The Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nevada, has a history dating all the way back to 1955, making it over 60 years old at the time of this writing and one of the oldest standing casinos in the state of Nevada.
You’d never know it by looking at it though, as it is a very modern and beautiful structure which by way of expansions and renovations have allowed it to be kept very current with today’s casino resort market.
Sparks is located just east of Reno. Sparks is the fifth most populous city in Nevada, with almost 100,000 people, and is part of the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area of about 425,000. Sparks and Reno are basically part of one larger city, and the Nugget is only a short drive away down Interstate 80 from the city of Reno, and both cities are about the same distance away from the Reno-Tahoe airport where all the travelers to the area arrive at.
The Nugget was originally known as Dick Graves’ Nugget, named for its founder. It opened for business on March 17, 1955, a year after Graves opened a Nugget in nearby Carson City. In 1960, the Nugget in Sparks was purchased by John Ascuaga, then its general manager, who then renamed it John Ascuaga’s Nugget, which it became known by for 53 years, until 2013.
John Ascuaga had much bigger plans for the place and expanded the Nugget many times over the years, and was still at the helm in 1995 when the resort underwent its most significant expansion to date, a second tower costing $75 million. This brought the property up to its present size of two 29 story towers and a total of 1,600 rooms. The family decided that there was no need for any more hotel rooms here and none have been added since.
In 2008, the original East Tower was renovated to bring it up to standards. In 2013, the Ascuaga family sold the Nugget, and its name became changed to the Nugget Casino Resort. Even though the business was still doing well, the family had no more money to expand it, and it did require some.
In 2014, a further $50 million was spent on renovations, and the property has changed hands a couple of times since, now being owned by Las Vegas based Marnell Gaming, which owns several other casinos, and have plans to spend more money on the Nugget, ensuring that the property will continue to be well maintained and competitive in the years to come.
The Amenities at the Nugget Casino Resort
Imagine getting a room in a 4 star hotel for as little as $27 per night. That’s the kind of great deals and prices they have in store for you at the Nugget. You would be hard pressed to find any accommodations this inexpensive, let alone at a place that is regarded as one of the top hotels in the Reno-Sparks area.
You can select from either a king or two queen beds on either the East Tower or the newer West Tower, all nicely furnished with amenities such as Presidential mattresses, 300 thread count bedding, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, 42 inch plasma TV, coffee maker, Wi-Fi, and great views.
Smoking and non smoking rooms are both available. Both towers also feature suites for those who prefer a little more living space than a standard sized room, with up to 800 square feet available.
The hotel offers several other amenities, including an airport shuttle, an indoor atrium pool, a health club, a business center, two gift shops, and a skywalk arcade.
There are 7 different dining options on hand at the Nugget, as well as a Starbucks location to take care of your coffee cravings. Just about all good casino resorts have a steakhouse, and the one here is simply called the Steakhouse. While a lot of casino steakhouses offer fine dining, the prices usually aren’t very reasonable, but they are here.
There’s an oyster bar here as well, appropriately called Oyster Bar, where they have been serving up great seafood since all the way back in 1959. The Rotisserie Buffet serves up a great selection of food in a French country atmosphere. Lunch here is only $9.99 a person and dinner is generally $12.99, although on some nights they roll out the extra special fare for a little more.
Rosie’s Café is open for you 24 hours a day and dishes out great American food in a relaxed atmosphere. Gilley’s Saloon, Dance Hall, and Bar-B-Que is a Western themed saloon complete with dining, dancing, and even a mechanical bull to ride if you are up for it.
The Noodle Hut and Sushi Bar serves up a bevy of Asian delights. Finally, the Tailgate Deli and Sports Bar, right next door to the William Hill Sports Book, offers a high quality deli selection to sports and non sports fans alike.
In addition to the entertainment at Gilley’s, the Nugget’s Celebrity Showroom has been offering big name acts for over 50 years, and still regularly feature performers that are household names. The Nugget Ballroom also offers special events from time to time.
The Casino at the Nugget
The casino here isn’t the biggest you’ll ever see, and their 52,000 square feet of gaming isn’t anywhere near as big as you would find in many of the larger Vegas casinos, but the Nugget does pack quite a bit into the space they have.
There’s almost 1000 slot and video poker machines on hand here, and have more than enough selection to satisfy even the hardest core slot players. All the big name slots are here with over 200 newer machines just waiting to be played.
The table games area here boast the friendliest dealers around who are more than happy to help newer players as well as seasoned ones. Games laid out include Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Ultimate Texas Holdem, Three Card Poker with 6 card bonus, and Fortune Pai Gow Poker.
The Nugget Poker Room is a local favorite and offers daily live poker action starting at 9 AM. In addition to cash games, this poker room features a daily poker tournament in for just a $20 + $3 buy in, on Tuesday and Wednesday evening, another for just $10 + $2.
There’s also a Keno lounge on hand, with bets starting at a penny, and plenty of Keno tournaments as well, which you can buy in for $450 and also get a room for two nights and $60 in food and beverages.
Those who enjoy playing bingo will find lots and lots of it here in their bingo parlor. There are 6 sessions of bingo that run every day here. Finally, sports bettors will love the William Hill branded sports book here, nicely laid out with betting on all your favorite events, including live betting on select games.
All players are invited to join the Nugget Advantage Players Club, with four tiers, and all members get half off at the Rotisserie Buffet when they pay with their club points.
The Nugget has a very long history and they combine a lot of experience and success with a modern setting and approach, providing some of the best accommodations and gambling in Northern Nevada.