Fun & Gaming

Editors’ choice

Illustration By John Craig

Most interesting roadside attraction

Peppermill Hotel-Casino’s sign
2707 S. Virginia St.

You needn’t even set foot inside the Peppermill to marvel at its craziest attraction. Be careful when cruising down South Virginia Street. If you’re not paying attention, you might look up to see the garish, tawdry display of iridescence and wonder how you ended up at a carnival. Then, once you’ve put a couple blocks distance between yourself and the sign, you can look back and see blinding white lights flashing in your rearview mirror. As if the Peppermill’s sign weren’t enough, there’s the video screen as well. If you’re caught in Saturday night traffic, you can almost pretend you’re at a drive-in. The movie’s about slot machines, cocktail waitresses, buffets and cash.

Best place to take a date

Eldorado Hotel-Casino
345 N. Virginia St.

The Eldorado insists on adding nightspot after nightspot to lure the 20-something crowd. Now, not only can you have a great martini at Bistro Roxy and then head over to Brew Brothers for a microbrew and a live band, you can dance the night away at BuBinga. This sort of variety comes in handy on first dates, especially when you’re not yet sure if you and your date will want to have a deep conversation on the comfy Bistro couches—or avoid conversation at the more lively Brew Brothers or BuBinga.

Best locals’ casino

John Ascuaga’s Nugget
1100 Nugget Ave., Sparks

For locals, downtown Sparks can seem infinitely homier than downtown Reno. In keeping with the quaint atmosphere of Sparks’ Victorian Square, the Nugget provides a friendly and laid-back place to gamble, eat or drink. If you want to escape the hubbub of downtown Reno on a Saturday night, the Nugget has fairly convenient parking, a variety of restaurants (from the Rotisserie buffer to the Restaurante Orozko, with its Basque ambiance) and the tropical-themed Trader Dick’s. The Nugget also offers some pretty sweet deals geared, in part, toward locals. Purchase a "Stepping Out Package" for a mere $20, and you get both a meal and a show in the Celebrity Showroom. There’s also John’s Club for gamblers; spend lots of dough and earn comps.