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Will 2008 Be The Year Reno Makes A Comeback?

By Chuckmonster on Wednesday, 9th January 2008 10:07am
  » filed under Reno, Tahoe & Sparks  comments: 1


The Reno Gazette Journal has posted an article in which they discuss the outlook of Reno's casino and tourism business for 2008 and beyond. As all RenoTrippers know, the greater Reno/Lake Tahoe/Sparks casino situation has slowly gone from a hip outdoorsy and rustic variation on Downtown Vegas to... uh... well... the opposite of that... which is... Fremont East?

With numerous casinos closing, converting their hotels to condos, or not being invested in by their owners, folks just aren't heading to Reno the way they did twenty years ago. Due to its lack of competitive amenities and the rapid growth of gaming centers in Biloxi, Tunica and Northern California tribal casinos, Reno has lost its once prestigious position in the U.S. triumvirate of gaming destinations alongside Atlantic City and Las Vegas. The question remains : is Reno worth investing in, and would gamblers like us be willing to give it another shot.

Reno's future, according to Bill Eadington, Director of the gaming biz program and University of Reno had this to say:

[2008 will be a year of] preventing bad results.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Reno's gaming prospects. I've been to Reno twice in the past couple of years and found it to be a pretty decent low-cost alternative to Las Vegas. With Vegas' prices ballooning out of control in the last few years the options of the low to mid-tier gambler are starting to get a little thin... basically you're at the north end of the Strip, Downtown or out in the boonies.

Reno's big selling point in our eyes is that it is inexpensive... you can get great great GREAT rooms at Eldorado for about a hundred bucks or so on weekends. Lake Tahoe's slightly higher class casinos, top tier restaurants, skiing, boating and hiking are a gorgeous forty minute drive away from Reno. If you bundle all of this together, the entire Reno/Tahoe package is possibly one of the best kept secrets of casino destination travel.

I'm curious what it would take to get you go to on a Reno/Tahoe trip?Most Vegas trippers probably wouldn't care less that there's a new casino opening in Sparks, or that Stations is going to open two Reno casinos in the next four years. Would it matter to you that Peppermill - one of the freakiest casino joints i've ever laid my eyes on - has opened a new tower? Does the news that the JA Nugget is doing a complete refurb to their rooms make any difference?

What type of investment/new property/offerings it would take to get Reno to blow up on the national gaming scene again? What would it take to get you to go to Reno/Lake Tahoe?



Comments & Discussion:

What really helped built Las Vegas in the 1970's and 80's was the vast number of conventions that were held in the town. The growing convention center brought in thousands of people who would not have normally come to Las Vegas.

If Reno wants to grow and boom again, it needs to built a world class convention center and start to attract some major conventions. Then the people will come to town, maybe like it and return. They can start by trying to court the CES show away from Vegas. The CES show promoters have let it be know that they don't like having their attendees gouged by the Vegas hotels and restaurants. Here is an opening for Reno to work with.

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