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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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Reno Heats Up with Hot August Nights

14 August 2003

I pulled into the Boomtown Hotel and Casino Reno's RV Park on Wednesday morning. The place was already buzzing with RVs and classic cars... quite a mix. The bluff above the park was also a sea of RVs "dry camping" for the Hot August Nights event. It is always such a positive experience when I come to stay at Boomtown. I set up on the bluff above the Truckee River, with the Boomtown casino looming above me on the other side. It is relaxing to me... across the river and off in the distance is a railroad bridge, and train tracks going two directions. It is scenic beyond words. Boomtown had some classic cars on display in their west parking lot, so I went up and wandered and drooled at the beauty of the cars...taking lots of photos with the 35mm camera... and wandered on into the casino. I like the selection of games and the atmosphere of their casino. There's a good selection of table games and slots for everyone. From all the popular penny games to the elegant new High Limits Salon... It's convenient, with the ticketed slots. I'm not tied to one slot, and can move around without waiting for hand pays or hopper fills. I passed the poker room, and it was full. Seems like it always is busy when I go. Feeling fully recharged, and regaining more use of my broken wing with each day, I relaxed and played. While it wasn't my lucky day to have any big wins, I still walked with a little more than I came in with. The only thing I haven't done is go over to their Drover's Truck Stop and get another one of those one pound country-fried steak deals... it goes on 24 hours a day... just comforting to know if I want something great even at 3 or 4 in the morning I can have it! And last night, in the full of the moon, I sat and watched a very long train go by on its way to Reno, with the cars reflecting silver in the moonlight, and the casino all lit up above me, it seemed perfect. Nature added the finishing touch with a shooting star streaking above Boomtown. What a perfect end to a great day!

Wowee, has this past week been busy for Reno. Last figures that I heard were that 450,000 people came to Reno for Hot August Nights, and 90% were tourists. Every hotel, motel, RV Park, and campground was full and not just in Reno, the no vacancy signs were evident in Carson City, Gardnerville and Lake Tahoe, as people packed in for a weekend of total fun. I passed the classic car cruise just lining up to parade down South Virginia Street on Friday night, and it was awesome to see the number of people in town. I also passed the Reno Hilton on Saturday night, and was absolutely blown away seeing every inch of their parking taken, and a massive sea of people and classic cars in the parking lot. The Atlantis was also host to another sea of people and classic cars. You could not go one block anywhere near Reno or Sparks without getting to see a classic car or cars, they were everywhere! On Saturday I wandered over to Duke's Casino in Sparks, and they were doing a great restaurant and bar business even on a Saturday morning. It felt good to stop and play some games and have a cup of that great coffee they serve to their gamblers... no brown water here... just good ol' Starbucks. I hope more people find their way to Duke's... it's great to be able to be so relaxed and have such a choice of games. They have loads of IGT Game Kings in the multi-denominations with multiple game choices. Lots of video poker and video keno choices... and that coffee.

I'm still playing tic tac toe against the chicken at Gold Dust West. Still haven't beaten the bird either. But while I'm there I stop and play some of the new games coming in. I even got a penny royal flush there! I was messing around on a multi-denomination Game King playing Dueces Wild and was trying to "get rid of" the last of my credits which happened to be a whopping dime... and got four to the royal in clubs and drew the queen of clubs for the royal. All things considered, I was happy with $80. Because it was on the penny mode every nickel was worth 4000 pennies for the royal, so I got 8000 pennies... if I had short-coined a nickel version of the same game by playing only two nickels of the 5 nickel increments, I would have only received $25. It's good to look pay tables over before playing anything. I think I would have had only myself to kick if I hadn't done that before playing. They also have new games like Mr. Cashman, Jackpot Stampede, Cops n' Donuts, Turkey Shoot, Wild Bear, Beetle Bailey, Little Green Men Jr., Spam, and more. All are fun and have unique bonus rounds that happen rather frequently. And knowing how they are at the Gold Dust West, there will be even more new slots coming in. There always are.

Coming back to the Eldorado... the ever-popular "Spirit of the Dance" August 27-November 30... which is back by demand... Call 800-648-5966 for tickets.

If you have been to Reno recently and would like to tell others about your trip, I have just the place for you... the message board at the Reno Gaming Guide where you can post your trip reports and read what others have had to say about their visit to Reno. Recently someone from the Bay area had posted the outcome of two recent trips to Reno... one to the Bucks n' Benz party at the Eldorado and the other to the Silver Legacy and both will give you a great idea of how much fun the special promotions are. So post away!

I guess that's it for this week. This is the first day I have been able to plop the right hand on top of the keyboard without wincing and giving up. It feels good to be on the comeback. Maybe the worm has at last turned.