John Ascuaga's Nugget Reno Nevada Casino

Another long-running casino, the Nugget is operated by John Ascuaga, a man known for taking a personal interest in the daily operation of the Nugget. John's Club, the Nugget's customer loyalty program, is among the most generous in the Reno-Sparks area, and it's not uncommon to bump into Ascuaga and other executives in the restaurants here.John Ascuagas Nugget Casino Reno Nevada

First opened in 1955 as a gaming hall squeezed between railyards, the Nugget now offers eight award-winning restaurants, a full-service salon and spa, year-round indoor atrium pool and a wedding chapel, along with 1,600 guest rooms. It's also a major gathering place during special events on Sparks' Victorian Square, which is essentially across the street.

The Nugget hosts many concerts, often by rock or country acts who are slightly past their prime. While that hardly seems a compliment, it presents an opportunity for fans to catch major stars such as Travis Tritt and Peter Frampton at a fraction of the cost of their usual shows.

Dining highlights include John's Oyster Bar, among the finest American-style seafood joints in the state. While the nautical decor is sort of Red Lobster-esque, the pan roasts, chowders and stacked platters of shellfish are fantastic. Prices are reasonable, and the casual ambience means you can pop in for a sandwich with the kids or make an evening of your visit. Also worth visiting are the Asian-themed Noodle Hut, the high-end Basque cuisine of Restaurante Orozko and The Steakhouse Grill.

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