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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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On the Road from Reno

5 April 2002

In the quest to reach that point where there is enough income to continue, I found that I had a need to be closer to Reno for a while... so last Tuesday, I packed up the motor home, and headed to a place just outside of Reno...in Verdi.... there is a super new RV park at the Gold Ranch Casino... right on the California/Nevada border off of Interstate-80... only about a year old for the RV part, but man, have they done things right. Tucked into a neat little valley at the base of the mountains, it has pine trees, and is a really scenic spot to park. The bathrooms are private, and the real plus for me, is that every single space has a phone jack... no hidden charges, no connection fees... I can work in the RV... no more midnight hikes to a laundry room... and the price is extremely reasonable.

Also, Gold Ranch is a small, but friendly casino. It used to be a truck stop by the name of The Prospector about 20 years ago, but man, oh, man oh man.. Have things changed! Now home to a comfortable restaurant, and what appears to be less than 300 slots... it is a cozy place to go play all the favorite games. And the play is good. Nothing worse than stopping somewhere and finding the slots tighter than a cat's ....well... you know what I'm trying to say.... that won't happen here... and it is comforting to know.

Side trips since arriving in Reno have been through Sparks, another spot just outside Reno, where I visited places like The Silver Club and Western Village.... Both smaller, but real comfortable casinos... and both had some new slots... and both were paying off lots of money.... and I also went to Rail City... also in Sparks... which also was bustling with pay-out activity.... It appeared to be the gambler's day in paradise in Sparks!

Also included on the visited list are The Peppermill in Reno.... a large and colorful casino noted to win most of the "Best of" categories in local competitions and votes.... it is as large and colorful, if not more so, than I remembered... and I noted that there were many games on the casino floors in both Reno and Sparks that haven't appeared yet (at least that I am aware of...) in Tahoe... nickel games with colorful pictures, video games with animated bonuses.... what was sad was that so many required 15-20 pay lines of play to get a "good shot" at winning something memorable... And to make matters worse... while some were downright childish in nature, they all admittedly looked like they would be bundles of fun to play.

Back out to Verdi.... there is another casino in the neighborhood... also along I-80.... and now the only real truck stop.... and that is Boomtown..... If you haven't been to Boomtown before, you gotta go... it too used to be a little bitty truck stop/casino.... but it has grown, and grown, and grown.... built on a western theme, owned by Pinnacle Entertainment, it also boasts multiple restaurants and rooms, the truck stop and the trucker's café, as well as an immense RV park.... and it is full of slots all beckoning people to try their luck.... and people were winning there too....

This might not be too bad of a place to hang out... and develop the web pages.... it certainly has everything I need.... so if I appear to be leaning towards Verdi and Reno for a bit, please bear with me... it is a welcome place to visit after the hectic pace of Las Vegas recently etched into my mind... In Vegas I sort of felt like a part of some sort of tourist herd.... migrating in large groups from one sight to another, aware that time would not allow me to gamble like a normal person and get things done at the same time.... maybe I felt just too small in a place too big... I just know that Reno is comfortable... real comfortable. And I plan on touring every casino at least once while I am here.