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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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Cool Fall in Reno

25 October 2002

The oaks are turning the reds and oranges of fall, mixing with the yellows, oranges, and reds of the aspens that are already decorating the hillsides... it looks and feels like fall. It's been great for getting outside and enjoying the days.

Last week found me putting my old "Gambling Gripes" section back into the mix. It happened so innocently... so quickly.... I'd run into a complaint, and a tale of a nightmare visit.... and it dawned on me that I knew someone that really would care inside that corporation.... so I did what needed to be done... put the corporation together with the complainant..... and bim, bang, boom... the matter was resolved. I knew I had to bring the Gambling Gripes back. So if you have a gripe, and think that it should be resolved, but don't have a clue on where to start.... look no further.... there's an easy form on the www.RenoGamingGuide.com. I don't care if the casino is on the East Coast, the West Coast, or any point in between.... your gripe will get attention. By the way.... it's free.

I've been wandering around town, looking at slots galore, trying a few on the way.... enjoying bonus rounds (when I get them....) And a few have left me wondering what the bonus was..... like "Risque Business" which eluded me entirely.... leaving me wondering if it had any redeemable points.... or if it was just not my day? "Elvira" appeared to have her vampire tendencies with my money, and I never found that bonus either... So much for my bad luck!

On the other side of the luck.... however.... I had really great luck finding a weekly special that gets the digestive juices flowing without drowning the bankroll.... my wanderings and my appetite led me to Gold Ranch Casino and RV Resort in Verdi, which is just west of Reno... on a Thursday evening. It turns out that they feature Mexican specials every Thursday, and I found myself facing the largest platter of food.... scrumptious chicken tamales smothered in chicken, full of chicken.... yummmmm. After a dinner like that, I needed to hang out and try my luck a little.... and the casino there offers a great mix of slots to try. I settled for an old favorite... the IGT Game King nickel keno.... and was blessed by getting a couple of my four spots. It didn't amount to a bank deposit of a win... but it did pay enough to leave me smiling. The staff at Gold Ranch is always so friendly and nice... it's a nice place to go and just hang out. They've left the fun in the word "fun." For those traveling in an RV.... Gold Ranch has a great park with full amenities including phone jacks at every site. Gold Ranch is at Exit 2 on Interstate 80 east or west.

On down the road, just a couple of exits... is a place I have a long history with. Involuntarily, but history nonetheless. Boomtown Reno is still one of my favorite places to visit and play a little. A large number of years ago it seemed that I was destined to visit Boomtown... a fact supported by the fact that my cars would somehow break down somewhere on or near Donner Pass on I-80 west of Reno.... and I would ultimately find myself staying at Boomtown waiting on repairs. I always liked my stays at Boomtown.... just wished they would have been more voluntary in nature.... It used to be a small truck stop casino... but it's grown, and grown, and grown over the years. Pinnacle Entertainment owns it, and it is now a very large, and very popular casino. They have the truck stop, with a restaurant with plates fit for a trucker's appetite... and then they have the casino, and the poker room, and the sports book and the race book, and all those slots and table games and more great restaurants to choose from... and don't forget to check out that huge arcade with the indoor miniature golf, the antique carousel, the motion theater... there's something for all ages at Boomtown... it's an interesting place to roam, to stay, to eat, or to play. If you don't make it to the gift shop, then you'll be missing out. They have always had quality items in the gift shop.... it's been a must-visit for as long as I can remember. This is a place you definitely can bring the whole family to, and everybody will have a great time. Room rates are reasonable. They also have an RV Resort. Boomtown is at exit 4, Garson Road, of I-80 east or west.

Next week I'm headed back up to Virginia Street to continue roaming the casinos of Reno. It's great roaming around, watching all the changes taking place in Reno, watching to see what new slots appear, what new tournaments are upcoming.... seeing people winning jackpots.... it's everything gambling is supposed to be.... and it's right here in Reno. The other place .....nestled in the scenic shadows of the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains.... it doesn't get nicer than this!