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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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Reno Ramblings

31 May 2002

Memorial Day still found the RV parked at Gold Ranch, a mere 10 miles from Reno. It seemed like the sensible thing to do.... let the tourist tides pass safely, plus they have opened the other section of the park.... and now that the tide has ebbed, we appear to be the only RV left out here in the new section..... quite all right with me.... once again I look out at pine trees and mountains... instead of somebody’s fifth wheel.... The only thing they did at Gold Ranch that I particularly didn’t care for was raise the rates for the holiday.... and while the motels and hotels returned to normal rates on Monday night... they did not... and looking at it now that it is over, they were a very long way from full over the holiday. I’ll be groaning over that for a long time... seems like a marketing blunder on their part! Oh well.... they still have a great little casino... and it still looks like there are plenty of jackpots going.... just not into my hungry pockets!

Thought I’d pass on what my son discovered when standing in the Silver Legacy gawking at the "10 million." IT AIN’T REAL! While it appears to be stack after stack of hundreds, if you look closer... maybe the top one or two bills on each stack are real... the rest is paper. Oh well... at least you get a better visual of what ten million bucks would look like... not that I expect to ever hit 8 random numbers racing through a computer with all those nanoseconds and things... plus the keypad on the machine goes 0-9... okay... those of you good with odds... what's the odds?  Maybe we should be making book on whether it will ever hit, or the Legacy will pull it and start some other promotion first?

Harrah’s Reno puts on a great show periodically for the public... for free in the Harrah’s Plaza in downtown Reno.... May 24th was Credence Clearwater Revisited. I was not able to go... but remembered how fantastic they were when Harveys had their outdoor concerts a couple of summers ago... and then again in the Harrah’s showroom... it’ll get you dancing... there will be many more fine and free performances over the summer months...and I will make a great effort to get down there.

Driving through North Lake Tahoe the other day, I was amazed, and a little saddened when I passed by the Crystal Bay Club and the sign was one thanking past employees and customers... apparently they went belly up. I was curious enough to call, and that was the reply. At the time they only had 16 slot machines left. The next trip through Crystal Bay yielded another surprise... in black felt pen on plain white paper were "For Sale" signs posted on the doors. I’ll miss the steak house there... they used to have a single quarter slot by the restaurant door that let you play for free wine, and meals. I’ve had some of the best food in my life out of that steakhouse, compliments of that slot machine. Used to have a scampi to die for! That is a whole lot of history behind now closed doors... itza shame.  It leaves a big gap in the charm of that little gambling strip.

Siena Spa Hotel, which just opened last year in Reno, is something on my list to visit for this next week.... I’ve heard it is really nice, the casino isn’t huge, but it is worth visiting... so I can let you know next week.... It sits on the Truckee River, and is one of the latest additions to the downtown scene... I’ve heard it is a little more upscale... so we’ll see.

One other thing I wanted to mention... something I always mention during the summer months.... and that is to please use caution with your cigarettes, cigars, campfires, and anything else capable of burning down our forests. The past couple of summers I wrote about the fires burning above Reno... near Truckee... and over the Donner Summit area of Interstate 80. You cannot appreciate the total amount of devastated wilderness these fires left.... where once proud pine trees stood and forest life thrived, is nothing but mountain after mountain of charred trees and acrid dry undergrowth... Please be careful this year. I have had the displeasure of traveling through that corridor over the pass several times, and it is hard to get past the vast amount of forests that were destroyed... it will be a couple of lifetimes before the land comes back. It won’t ever look the same during my lifetime.... it’s something to think about.

Until next time.... gamble wisely, win big, and if you do.... let me know! I’ll put your winning stories in print!

Many changes are going on with the web sites... but the mail seems to work best at: I’d like to hear from more of you!