No one can accuse the Grand Sierra Resort (GSR), formerly the largest hotel-casino in the world, of standing still. The building, which has previously been billed as the MGM Grand, Bally's and the Hilton, offers a 50-lane bowling alley, a second-run movie theater, a shopping mall, an arcade, a laser tag arena and an RV park. Also on the grounds are a manmade lake, a go-kart track and gravity-defying thrill rides.
The hotel, which is located just a few minutes south of downtown Reno, encompasses almost 2,000 rooms, while the gaming floor covers some 80,000 square feet. The current owners have worked hard to change the property's character, which is now relatively sophisticated. Expect to see white leather furniture, lots of crystal accoutrements and some avant-garde styling choices, especially on the main casino floor.
Reserve wine bar and most other watering holes feature soft music and low-key, black-and-white art, but there is also a Coyote Ugly-like country bar and a full-scale dance club. In the summer, GSR's Nikki Beach offers an outdoor pool party unlike anything else north of Las Vegas. GSR also attracts some big-name entertainers, who perform on a showroom stage that remains the largest such structure in the country more than 30 years after it was built.
There are plenty of restaurants, too. In addition to a sub shop, pizza joint and a Starbucks, casual diners can check out the 24-hour coffee shop Cafe Sierra or Johnny Rocket's, a '50s-style diner complete with jukeboxes. The Lodge buffet offers a number of stations cooking pasta, seafood, comfort dishes and dessert to order.
However, if you're looking to go big, GSR also has some of the most expensive restaurants in the area. Dolce Enoteca e Ristorante is a glamorous Italian bistro with a staggering wine list. "It" chef Charlie Palmer operates two restaurants here, as well. The Steakhouse offers artisan meats from animals raised under carefully controlled conditions, while fresh seafood is flown in daily to stock the menu at Fin Fish.
Other GSR amenities include: a spa and health club, 200,000 square feet of convention and business space, an outdoor pool, a shopping center, wedding chapel, RV park, bowling alley, movie theater, free parking and free airport shuttle service.
Find other casinos located in downtown Reno Nevada.