Author Home Author Archives Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

author's picture

Reno Light Show

18 October 2002

Traveling east on the interstate on Monday night, we looked up and saw what looked like a giant meteor with a huge tail crossing the evening sky... so large, and it appeared to be moving slowly... that we pulled over on the side of the freeway... eyes riveted to the sky, we started to open the doors to get out.... suddenly something appeared that looked like a plane in front of it, and then, kaaaapooooww.... it blew into some little red "balls" for lack of better description, and vanished. A few minutes later, when back on the freeway, I noticed the glowing vapor trail, and thought that it was probably a missile test... after all, there are a lot of military installations in Nevada. The next morning, when I found the article in the Reno Gazette Journal about it, I was amazed at the great distance involved, when I saw something that looked so much closer! The missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base (central California) and was on a 4800 mile path toward the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Twenty-one minutes later, an interceptor missile was launched from the Kwajalein Atoll and hit the Minuteman six minutes later. (It turned out we were watching a Minuteman II, carrying a mock warhead and an unspecified number of decoys.) So they say that what I saw in the evening sky over Reno was a test of our missile defense system, and the collision that looked like it was more over Lake Tahoe was really 1500 miles east of the atoll. I just find that incredible.... and feel blessed to see it... good thing it was one of ours! And it feels good to know that we can direct hit like that... wow!

Speaking of lights, or rather lighting.... I made the rounds this week at two of the finest neon palaces that Reno has to offer. The Peppermill Casino which has the neon, the best and biggest outdoor plasma signs, the glitz and glamour of all the indoor neon, it looks like my brain thinks a casino should look like... I can get lost in the Peppermill.... they have slots upstairs, they have them downstairs, and somehow they have 11 theme bars and lounges as well as seven award-winning restaurants... they have an upcoming $300,000 Fall Poker Tournament. The tournament room is non-smoking and features a private poker bar and tableside food service. For tournament information, please call (775) 689-7275 or 800-648-6992, ext. 7275. It's fun to walk through the Peppermill.... it seems like there is always some sort of entertainment going on, the gambling is good, there's lots and lots of slots, lots and lots of table games, the Poker room, pennies to high limits, it's all there.

From the Peppermill, I went to their sister casino, the Western Village out in Sparks..... which I think even outdoes the Peppermill on the use of neon and reflective chrome/mirrors... The place always amazes me.... mesmerizes me with the amount of neon.... and light... I am so glad I didn't get a job there replacing bulbs! I did part from looking at the lighting long enough to start noticing that they had some slots that I had heard about, but never found in the other casinos... both by IGT were "Othello" and "Checkers" which I found fascinating... I don't think I ever really understand where the wins came from on Othello, but hey, it paid a little, and it had a rather interesting bonus feature, and it paid enough to make it worthwhile. I personally find some of the other new slots coming out to be more entertaining. I found myself wandering around, and settled on a "Lucky Larry's Lobstermania" slot that played either pennies, two-cents, or nickels. For a 15-line machine, it's pretty good.... I lined up three lobsters and got to go to the bonus round... I drew to pick four lobster traps... and the little old fisherman pulled up the traps, and lucky me, there were some hefty lobsters in there... so when I got done, I had 21.37 off a thirty-cent bet.... I like those hit and run jackpots... and I will always test drive a penny version of a slot if I can, rather than watch those nickel guzzlers choke the bankroll! In this case, I had to say it probably was one of the more entertaining slots. The only pain with the slots in the penny version, is that you have to be hand-paid... no EZ pay voucher systems... but the Western Village seemed to have that down to a fine art, and I was paid quickly.

Fall colors have arrived..... the valleys and chasms are full of the yellows, oranges, and reds that go with the season.... the mountains look painted, and the oaks are turning as well as the maples... it is really getting pretty. The road up to Tahoe is full of color.... and Hope Valley, off of Highway 88, is about as scenic as it gets.... if you happen to be around the Tahoe/Reno area in the next week, remember to bring your cameras! I said I'd mention it when the colors had arrived.... and that looks like now!

Great room rates go with the season. Since things won't really be moving until the snow flies, you can check just about anywhere in Reno and find a bargain room, a bargain meal, and a tournament or two or three. Reno is a great place to visit at this time of the year, it's a growing and moving place, so why not head to Reno next time you want some great gambling?