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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

A Night in Reno at Harrah’s

My destination of choice when traveling to Nevada has always been Las Vegas. I’ve walked the Strip so many times that I can’t give an accurate count; I can give directions to the bathroom in most large casinos without even thinking twice. It’s rather pathetic, really. But, despite always choosing Las Vegas, Reno has held an intrigue for me. And so, when the opportunity came along to spend a night there, I seized it and booked a room at Harrah’s Hotel and Casino.
I instantly fell in love with Reno as I rounded a corner and set eyes on the city for the first time. It seemed more magical than Las Vegas with its small downtown sticking out from a mountain backdrop and bright blue sky. I felt welcomed in a way that the busier and, dare I say it, more Los Angeles-esque Las Vegas has never managed. And I had yet to park my car and even set foot inside my hotel.

I suppose that was a good thing, though, since I almost instanly changed my mind. Sure, I want to go back and explore Reno more and see the other hotels, but just not at Harrah’s again. The staff was incredibly friendly, I liked my room’s view, and the food was amazing at Harrah’s Steak House, but those things can only take you so far.
Harrah’s which sits in the middle of downtown Reno, is easy to find from Interstate 80. It was only a quick couple of turns and I was being greeted with a smile at the registration desk. And only a few more minutes after that, I was lounging in the casino, playing some of my favorite card games, and chatting it up with a drink in front of me. It was so much speedier and friendlier than anything I had previously experienced in Las Vegas. And then a rumbling began.

I bounced down some stairs and into the steak house, happy not to have to deal with the winding mazes of Las Vegas, and was greeted with a chorus of “pleases,” “thank you, sirs,” and “yes sirs.” It was like I arrived at hte magical kingdom of “Let Us See Just How Happy We Can Make Jason Tonight.” And they succeeded by plopping a massive twenty-four ounce bone-in ribeye in front of me after two delicious loaves of parmesan-encrusted bread and an amazing salad.
Yes, I said it. And amazing salad of greens and light vinaigrette dressing wetted my appetite for a stellar main course of steamed vegetables, red-skinned potatoes, and the massive steak – all beautifully recommended to me by the waiter as the best the restaurant had to offer. The AAA Four Diamond steak house certainly did not let me down.

What did disappoint me, though, were the rooms. They were simply decorated with a slight touch of mountain hominess, almost a woodsy feeling, but overall unimpressive. They became even less impressive when I closed my eyes. All through the night I could hear people talking and slamming doors throughout the hallway, and I was at the end of the hall where it should be most quiet. Instead, I felt like I was staying in a barn and all of the animals were out.
I have a strong desire to see more of Reno, Nevada, largely because I never left my hotel to explore the city, but I know that won’t be done by staying another night at Harrah’s. I’m glad I tried it and the rate I received was excellent, along with the service throughout my experience – far exceeding anything I’ve received while in Las Vegas – but I need a quiet night’s rest to go with it. And that won’t be found at Harrah’s.

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