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Murky Future for Reno Casinos

By Chuckmonster on Friday, 10th August 2007 8:33pm
  » filed under Reno, Tahoe & Sparks  comments: 2


The United States casino industry has grown from a $10B industry in 1982 to an $85B industry in 2006. While gaming has exploded on tribal reservations, riverboats and commercial casinos throughout the U.S., Reno's chunk of the pie has been steadily declining since 2000.

Why is it that the once fertile downtown Reno has dried up while global gaming is exploding? Some analysts point at the growth of tribal casinos in Sacramento area, particularly Thunder Valley Resort Casino north east of Sacramento, as the cause of Reno's decline. While Thunder Valley has surely siphoned off some of the traffic from northern California, it can't be solely to blame for Reno's decline - Lake Tahoe has actually seen an increase in gaming revenue in the last few years.

A more plausible reason for the slow decline of Reno is that downtown Reno itself isn't a particularly pleasant or 'wonderfilled' place to visit. Vegas is chock to the gills of glitz, glamour, shows, dining, clubs and all the gambling you can eat. Laughlin, Nevada has a ton of gambling, water fun on river and is geared towards the budget conscious gambler, Lake Tahoe has a lot of glitz, some glamor, dining, exciting live music, great outdoor activities and a ton of gambling. Reno has... well... gambling. Dining options in Reno are relatively standard, shows aren't particularly exciting (with one exception being the concert series at the Silver Legacy, night clubs are mostly non-existent and the physical vibes of the downtown area away from the Eldorado/Silver Legacy/Circus Circus corridor is quite seedy and a bit dangerous.

So rather than put the blame on industrious tribal casinos who are offering great casino resort product, Reno's casinos should re-assess their own offerings and provide a better product that Northern Californian's wouldn't think twice about passing up. The old movie quote "if you build it they will come" does not apply if a better "it" can be found closer to home. The key is to make your "it" be unlike any other "it" in the world.



Comments & Discussion:

I was (un)lucky enough to spend a few days in reno 2 weeks ago. Over all the downtown area was wholly unimpressive. 3 to 4 crack heads for every 1 tourist. The array of casinos is less then impressive too, especially outside the big three. I am not sure why people even make this a destination. I do still love the Nugget in sparks. I stayed at the peppermill, it was far enough away from downtown to keep most of the transients out. I was born in Reno, and spent a lot of my youth there, it is unfortunate to see the lack of refinement in the city. It seems to go through a refreshing downtown every 10 years. Infrastructure is nice, but the riff raff is all still there. If they want tourists they gotta clean up the streets! Fremont street is way more inviting then downtown reno any day.

I am writing to give a positive review to the Reno. It is what it is. I have a 2nd home in Las Vegas and still enjoy the Reno experience occasionally. It has several things going for it. A condensed downtown where you can easily jump casinos even in the dead of winter without freezing. Low stakes gambling. Inexpensive drinks. Personalized service in old school casino style (Club Cal Neva, Siena, Sands readily come to mind). FInding any of these things in Las Vegas is increasingly becoming a rarity. It is not about the glitz and action as much as a more relaxed place to enjoy Nevada style entertainment. Try it for what it is , not what it is not. I tell all my NorCal friends that it is not that much further to support No. Nevada gaming rather than feed the CA indian tribes just for the sake of convenience. The history of gaming in Nevada is all here and to see even further reduced would truly be tragic.

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