Reno Grand Sierra Resort Casino Review
Located smack in the middle of the valley, the Grand Sierra Resort is one of the few Reno properties that is worthy of the “resort” in its name. To be frank: this place is huge. It’s quite possibly the single best landmark in the whole city – you can see it from anywhere. Even better, it marks the place that the 395 and the 80 (the two main freeways) meet, so it’s a useful navigational tool. There are no other large buildings near it, and it’s entirely surrounded by parking lot, making it rather unique for a Reno property.
The GSR is all about the extras; it’s definitely meant for families. And conventions. And couples looking for a nice restaurant. And concert-goers. And gamblers. Okay, so it’s basically for everyone. But that’s not a bad thing. There really is something for everyone: a particularly nice concert venue, with almost no bad seats; a bowling alley; a giant convention hall; a large arcade, complete with lazer-tag; a wedding chapel; a full-service spa; even an entire area called “restaurant row.” Basically, the main floor consists of the casino, restaurants, and auditorium, while almost everything else mentioned is on the bottom floor, in addition to a bunch of little shops. Oh, and a movie theatre. And there are go-karts and a driving range outside. I did say this place is huge, right?
But on to the casino, itself. It’s much smaller than those at the Peppermill or Atlantis, but otherwise holds its own among Reno casinos. The décor is that middle-ground between modern and aging, and the facility is obviously well-kept. There’s an incredibly snazzy VIP lounge that’s slightly raised above the casino floor and really makes you feel like a high-roller, regardless of your wallet-size.
All of the standard games are available – roulette, craps, blackjack (there’s even a special-looking tournament area), Pai Gow, Hold ‘Em, etc. There’s nothing terribly special about their selection, but I will say that the size of the table area is rivaled only by the Peppermill. Also, almost every time I’ve been on the casino floor, they’ve been having some sort of giveaway or promotion actively going. Generally, there will be a man on a microphone standing in the middle of everything and calling out names of random winners, or (my personal favorite) letting people pick one of four briefcases, one of which had $2,500 in it. I know that a lot of casinos do this kind of thing, but it’s worth mentioning that this is the only Reno casino I’ve ever seen doing it.
I really don’t have anything bad to say about the Grand Sierra Resort, other than the fact that the parking lot is complete rubbish – it’s confusing to drive around, rather dumpy, and it’s often difficult to find the proper building entrance. Despite this, I give my wholehearted recommendation to the GSR for absolutely anyone, be they hardcore gamblers or families with two and a half kids looking for something a little different. There’s simply so much to do that you can’t go wrong.
Written by Kenny Stoneman in March, 2014.