The Bear Growls: Grand Sierra — “Luxury resort” meets sweatshop operator
The former Reno Hilton is now the independently-owned Grand Sierra. The new casino management is turning it into a grind joint. I don’t think sweatshop operator Navegante Group, which manages four dumps in downtown Las Vegas as well as the Fandango in Carson City, was a good choice to manage this casino.
The former $25 minimum single-deck table was recently reduced to $10 minimum, even on swing shift, making it unplayable due to overcrowding. It appears that all but the lowest-level players are now unwelcome. Most of the current patrons are red-chip grinders. The cage will cash only $500 in other Reno casinos’ chips.
The same mostly unfriendly dealers and pit staff are still there. The place needs a blood transfusion. I observed two pit critters go out of their way to be ridiculously unreasonable to a carnival game black-chip player, making the player so disgusted with their stupidity that he picked up his pile of chips and left. I overheard a dealer lying to a patron, telling him the 6 to 5 single deck is a better game than the 3 to 2 single deck because the 3 to 2 is D10.
This place should be trying to appeal to upscale business travelers due to its location near the airport, not to the lowest-level patrons. It looks like casino management is in conflict with the ownership’s plans. Hotel ownership apparently correctly wants to cultivate high-end patrons, as indicated on its website:
Welcome to the Grand Sierra Resort, the destination playground that promises to give “luxury” a bold new meaning. Sophistication meets simplicity. Elegance meets exuberance. Signature dining meets luxury-boutique shopping. Inventive nightlife meets the boundless possibilities of Reno/Lake Tahoe, America’s greatest wide open.
But maybe ownership failed to inform the casino, which appear to have taken the opposite approach by doing all they can to chase off high-end patrons. Unless ownership quickly replaces the current incompetent management, I think it is doomed to failure. Reno doesn’t need another boarded-up casino. I hope they take corrective action and are able to survive.