Paradise Found

Grand Sierra Resort is truly a wonderful place where a gambler can get decent value for his money. The great deals continue to be available at this top of the market Reno property. Checking in and getting our free play is not as seamless as we are used to but we manage to get our free play and convert it into cash at well over a 100% return. GG turned his $25 into $100+ and Vic making $50 look like $75. We check into our free regular room and sleep the first night amongst the plebeians. Thursday morning and we are up checking into our suite for the next three nights. We are put into the new room by 10:30 a little early on the check-in but that is what we like. The rooms are nice and we are living the good life.

The dinner special in the coffee shop for $7.77 is still a great deal and I choose the shrimp fettuccini alfredo. GG goes for the orange chicken from the dinner special menu. We both find the meals to be adequate and the portions a little on the large side.

The bar located outside the coffee shop, 20-500, still has the women drink free from 5 to 7 PM every night and the women seem to show up every day. Another great play at the bar is the shrimp cocktail for $2.50 if you use your players card points to pay.

The very nice and rather high end Charlie Palmer Steak still has a great deal for bar dining allowing nine small appetizers plates to be had for $22. These include things such as kobe beef sliders. A great deal if you do not mind eating at the bar and sampling appetizers.

A couple of the bars on the casino floor are offering bottles of Coors Light for $1.50 and drafts for a dollar. Drinking is cheap at the GSR. Of course throwing a twenty in a video poker machine at the bar gets you a free drink and there seems to be very few restrictions and the bar tenders are generous.

The buffet continues to offer a $7.77 locals deal that requires a local ID. I am still annoyed about not getting the deal but I generally find somebody local willing to let me slide in with them. The latest deal at the buffet is all you can drink draft beer and house wine for an extra $3. If you are the type that needs to get a buzz before going out this is a good deal.

The relatively new sports bar called extreme sports is a high end offering with plenty of scantily clad female servers. The drinks are expensive, $3.75 for a domestic bottle, but there are deals to be had. Try to order draft beer by the pitcher but it still costly. Here the deal is women drink free from ten to midnight. There is also a two for one lunch deal during the week. There is lunch time soup, salad and sandwich bar deal available.

The Starbucks inside the casino now allows you to use your players card points to purchase coffee. This is a way to beat the State out of sales tax.

The Jonny Rockets was running a burger meal special all day every day allowing you to save three or four dollars on a burger meal that includes fries and a drink. This is not a great deal but it is still frugal and the food is good.

I saw a deal at the bowling alley that I have not personally checked out. The deal is four games of bowling a large pizza and a pitcher of beer for under $15. This is a great value if you are interested in bowling. The beer and pizza is rather ordinary from what I hear but it is the cheap way to go.

In addition to the free play we were given upon check-in a whole sheet of coupons is printed out and most are of little value but they deserve to be looked at. I had a coupon for twenty dollars free food good at most places in the casino. Simply just eat and give them the coupon.

The gambling side of things is very strong with 9/6 jacks or better available in all denominations from nickel to $25. There are quarters on a progressive meter that yield well over 100% return with perfect strategy. The standard games offer just 100% with the players card cash back. Yes you can play 100% machines and earn comps and offers. The high-limit area has very good service and drinks and snacks are available for high-limit players. The $2 jacks or better was the cheapest game with $1 three-play also available.
The blackjack seemed to be improved with more single deck games being offered at the five dollar level. No double down after splitting and double down on 10 and 11 only were the only tightening of the rules I saw. I played $10 per hand and cut back to $5 in negative counts and went as high as $115 on positive counts. There was no heat and never an early shuffle. Pretty good penetration and the games are beatable. At the $25 level they allow double down on 9 also. I have heard that double on any first two cards may be available at $25 and higher. I am not interested in attention so I did not ask for the game.

The poker action is small but steady. The game seems to always be $1-2 NL with a $50 to $300 buy-in. There was a generous supply of free food available for players and it was basic fare with three offerings in self service warmers at the back of the room. Drink service in the poker room is excellent and drinks like shots of Patron are just fine. Players swipe the players club card and receive $2 per hour in cash back. The three dollar maximum rake makes this a great deal.

On top of all the other deals we were working to make are trip as close to free as possible our host took us to dinner at the buffet on Friday night. A free dinner in the buffet just added to our already great frugal vacation.

The Grand Sierra is trying to offer players a good value for their vacation and entertainment dollar. There are other places you could visit but if you happen to be going to Reno I would suggest you give the Grand Sierra a visit.



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