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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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The Return of Star Brooks

25 December 2005

Wow, it's been over a year since I have said anything... It's hard to believe! But I have had disaster on top of disaster, blown up two more computers, had a couple of viruses, had internet connection problems, been hospitalized once in ICU with extremely high blood pressure, taken a nasty fall, had more blood pressure problems, lost a grandchild to the "system" under false pretenses and lost every bit of income plus blown up my ability to borrow, broken my glasses and you name it… I've probably experienced it… but I'm not ready to say "die" or "quit." I'm still breathing, still thinking, still trying to write and trying to keep my promises to keep providing Reno gambling information in the "from the gamblers' eyes" format on the www.RenoGamingGuide.com. I've looked for miracles and found few, but the last one was really good… my friend John Muller and my web hosts ( www.ActionWeb.com ) paid my hosting bill… how terrific is that? I get to talk a little longer! (Anyone wanting a web site built please contact me… John Muller builds some terrific pages!)

The end of the year is approaching on greased skids… and so are the celebrations planned for Reno. As usual, one of my favorite bands will be ushering in 2006 at Boomtown Reno… The Lelands… if you haven't had the pleasure of hearing them, do make it a point to hear them… I seem to be drawn to the Can-Can Theater every time the Lelands come to town. They will be there December 27th to January 1st and January 3rd to January 8th for your listening pleasure. Go look for them! And if you are near Boomtown Reno on New Year's Eve, stop by for some special end-of-the-year dining delights… The gambling is great, the blackjack is good old-fashioned regular blackjack with no chopped pay or other stuff… you will be happy to play at Boomtown. And if your mode of transportation is by RV… don't forget the Boomtown RV Park, the friendly staff will be happy to accommodate your needs! (They even have wi-fi provided by Coach Connect and it is very reasonable.)

For those wishing for fireworks into their New Year, those will be provided in Downtown Reno by the Eldorado, Circus Circus, Silver Legacy and Harrah's Reno at midnight along with the usual crowd of revelers. It's always fun, everyone always has dining and drink specials… it's a good time for all!

Other news from Reno…. WE ARE GROWING! The Reno Hilton is changing into an indoor waterpark, with a casino, with this and that, ah heck, there is so much to say about that… you can just go to www.GrandSierraResort.com and get wowed! I was just over there (free room and food, can't blame me for going for the FREE part) and Harrah's is overseeing things at present. The buffet was superb where it had been lousy in the past and the room was great… anything bigger than my little Winnie is great! Anyway, there will be massive changes.

The biggest change to me will be the building of a Cabela's at Boomtown Reno. The sporting mega-store will have a wild-game deli, and all the trimmings, check out www.Cabelas.com to see what they will bring to Boomtown! I'm excited… there will be so much going on in the Verdi area, new houses, new stores… Cabela's… and Boomtown will be remodeling and going through some changes that will completely add an element of excitement never seen before. It's worth hanging in there for! I'll be saying a whole lot more about that!

The Peppermill Reno is undergoing a $230 million expansion, including a new 600 room, all-suite, 17-story tower addition, a parking garage, more casino space and convention center space. Things are underway, and the old motel that was adjacent to the new "Oceano" restaurant and casino addition has been demolished. It's going to be very interesting…

On top of all of the above, Station Casinos has purchased acreage on the Mt. Rose Hwy. and South Virginia at the South end of Reno and wants to try to build something along the lines of Green Valley Ranch, as well as another location they are working on developing across the road from the Reno/Sparks Convention Center, just South of the Atlantis.

It's kind of neat being in the center of so much going on! The downtown area of Reno is being redefined to become more pedestrian friendly, plans to narrow Virginia Street are being laid, closed casino/hotels are turning into condominiums as Reno seeks to bring new life and lifestyles to its downtown. If I have my figures right, there are eight condominium projects going on at present, including the Golden Phoenix that recently closed its doors as a casino. They still have a small casino that used to be linked to the Phoenix by skyway on Virginia Street.

I think what I'm trying to say is that Reno deserves another chance or at least another look before making any decisions. It is in the process of transformation. The gambling is still good, the people are still friendly, places we all love like the Nugget downtown and its Awful-Awful Burger are still there… and the best "graveyard" special is still at the Gold Dust West… where else are you going to get a delicious large chicken-fried steak and eggs and hash browns and toast for only $3.99 after 11 pm Sunday-Thursday? Yeah, all the good stuff that survived is well worth re-visiting… so whatcha waiting for?