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|Harrah's Hotel & Casino Reno|
|Address||219 North Center Street
Reno, Nevada 89501
|Opening date||October 30, 1937|
|No. of rooms||950|
|Total gaming space||60,000 sq ft (5,600 m2)|
|Signature attractions||Sammy's Show Room|
|Notable restaurants||Harrah's Steak House|
|Owner||Caesars Entertainment Corporation|
|Previous names||Harrah's Club|
|Years renovated||1981: South Tower
1995: Hampton Inn Tower
1999: Outdoor Pavilion
Harrah's Hotel & Casino Reno is a hotel and casino in Reno, Nevada. Harrah's Reno is credited for being Harrahs Entertainment's first hotel when the company was owned by its founder William F. Harrah.
William F. Harrah opened his first bingo parlor on October 30, 1937, but by December 1937 it was closed. Harrah spent the winter raising money and re-opened his casino called the Heart Tango between Virginia and Center streets, in the heart of the action. Harrah slowly acquired neighboring casinos adjacent to his Virginia Street establishment. In 1968, he acquired a building dubbed "The Reno Grand Hotel" adjacent to his casino and contracted with his close friend and landmark architect Martin Stern Jr to create and construct a luxury 24 story hotel, it would be built atop the bones of the former Grand Hotel Harrah bought. It was put up at rapid speed and was topped out in 1969. It was opened in Summer 1969.
In 1981, a 100 or so room tower addition was added to the existing 24-story tower by the new owners to compete with MGM Grand in Reno, that opened only four years earlier and took a lot of business from the downtown hotels. In the mid '90s, amidst another major renovation, Harrah's Reno renamed its Headliner Room to Sammy's Showroom after Sammy Davis Jr. who performed there over 7 times and on its opening night when it was the Headliner Room. Harrah's Entertainment, in 1995-99 was a spin-off of the Promus Hotel Company, mainly based in Tennessee and they decided to build the world's largest Hampton Inn at the Reno Harrah's, Promus owned the Hampton Inn hotel brand; the hotel took about a year and a half to complete and opened in November 1995, a building year for Reno because the Silver Legacy, Reno's latest casino-resort, opened only 4 months earlier.
Hampton Inn at Harrah's Reno was connected to the casino floor and had its own lobby and valet and meeting facilities. During the Reno flood of 1997, both Hampton Inn and Harrah's had to be closed due to flooding. In 1999, the Promus Company dissolved and was sold to the Hilton Corporation and Harrah's went back to Las Vegas under its own company, with the dissolved affiliation with Hampton, Harrah's acquired the 26-story hotel and re-branded it a part of Harrah's, adding 400 rooms to its inventory. In 1999, Harrah's purchased the closed casinos of the Nevada Club and Harold's Club and imploded them to make room for a grand entertainment venue called the Plaza. In 2000, this opened, its main attraction was a concert venue that attracted the likes of icon Ray Charles in its first year. Harrah's remodeled the East Tower, formerly the Hampton Inn, in 2003 and its West Tower, or the older original towers, in 2005-06. Harrah's has left the Steak House, its most recognizable venue that founder Bill Harrah built, virtually untouched. Major interior renovations took place in 1995, 1999 and 2006.
Until recently, Harrah's Reno has received virtually no upgrades or refurbishments but all that changed beginning in early 2011; hotel officials have decided to begin investing in certain areas of the property. Starting in late 2010, officials decided to return the use of the "wall-wash" exterior lighting and now the Harrah's hotel towers are lit in bright purple, the official color of the Harrah's brand, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights only for now. In February 2011, Harrah's closed its age-old Cafe Napa coffee shop and replaced it with Hash House a go go, the popular chain with locations in Southern California and Las Vegas.
Harrah's Reno is directed under the leadership of company-appointed John Koster, who oversees Caesars Northern Nevada operations and the Caesars properties at Lake Tahoe.
Mandel, Leon (1981). William Fisk Harrah: The Life and Times of a Gambling Magnate. Doubleday & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-385-15513-1.