Reno Harrahs Casino Review
An alternate downtown Reno casino option to the big three (El Dorado, Silver Legacy, and Circus-Circus), Harrah’s is located immediately adjacent to the now-infamous Reno sign. When entering the western tower, there is a Vegas-like arcade (the arch-covered walkway, not the one with Pac-Man) leading up to the entrance. The property consists of two towers, both with hotel rooms above the casino floors.
Harrah’s is a big name in the gaming industry. They’ve got locations in Reno, Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Atlantic City, and half a dozen other places across the U.S. So, the question has to be asked: Is this particular Harrah’s up to snuff? The answer comes in two parts.
The first involves the property itself. The restaurants are really what make Harrah’s Reno stand out. Ichiban’s is an excellent place to go for sushi or teppenyaki – where a chef performs crazy acrobatics involving knives and fire, all while cooking your food. I recommend reservations for the teppenyaki, as this is a popular thing. I’ve also eaten at the buffet, and I can honestly say that it is one of the best I’ve been to. The selection was amazing, and almost everything was fairly fresh, which was quite impressive for a buffet its size. It’s also worth mentioning that they have a small venue which hosts ongoing shows, much like the El Dorado.
The casino floor is pretty standard – craps, roulette, blackjack, a section for penny slots, and most of the usual poker variations. They did have baccarat, which is worth mentioning only because about 1-in-3 Reno casinos appear to have it. The real thing worth noting about the casino is Zone 21. Originally intended for football game nights (American football, folks, sorry to disappoint), Zone 21 dominates the casino in the east tower. Essentially, this is meant to be a party area during weekends and major sporting events, the heart of which is a small raised stage, surrounded by blackjack tables. On the stage, of course, are scantily clad women dancing, much like a strip club, but with less skin. But that’s not all Zone 21 has to offer! There are also “official” beer pong tables, where they occasionally hold tournaments, pool tables, and an actual, working bowling lane – if you walk around the side, you can see the working parts of the bowling equipment, which is actually quite fascinating.
So, if you’re not a partier or a bachelor, there’s not much to make Harrah’s special. But. If you’re a traveler, and you are already a member of Harrah’s player’s club, there are loads of incentives to stay – namely… well, the incentives. I speak from experience, here. A family friend came to visit, got a room for six nights, ate at the buffet and several other restaurants, received a massage and facial for herself and her friend, and spent absolutely nothing on any of this. And, to my knowledge, she didn’t even gamble during her stay! While there were no real promotions for the player’s club that I could see, I can say for sure that Harrah’s handsomely rewards its loyal players. All I can say is that you should take a look at their website and check the locations – if you regularly travel to any of those places, sign up, drop a few bucks here and there, and let them dote on you forever after.
What it all comes down to is that if you’re already a member – go for it. If you’re a university student, or someone who never grew out of their college phase – go for it. If you’re just looking for a nice vacation or a place to really get down and do some serious gambling – look elsewhere. There are plenty of other properties in Reno that will suit your needs much better.
Written by Kenny Stoneman in March, 2014.