News 6-10-08 Poll Question

How would you feel about a large non-gaming hotel downtown?

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Posted by: Bugsy - 6/10/2008 10:21:26 AM
Mike, do your relatives hate those particular downtown casinos or casinos in general. I know the only 3 casinos I would stay or refer relatives to stay at in downtown are Silver legacy, El dorado and The Sienna. The rest are dumps and in need of upgrading. Im sure if a mini Bellagio type casino that was clean, modern with the slot machines on mute and a central air unit that pushes the cigarette smoke out and not so much flashing lights would be nice for people who don't like the casino atmosphere to come to eat or enjoy the shows. You cant expect a corporation to invest millions on a high rise hotel and not have a casino in it. especially when its competitors have casinos. Most tourist come to reno for the gaming. This city was found on gaming and will continue benifit from the revenues.

Posted by: Crystal - 6/10/2008 10:48:31 AM
I think Mike has a point. But I believe there is a compromise. I like the Siena because you can access their restaurants directly from the outside without having to walk through the casino (note to Siena, bring more fresh air into your casino, its a bit stale, but I love your decor). I think if the Circus Circus or Cal Neva or other dumpy casinos were remodeled, and put direct access to their restaurants on the perimeter of the street, so you can get to them without having to walk through a smelly noisy casino, it would make a world of differece. I walk in a casino, and I get lost trying to find the restaurants.

Posted by: Kelly S - 6/10/2008 11:16:16 AM
I follow you, Mike, you are thinking along the lines of Westin Bonaventure in L.A., or the Hotel Allegro in Chicago, or the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. Love those places. I feel families would be more encouraged to stay at a non casino hotel such as one of these, and if Reno Tahoe is making a transition over to America's Adventure Place, you are going to need to attract more families. It's an untapped market. Kids like to ski, snowboard, hike, play in nature too!

Posted by: Steve Garman - 6/10/2008 11:30:07 AM
To answer the question....As I live here, for me, I don't care. On the occasions my friends come to Reno and need lodging, I don't hear them complain that they're staying in a hotel/casino. They've stayed at the Silver Legacy and the Atlantis. If we locals were to hear that our friends wren't coming to town because they were having to stay at a hotel/casino, then we would have something to talk about. If those restaurants in those properties are so good and affordable, we'll go; if not, we'll stay away. And every business person I have ever known to come into town with the companies I have worked? They love the casinos! They can't wait to get here. We've got a bunch of pleasant small "Inns" popping up in the valley for those that want to avoid the downtown casino atmosphere. They can enjoy the local non-casino restaurant options.

Posted by: New2Reno - 6/10/2008 12:00:32 PM
For my wife and I and those that visit us, there is only one reason why we do not enter casinos. That is due to the cigarette smoke. Sure the restaurants are non-smoking, but you have to walk through the casino to get to them and once in the restaurant you are still exposed to recycled second hand smoke through the air conditioning system. Until such time that the casinos catch up with rest of the restaurants and office buildings in NV (and most other parts of the US), the casino restaurants will not be getting our dollars.

Posted by: Rory - 6/10/2008 2:00:03 PM
Sounds like your relatives have something up their rears. Smug, arrogant, and full of it! Let me guess, Californians?

Posted by: wiley_n_Reno - 6/10/2008 3:03:09 PM
hey Rory guess where most of Reno's visitors come from? no need for any attitude. I can't speak from first-hand experience but I've been told Harrah's Steakhouse is best place to dine downtown, cost being no object. Visitors to our company from out-of-town offices stay at the GSR or Atlantis. They love it. Seeing all the dirt being pushed around at the ballpark site makes me feel good.

Posted by: Revi - 6/10/2008 3:22:09 PM
Rory that was mean. Dont insult the dude. A good majority of Californians have no problems with casinos. Or else we wouldnt consider all those Indian Casinos going in in California as a threat, and you wouldnt see throngs of Los Angelians escaping to Vegas for the weekend like they do. Some people dont like casinos. They dont like the smell, they dont like the noise, lack of windows, scantily dressed cocktail waitresses, and on and on. You know why I dont like casinos? They are depressing. I tend to eat at off hours (dinner around 9 or 10 p.m.), and when I walk through a casino on any weeknight whether its Siena, Circus Circus, Cal Neva, or Harrahs, I dont see hordes of people hapilly shaking coin cups laughing and having a good time like in the commercials; I see the people who are mindlessly staring into the slot machines with a disinterested, depressed look on their faces, slowly gambling portions of their paycheck away hoping to hit something good.

Posted by: GreekGeek1221 - 6/10/2008 3:31:54 PM
My company frowns upon letting us stay at non-gaming hotels.

Posted by: PupTent911 - 6/10/2008 3:35:33 PM
Have you seen what strolls out of a downtown casino at 7 to 8 in the morning? Why would I even want to be in the same sphere as that?

Posted by: Bugsy - 6/10/2008 6:39:55 PM
Rory, thats low and pathedic. you can disagree and express your opinions, but don't put down your host and his family.

Posted by: Mike Van H - 6/11/2008 6:46:45 AM
To answer your question, they aren't from Southern California and no, they aren't snotty or smug. So you are saying people who don't like casinos have something up their rears now? I am sure there are a lot of native-born Nevadans who dislike casinos just as much as the 'stereotypical Californian' you conjured up, of which, by the way, represent a large number of the tourists that come here to play in the casinos.

Posted by: Candy - 6/11/2008 7:16:10 AM
I grew up here and frankly I can't stand casinos. There is a world of difference between the Riverfront area and north beyond Second St. I avoid ugly, tacky, flashy, loud casinos at all costs.

Posted by: Diane - 6/11/2008 9:39:56 AM
This is a great discussion. Most mainstream media is afraid to touch this topic for fear their advertisers (casinos) would pull out. To answer the poll question, there are some casinos I avoid at all costs, and a couple I frequent now and then to entertain guests in town. The Silver Legacy (they have a cool ultralounge), the Siena (hidden within the Siena are some of the most lavishly beautifully decorated hotel rooms in town). The rest downtown have a cornucopia of problems everything from smelling bad, to faded out cigarette-stained decor in the casinos, to mediocre rooms, and lack of entertainment inside the hotel/casinos. I think this is what makes Grand Sierra Resort so fun. They really go out of their way to entertain me and keep me on the premisis...with a movie theater, bowling alley, shopping mall, Nikki Beach, several great clubs, Fun Quest and incredible recognizable restaurants, Go-Carts, thrill rides, and great room decor, it's a little island of entertainment. A lot of my out of town friends prefer to stay there. If the hotel casinos downtown added more activities besides gambling and drinking (and please don't mention the circus tent inside the Circus Circus as an activity, I'll puke) then more local people would be inclined to come downtown for a night on the town instead of heading over to Nikki Beach or AllCity.

Posted by: Bugsy - 6/11/2008 10:08:55 AM
well put Diane. you described the downtown casinos perfectly. I hope this kind of thoughts continue to surface untill the downtown casino operators finally raise up their hands and finally admit that they have a problem and to fix up their properties. Downtown has so much potential and I thank the city for doing their part in fixing up downtown. But its frustrating when the city is pumping in millions into the area and the casino owners are doing nothing. Like you Diane, the Siena is my favorite because of the modern/retro decore. I do like to see bigger casinos downtown with other types of entertaining. What comes to mind is a casino like ceasars palace in vegas which has a shopping mall with great retail stores inside. When I go to vegas, I could spend hours inside ceasars and without spending a dime gambling.

Posted by: Rory - 6/11/2008 11:18:22 AM
I confront arrogant and smug behavior wherever I see (read) it. Sorry if it offends*. * I'm not sorry.

Posted by: Rory - 6/11/2008 11:24:30 AM
One more comment then I'll let it go.... I just don't understand the logic that sez: I don't want to go to a great restaurant because it's housed in a casino. Are there not great restaurants in SF, NYC, Chicago etc. that are known to be in shady neighborhoods, or less than desirable locations? Of course! They are some of the best places to eat in my experiences. So why is it that casinos get such a bad rap and people just let the bias roll off their collective backs?

Posted by: Mike Van H - 6/11/2008 11:47:23 AM
I think its called preference Rory. Some people have their limits on what they want to do to get a good meal. Take greater downtown for example. Dave Aiazzi and I were having this discussion the other day. There are countless people who live in Reno, who havent ventured downtown in nearly a decade. Why? Because they think its still just as scary and devoid of restaurants/entertainment as it was 10 years ago. Some wouldnt think of going downtown, even to eat, no matter how critically acclaimed a restaurant may be. They either think there is no parking downtown (even though there are over 15,000 spaces), or they still have a vision of it being like it was 10 years ago. Obviously its not. So should someone be judged because they dont feel like dealing with a casino to go to a nice restaurant, when there are plenty of other nice restaurants downtown? (We ended up at Amendment 21). No. I grew up in in L.A., lived in NYC and New Orleans, and Reno is the smallest city I have lived in, so I am well aware of the urban practice of hitting up restaurants in not-so-hot neighborhoods; my friends and I used to hit up Compton for the best BBQ House I have ever been to, the Bronx (pre-redevelopment) had one of the best Italian restaurants stuffed in the basement of a building that looked like it belonged to the Projects. However, the majority of the population probably wouldnt go to that extreme for a meal. Thats an urban way of thinking, not surburban, IMO. So I hear what you are saying, but not everyone thinks that way.

Posted by: Rory - 6/11/2008 1:10:04 PM
Keep up the good work Mike!

Posted by: JennySmart - 6/11/2008 1:55:05 PM perhaps the writing is on the wall here. Reno needs to depend on something besides gaming downtown. The question in the poll is do we think a large non-gaming hotel would work downtown, and my answer is yes. If the rooms are better than the surrounding hotel casinos, and offers better entertainment options, better restaurants, and most of all, a higher level of service, of course people would stay there. And if it had something cool like the Bellagios bontanical garden, or the worlds-largest-whatever, locals like me who live out in suburban southwest would come down and check it out, maybe more than once. Casinos would be a short walk away if they choose that as an activity to do. A high class hotel is a high class hotel, casino or sans casino. And finally, there are many LUXURY NON GAMING HOTELS in Las Vegas located a block from the strip that do just fine, such as the Renaissance Las Vegas, or the St. Tropez, a Vegas resort geared toward families. A non gaming hotel tower in downtown Reno would be a nice compliment to the casinos. Would be horridly expensive to build from scratch, I like the comment above about using the Virginian. OR, even better use the former Riverboat Hotel since that drug store going there seems to be a thing of the past, their 4 or 5 story building would make the PERFECT boutique non gaming hotel downtown. Its the right size, in the right spot. Sorry, I am rambling.

Posted by: Cassandra Levinton - 6/11/2008 3:43:20 PM
I went to the grand opening of Nikki Beach at GSR. No casino night club I have been to downtown even compares.

Posted by: Brian - 6/11/2008 6:42:46 PM
Reno could have some success with a hotel has isolated areas for gaming. It really depends on the size of the development, its attraction, and its level of luxury. A resort in downtown really could be successful with a enclosed theme park, this would substitute the gaming aspect that our city is famous for inpart. It would also serve to bring a year round activity for families. This city sometime forgets it has long winters and, destinations such as the Legends project and the Summit Sierra are outdoor retailers freezing their clients. Reno's revenue is weaker in the winter. With todays architectural technology, Reno can design structures with large open indoor areas to house attractions. Reno has a chance to do something one of a kind, something different then Las Vegas or Atlantic city. I would like something massive,on a grand scale, and super tall. This project needs to be a beacon to to the world. The design must be the finest Man can offer.

Posted by: DodgeBall73 - 6/12/2008 1:09:29 PM
Reality alert reality alert! Ahem....did yall see the article in RGJ about the $60 million gaming decline? Let me get up on a pedestal for a second. It's high time Reno start marketing things other than gambling. This economy is down, it's not going to go up in the next 4 years at least, and we expect people to still come here and plunk money into a metal abyss of quarters that rarely returns anything but bleeps and blips? We need to focus on the Adventure Place theme.

Posted by: Slapdad - 6/13/2008 7:12:10 AM
I'm not sure what makes you say that the economy won't improve in the next four years when the average length of a recession since the Great Depression has been just 11 months, with the average time for expansion has been six years. The gaming industry is built for those six years and anticipates that it will need to weather a year of recession at times. Reno has focused nearly all of it's marketing efforts to advertise itself as the Adventure Capital, but gaming will always be a big draw for the region. What really needs to happen is that casinos need to charge a decent amount for their rooms instead of the $49 rates that you see at some properties. If you price yourself as cheap, you will be thought of as cheap.