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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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Spring Back to Winter?

15 March 2003

I was just admiring the blossoms on the trees outside the elevators up to the Skywalk from the Eldorado parking garage, thinking about how beautiful they are getting, and Wednesday was another one of those 71 degree days in Reno... and wham... tonight is supposed to be as windy as it was back in December, when record winds roared through Reno. The upside of the weather is that some areas in the Sierras are supposed to get over 5 feet of snow by Sunday. The snow pack needs the water content. So whatever thoughts I had of spring and of blossoms will have to wait. Winter needs to make its last stand.

Gasoline is high in Reno. Up to $1.99 in many places. Boomtown still has their gasoline drawings, Eldorado says earn "x" points in a 24-hour period and get $25 in gas money... I expect to see more promotions going to promote driving to Reno. Silver Legacy has a room special that gives a $50 flight discount.... and the motor homes still are coming... Last weekend was really busy. This weekend won’t be if the passes in are getting heavy snow. If all goes as predicted, the ski slopes will get a giant fresh burst of interest, and the area will fill with tourists, here both for the gambling and the skiing. It works.

Last week I visited a little place I used to visit more often. An old and familiar throw-back to the Reno that existed when I first arrived.... Jim Kelly’s Nugget on South Virginia....across from Harrah’s, a few doors from Fitzgeralds... where double jackpot bonus periods still happen every 15 minutes, where that super little hidden diner is, in the back. Serving food favorites for over 50 years, it is counter seating only, worth waiting for, and where you can get two plate-sized pancakes topped with an egg for 99 cents? Home of the "Awful Awful" burger... $3.50 and stacked on top of a mountain of fries.... my son even finds this hard to eat through... this is one of those burgers that is a legend in Reno. The pancakes have been consistently good since 1985, which is when I first wandered in and discovered this hidden little treasure.

As mentioned, I spent a little time at the Eldorado a few days ago, and found that they have so many new and convenient Ticket-in Ticket-out machines. I had a blast with one penny game, Mariachi Madness... the graphics were colorful, the bonuses were plentiful, and offered good amounts, and they never seemed to cut me short, except once, when I picked the wrong Mariachi during a game... other than that there were several levels to the bonus round, and I look forward to playing this one again...SOON. One thing I noticed at the Eldorado, the staff was great, I noticed lots and lots of coffee going by to the morning gamblers, so service levels were high... and everyone was on the ball and doing their jobs. No sluggish Monday mornings there! Plus there were a lot of people walking around with cups of coins. That meant there were a lot of smiles going on at the Eldorado. I like that.

I also wandered into Fitzgeralds and trekked up to the Lucky Forest in my annual pre-Saint Patrick’s Day ritual... to rub Ho-Tei’s belly, to touch Secretariat’s horseshoe, to kiss the Blarney stone... sort of a good luck refresher course... and of course, to play a little keno upstairs. It happens to so many there... the keno is hot there, it is a given... something I have known for years... I didn’t win anything big, but I didn’t lose either. Something’s got to balance on this end for me. Things are growing. The stress level is above anything I’ve experienced. It’s going to make it. I can feel it in my bones.

Atlantis had problems with their web pages at the close of last week, so I offered to post as much as I could on the Reno Gaming Guide for them, and wound up looking at some really nice-looking "Beefcake" in the form of Thunder From Down Under, an exotic male dance revue coming to the Atlantis for two weeks in May.... since the eye candy was attractive, I have left it on the web site for the ladies to look at.... and for the men, how about some food specials? I’ve left those up too! Just do me a favor... if you come to Reno, and you haven’t been to the Atlantis, go. If you like tropical this and that mixed with waterfalls and unicorns, and atmosphere plus, make it a must.

I’m going to make a recommendation to all to find your way to Reno next time you want a real casino experience. Reno is in its prime... properties are in excellent shape with loads of new slots, food offerings are at their finest, service is great, and it is just so convenient... after being to Las Vegas, and getting lost in the shuffle, I have found Reno so welcoming, and so friendly. Come see for yourself.