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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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Thunder Valley Opens

8 June 2003

The official opening date of the Station Casinos and Auburn Rancheria's new Tribal casino, Thunder Valley, near Auburn, California is June 9, but rumor has it that they have been quietly operating already for several days. Word came last Friday that those Californians possessing "Boarding Passes" (from the Station Casinos Player's Club) had received new Boarding Passes good for Thunder Valley in their mailboxes, so how many do you suppose they sent out? Let me know if you have the answer!

Meanwhile, with the warm weather and all the fun going on in the Reno area, the RVs have been descending into the Reno area. Observations show that most of the RV parks appear to be pretty full on weekends and pretty well booked ahead for the holidays... so be sure that if you are putting the pedal to the metal and heading this way that you call ahead to see if you need reservations. I was just down at the Boomtown RV Park for a couple of the most relaxing days... I sat on a picnic bench and watched the trains passing, and wandered over to the bluff to look down at the Truckee River, and was wowed by the scenery... and the staff out there are just a great group of people. They are a busy place on weekends, but it is so scenic, it is hard to stay away!

Speaking of Boomtown Hotel and Casino... They had some new slots by Konami just inside the front doors, and I was happy to see that one of them is "Mariachi Madness" which is a kick to play! It's a ten-line multi-denomination game that has some amusing bonuses and it pays quite a bit on the bonuses if you make it to the final stage. Ah heck, just check it out... I think it is entertaining and profitable... my kind of machine!

By the time this hits, we'll know if Funny Cide can do what he's done twice for a third time, and if he does, it will be the a great day in horse-racing history... if Funny Cide can take the Triple Crown he will be the first to do so since Affirmed did it in 1978. I think I will wander over to the Reno Hilton to watch the Belmont Stakes on the big screens, and see if that "Four Aces" diner is set up making those $2 sausage sandwiches. I bet they just might be, and they sure have a great Race Book to watch a race in. Of course, there are plenty more, but unfortunately I can only be in one at post time.

Happy 12th Anniversary to the Atlantis Casino Resort where they are throwing their $170,000 12th Anniversary Party! Cash, Food & Fun... don't forget their $10,000 All cash drawings on Sundays... drawings at 1, 4, and 7 p.m... and getting drawing tickets is easy... It runs through July 13, and there are all kinds of dining specials, and free cake and champagne Monday-Thursday from 5-6:30 p.m. So if you like parties, check it out!

Don't miss the 8th Annual Great Eldorado BBQ, Brews and Blues Festival. This year's festival, known as one of the best in the west, will feature great food, cool brews and smokin' blues free on two stages, on Saturday, June 28 and Sunday, June 29. The festival will be held outside in front of Reno's Eldorado on Virginia Street and on the special events plaza on Fourth Street. Dance the weekend away with rock and blues favorites from John Lee Hooker, Jr., Elvin Bishop, Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers, the Shane Dwight Blues Band, Marshall Tucker and the Tommy Castro Band. It will be summer's hottest event –- the 8th Annual Great Eldorado BBQ, Brews and Blues Festival, June 28 and 29 in downtown Reno. For room reservations, show tickets or more information, call 1-800-648-5966. In Nevada, please call 775-786-5700.

Don't forget, the Reno Rodeo is coming to town from June 21-29, and if you like to see something worth going to, with memories made to take home and share, there is a great link to the Rodeo information on the Downtown Reno website. It's worth looking at, and you can see all the different things that go on... as well as being able to check out all kinds of upcoming entertainment... sponsored by four downtown casinos, Harrah's Reno, Silver Legacy, Eldorado and Circus Circus. See for yourself!

There's so much going on, and so much about to happen... Maybe a trip to Vegas could become a trip to Reno? There's so much history to the area, so much to see, to do, to eat, to play, and play, and play! Maybe you will come to see the classic cars of "Hot August Nights" or to eat some of the delightful outdoor food fests, and maybe you'll come to see things like Virginia City, or the Ponderosa Ranch up in Incline Village, or to cool down in that beautiful cold blue lake they call Lake Tahoe... and maybe you'll just come to what is familiar and fun... but what's important is that you come to Reno. It's growing, it's glowing, and it is just a lot of fun. And maybe we'll bump into each other in the casinos!