at night

4. Awful-Awfuls and that whole mess of fries!!

5. Plenty of ashtrays

6. The comedy shows at Silver Legacy (especially when coupled with the buffet deal!)

7. Free circus shows! (Even though we've stayed at Circus Circus, we didn't see any of them - but I do like that they have them!)

8. Lots of bargaining room at the pawn shops

9. Those cool card swipe machines at Eldo and Silver Legacy - even though the only thing we've won so far is a tin o' mints, a cup of fancy coffee, and a few pens, I still like the POTENTIAL to win cool stuff for free.

10. The shoeshine guys at Silver Legacy; I never see shoeshine guys outside of metro airports and major metro hotels.

11. Tasty microbrews from Brew Brothers inside El Dorado.

12. Grits on the breakfast buffet at Harrah's - not the best I've eaten, but they're the ONLY grits at a restaurant I've found out West here since we moved here in 2007.

13. All the friendly and fun poker dealers at Harrah's

14. Heck, all the dealers we've encountered during our gambling!

15. The big fancy arch with that star thingie on top

16. The up-and-down escalators and walkways of the El Do, Silver Legacy, and Circus Circus - serious variety WITHOUT having to suffer the discomfort of walking outside and having to breathe fresh air.

17. That big drilling machine in Silver Legacy

18. There's plenty within walking distance downtown

19. The ultra-comfortable chairs at Silver Legacy

20. The plethora of comped rooms and meals from Harrah's

21. That it's within driving distance from where we live - only 2.5 hours!!

What I don't dig about Reno:

1. That cranky cage cashier at Silver Legacy

2. That the roads going to Reno snow in sometimes during the winter

3. That Fitzgerald's is closed.... <sigh>[/list]
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Joined: 23 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Jun Thu 24, 2010 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent list!

Here is what I can add/subtract from your list -

5) - No ashtrays needed as I don't smoke (but I am also a rare case of someone not particularly caring if the person next to me does).

Cool - Pawn shops, I'm afraid to go in there, but I don't know why.

13) - I wasn't particularly impressed with the Harrah's poker dealers, but I did like the ones at the Eldorado. I think the Eldo dealers controlled the game better (Disclaimer, I only played poker at Harrah's, Eldorado and Harvey's Lake Tahoe in May).

15) and 3) - That big fancy arch with the start thingie on top is missing something when Fitzgeralds lights aren't on.

21) - A 1500 mile drive for me. But only $120 RT from Vegas makes it a reasonable flight when I can find a cheapo flight to Vegas.

Now my own "like" list -

1) Reno needs the gamblers and it seems that the residents and casino truly value each and every gambler (this despite everything I've read that says that Reno doesn't NEED the gamblers).

2) Nicer weather than Vegas in the spring and summer.

3) Mountains in the background in almost all directions. Extra credit when there is snow in dem dere mountains.

4) National Bowling Stadium. As a bowler, it has some limitations, but it is cool looking with silver, multi-faceted dome and horizontal neon lighting. And the fact that exists is pretty cool.

5) "Locals" restaurants aren't too far away.

6) Get on a cold streak? A different casino is a block or so away.

My Don't likes -

1) The US 395 / I-80 interchange is always under construction. No foolin'. Maybe they work on it every third year (when the men's USBC tournament is in town).

2) Harder to find hidden "gem" restaurants. I don't have the money or pallette for the super high-end restaurants, but other than a few instances the casino food doesn't rate above "not bad".

3) Mentioned above, the cost of flights.

4) Too many dead casinos south of the arch (Fitz, Golden Phoenix, Old Reno, the Virginian). Condemn them, tear them down and build something useful there (he says, realizing how long it took for the Mapes to come down. Wanna guess how hard it will be to raze the Masonic Temple building?)

5) The panhandlers in front of the Golden Phoenix and on the trench plaza. At least there is the diagonal crosswalk to get me from Eldorado to Harrahs.
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PostPosted: Jun Thu 24, 2010 1:53 pm    Post subject: One more - actually... Reply with quote

So I forgot about #22 -

22. The Walgreens that is constructed RIGHT OVER THE INTERSTATE! That has got to be the strangest place to put a building I've ever seen.

And a #4 for what I don't like -

4. The simply awful and terrible and bitter and ugly coffee served at Cafe Napa in Harrah's...
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PostPosted: Jun Thu 24, 2010 3:26 pm    Post subject: I'll join in on the Best of Reno comments. Reply with quote

My Top Ten off the top of my less-than-hirsute head:

1. Waitresses and bartenders - so many are special.

2. John.

3. Free rooms and food.

4. Dave and Janice when in town at the same time as me.

5. Alison for my roommate.

6. Two excellent merlots: Ferrano-Carano and Rombauer.

7. The Happy Hour bar food at the Atlantis Sports Bar.

8. The closing of Harrah's (or at least a sale).

9. The fact that, in 2007, the owner of the Little Nugget announced that the Awful Awful would never be priced above 2.99 so long as he owned the place. One way or another, he must have "sold out".

10. I am absent (mostly) from responsibilities at home, especially the yard work.

Now these are not necessarily in priority order. (And at least one or more may be only a fantasy.)
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PostPosted: Jun Thu 24, 2010 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting, thought provoking posts from both of you. Maybe others can add to the thread. Such as:

Ashtrays - not an issue for me as a non-smoker. In fact, at a table or VP bar I usually look for a seat without an ashtray or active smoker nearby.

Card swipes - also at Peppermill and Atlantis, used to have it at GSR but I'm not sure if they still do. I usually only get free entries in a drawing or a match play coupon, but every once in a while I get food credits, discounts on show tickets I was planning to buy anyway and such things of value.

Microbrews - also good brews at Silver Peak Brewery (Sierra and First St.), Great Basin (Sparks near JA's Nugget) and Buck Bean Brewery (they have a tasting room in their brewery in Sparks, hard to find but it's also available at some casino bars).

Downtown Arch - the previous arch is still downtown - on Lake Street near the river and the east end of the Siena.

Silver Legacy drilling machine - I'm told that when the SL was being planned they wanted to put up a roller coaster or other thrill ride but the city authorities shot it down as being too noisy so they settled for the dome instead. Too bad. Thrill rides haven't hurt NYNY or the Stratosphere in Las Vegas. They chose the drill (I am told) because the SL is on the location of the first silver mine in the Truckee meadows, owned by a man named Sam Fairchild (hence the name of the restaurant).

Fitz closed - don't give up hope but don't hold your breath either. There has been lots of activity around the Fitz and the Old Reno Casino behind it lately. This morning there were 5 or 6 ice machines on the sidewalk in front and in the afternoon 3 or 4 trucks and a crew of laborers on the side street. Something is going on but I don't know if it is just cleaning up old debris or actually remodeling the place. One of the owners, Fernando Leal, has been dropping hints lately but hasn't committed to anything.

Other things to like:

Local restaurants - our latest "find" is The Gas Lamp, at Pueblo and Holcomb. Very comfortable surroundings, great food, reasonable price (dinners $12 - $20), quiet jazz muzak in the background. It's a somewhat limited menu but the chef/owner likes to be creative so it changes every couple weeks. From downtown go almost exactly 1 mile south of the river, turn left at the AM/PM Arco station on Pueblo and it's just on the next corner. The location is hard to find and as a result the building seems to have had a new occupant and theme every six months or so in the past. I hope the Gas Lamp can make a go of it. More:

The Packers Group - there's an active group of about 40 or so Packers fans (depending on the game) who reserve the McQueen room at the Robb Drive Bullies for every game that is not on national television. It makes for a lively "home town" atmosphere that you can't find in the casino sports books. Any Packer fans out there who are in Reno on game day are welcome to stop in.

Lake Tahoe area - 'nuff said.
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PostPosted: Jun Thu 24, 2010 10:44 pm    Post subject: as always Reply with quote

great thoughtful and educational response, Remano.
But where is your list?

I am most definitely ready to re-experience some of my top 10 items.
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PostPosted: Jun Fri 25, 2010 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, like Jerry says - Where is YOUR list, Remano? <grin>

Seriously though, thanks for the insider tips on eating and drinking and a bit of history, too!!
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PostPosted: Jun Fri 25, 2010 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, my apologies to Jerry for not including his post in my earlier comments. His went up while I was composing mine so I didn't know it was there. I hereby amend my post to include all lists.

And, if it's a numbered list you want, so be it. I had 3 entries in the first post so I'll finish up with 7 more things I like, in no particular order.

4. Abundant single deck $5 (or less) blackjack. You have to search for this in Las Vegas, and most other casinos I've visited outside of NV it's almost non-existent.

5. Ditto for full pay VP.

6. The river walk/whitewater park/Wingfield Park area. Great place to stretch your legs, get some fresh air & people watch. The Rollin' on the River series will bring concerts to Wingfield Park every Friday night in July. Types of music vary each week. Check it out online:

7. Freight House District/Aces Ballpark. 4 restaurants, music, baseball - always something going on.

8. Scheels at Sparks Marina. Supposedly the world's largest sporting goods store, there is plenty to see even if you're not in shopping mode, including a full sized indoor ferris wheel.

9. The weather. Generally sunny, dry and not too hot in summer. Even when it's hot it still cools down at night because of the altitude, Winters are mild in town but there's plenty of snow in the mountains if you want it.

10. Reno's size. It's large enough to have everything I need but it doesn't take half a day to drive across town and you don't need a tram to get through the airport. Because of the casinos there's more entertainment than most other cities its size. It's large enough to handle some big special events but small enough that the events dominate the entire scene so they seem special. In Las Vegas they would just be another few thousand people lost in the crowd.

Things I don't like:

A. Empty store fronts on Virginia Street.

B. The opposite of Jerry's #10. I have to go home, wash the dishes, get up the next morning and go to work etc. I can't just sit by the pool while the maid cleans my room and makes the bed.
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PostPosted: Jun Sat 26, 2010 6:40 am    Post subject: Not that anyone cares Reply with quote

Time to join the bandwagon.

Things I like about Reno:

1. Long walks on a moonlit beach.

2. Cuddling in front of the fireplace.

3. Enjoying a romantic movie.

4. Walking my cockatoo in the park.

5. What are you wearing? Oh wait...wrong site.

Things I like about Reno:

1. You can always find something to do in the middle of the night.

2. The bars don't close at 2:00 am.

3. The summer weather.

4. Wide variety of special events in the warmer months.

5. Good deals on food.

6. Meeting and hanging with the board members. (big hint, Alison)

7. Beautifully maintained parks.

8. A river runs through it.

9. And the very best thing about Reno:! (a little shameless self-promotion)
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PostPosted: Jun Sun 27, 2010 11:03 pm    Post subject: Any room left on the band-wagon? Reply with quote

1 Winning

2 Meeting with John, Jerry (and his bride) and of course Charlie and Higgins! Looking forward to meeting other board members too.

3 Free Drinks and cheap (but good) food.

4 Driving to Carson City, Lake Tahoe and Virginia City.

5 Going to the source of

6 Playing VP at the Peppermill with John.

7 Shooters!!!!!!!!!!!!
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PostPosted: Jun Mon 28, 2010 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I'd try to add to a Best in Reno list:

* The pastrami sandwiches at the deli at the Peppermill's sports book. Really, really, REALLY good, and I know me some pastrami.

* 10/7 Double Bonus at El Dorado's bars. Couple that with the Eldo's generous comp drink policies, and its a wonder I can even recall how much I like playing there.

* Reno Aces. Great new ballpark featuring almost-top talent, in walking distance to downtown's casinos. A terrific addition to Reno.

* Cal Neva drink tokes. I've long been in the habit of bringing traveler's checks to Reno. Cash a couple at Cal Neva and they'll give you a couple drink tokes. Always great to have on hand when sobriety threatens.
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PostPosted: Jun Mon 28, 2010 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Traveler's cheques cashed at Cal-Neva will get you some free drink tokens?? I'm a fan of traveler's cheques and would gladly pick some up for my next trip if that means I can get some cocktails!

And I'll have to hunt the 10/7 Double Bonus (or is it DDB?) at El Dorado on Thursday - I don't regularly play the video poker, but with those payouts....

All y'all Reno lurkers, feel free to add more to the list - you don't even have to use numbers!!
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PostPosted: Jun Wed 30, 2010 10:03 am    Post subject: Stan's Turn Reply with quote

I suppose I ought to weight in on this, so:

Reno Likes:

-The favorable contrast with Vegas: Low table minimums, easy access to free booze, lack of gratuitous and pretentious "Non-gaming", or even worse, "Family-oriented" attractions.

-Character/history - Reno somehow maintains its unique look and feel, and what with the local proximity of Carson City, Virgina City, and the occasional bordello, one can sense the timeline stretching from Reno's early days to its present. And booze.

-Affordable adult fun. With booze.

-Cal-Neva: Best low-minimums blackjack with decent rules, funky multi-level building that's fun to wander around in, and booze.


-And of course, the fact that if it weren't for Reno, there wouldn't be the "" message board, with John, the pre-eminent administrator and entertainer-in-chief. Among the community of Reno-related message boards, this is far and away the best!


-Lackadaisical enforcement of vagrancy/disturbing-the-peace laws, if such in fact exist.

-Failure to respond to the mounting indican casino business back in the '90's, resulting in far less business for our favorite city. No coherent strategy, no advertising campaign. Vegas can afford its own advertising outreach, I'd presume, and its proximity to the L.A. area tends to insure its own pre-eminent position, but Reno can afford no such luxury, and crapped out where it should have been making its case, based on all the positives described over the years by, among others, members of this board!

So that's really only two dislikes, since others would probably apply generically to any non-Reno city in America.

Oh, one more "Like":

-Amazing Record store on South Virginia street; the name escapes me at the moment, but that place rocks!
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PostPosted: Jul Wed 07, 2010 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll focus on the Peppermill and Atlantis, since that's where 99% of my time (and money) were spent:


* Peppermill recognizes me as a player worth rewarding. I still think they're confusing me with someone else, but it's still fun.
* Peppermill has very good video poker
* As good as the Pep's VP is, it's not half as good as the inventory at Atlantis
* Pep and Atlantis an easy walk away from each other, with a Walgreens and a 7-11 in between (I did not give them permission to close the Arby's - boo hiss)
* Peppermill's rooms are very nice across the board
* Peppermill's staff is mostly friendly and eager to please
* Table game staff not as paranoid as most casinos to the southeast
* Lots of single deck blackjack with proper payoffs
* Free shuttles from the airport
* RNO actually has some neat games. I'm probably better off not knowing the hold.


* Downtown didn't impress me and I'm not hurrying back
* Atlantis barely acknowledges my existence Sad
* No non-stops from Detroit
* Pep & Atlantis both have silly Neon Taxes for non-comped rooms
* Reno weather as erratic as Michigan weather
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PostPosted: Jul Thu 08, 2010 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shooty wrote:
What I'd try to add to a Best in Reno list:

* 10/7 Double Bonus at El Dorado's bars. Couple that with the Eldo's generous comp drink policies, and its a wonder I can even recall how much I like playing there.

When was the last time you played at the bar? I thought that the Eldo ripped all of their 10/7 DB (and every other full pay machine) out of their bars, and out of their casino for that matter around a year ago. When I was there in April it was certainly the case. Have they reappeared???

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