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The Biggest Little City in the World

Reno, USA
Saturday, September 14, 2013

We decided to break the long train journey to Denver with a quick stopover in the gambling city of Reno.

Reno can be simply described as Las Vegas' poor cousin, and in recent years has really declined as Vegas has continued to grow. It tries very hard to live up to the reputation of a gambling city but sadly falls short and in our opinion no way lives up to its grand title as 'The Biggest Little City in the World'

Some of the big casinos still have a presence in the area that surrounds the train station and the likes of Circus Circus and Harrah's with their flashy buildings and glittering lights try and make the city's strip feel grander than it is. We visited on a Thursday and Friday and although Friday was markedly busier than Thursday it just didn't have the vibe that Vegas expels 24/7.

On the plus side it didn't feel as seedy as Vegas but in a way that's what makes Vegas, Vegas. Love it or hate it there is no in between.

One thing that was noticeable was the amount of people who were down on their luck. They were everywhere within a few blocks of the city sleeping rough. Although probably a common sight in most other gambling cities in America and throughout the world neither of us remember seeing anybody living on the streets when we visited Vegas. They are probably kept well away from the strip and the tourists but in Reno you couldn't miss them. As the city probably broke most of the people we saw it was a stark reminder of the darker side of gambling.

Having said all that we did have a great time and as we played carefully we ended up about even after two nights out and spending hours on the great Texan Tea slot machines. But beware as with all other American gambling cities it is easy to get carried away! With cheap drinks as low as $1 a beer 24/7, hostesses that try and ply you with alcohol so you don't leave your slot machine, no outside windows, no clocks and oxygen that is pumped into the casino's which helps to keep you wide awake, you can soon lose track of time and your money.

The highlight of our night had to be getting 'carded' or ID'd! Yes, we are 31 & 37 but apparently we still don't look 21!

We only took a few photos in Reno as photography is banned inside the casinos.

left in our big adventure. Next stop the other side of the Rockies the Mile High City - Denver.

Ta Ta for now

Team Chip

Hotel Review

We stayed at the Ramada in a double private. The Ramada was our first proper hotel for sometime and it felt quite grand. Our room was well equipped with a TV with oodles of channels airing rubbish, air con, a fridge and even a microwave. The hotel wasn't in a great location for the train station but as hotel prices rise dramatically on Friday and Saturday nights we decided against paying through the nose for one of the hotels on the 'strip'. The 20 minute walk wouldn't have been too bad but it did take you past large areas of the city that are inhabited by people down on their luck, not too bad during the day but not the nicest of walks at night. The hotel did have its own casino, restaurants and bars which were all reasonable value for money. All in all not a bad stay but one of the more centrally located hotels would have been more convenient.


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