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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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60,000 Came to Tahoe Party

5 January 2001

Unbelievable! The number of people who came to Tahoe to ring in the new year was astonishing, and the casinos were elbow to elbow for most of the week. The casino employees were glad to ring in the new year, as it means a slight rest between holidays... many had worked straight 7 day weeks full of 10 and 12 hour shifts. At midnight, the crowd surged into the street in the ‘casino corridor’ and cheered at midnight. It is tradition. It is Tahoe.

Everyday as I head into Stateline to get the progressive jackpot amounts, I am amazed at the sight of the new gondolas whizzing silently up and down the cables from about a block west of Harrah’s Lake Tahoe up to the ski slopes of Heavenly... it looks pretty neat to see the sun gleaming off the roof of the new station and turn around; its multi-faceted clock tower proudly announcing the time. It is all part of the City of South Lake Tahoe’s massive redevelopment plan, or the "Park Project", which will include a village-style retail area, movie theaters, a fancy resort hotel, and an ice rink... all on the California side.

Special events are slow at this time of year, and we are lacking in fresh snow. The forecasters are giving us some hope that we may see some by Monday. Even with the lack of snow, the skiing has still been pretty good. Temperatures have remained cold, preserving what we did get earlier. The clear weather has allowed many more people to enjoy the gambling at the lake, as roads into Lake Tahoe have been clear and dry.

There have been many thousands of dollars given to gamblers at the lake over the holidays. To name them all would this this column into a mini-series. Every one of the casinos was busy paying off jackpots. Metered jackpots rose and fell and rose again. For two days I could not get to the progressive jackpots to put them online. Not that I did not try, but New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day were chock full of people, and there would have been several that I could not get close enough to even find the amount.

The jackpots have been appearing online on the now for 336 straight days now with the exception of the recent two days. Many have written me and urged me to hang in there, that maybe somebody would be able to envision my vision, and that support would come. All of you who wrote me were right. I finally am getting to go to Las Vegas to meet with a person, who I think has 20/20 vision. The progressives will not be available from the 12th - 15th of January, while I make my pilgrimage to Las Vegas. I hope to bring you some exciting news, and hopefully, be able to get the Reno and Las Vegas’s up and running in the near future.

Don’t forget that Lake Tahoe has lots of new slots, lots of big jackpots, is home to that big beautiful blue lake, has great ski slopes, is supposed to get fresh snow by Monday, has a new gondola right from town, and offers all the amenities of Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Caesars Lake Tahoe, Harveys, the Horizon Casino, Bill’s casino, and the Lakeside Inn. Come one, come all... the lake beckons you.