Harrah's Reno

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Harrah's
Harrah's logo.svg
Harrah's Resort Reno, Nevada (4308560340).jpg
Location Reno, Nevada, U.S.
Address 219 North Center Street
Opening date October 30, 1937
Theme Contemporary
Number 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
Renovated in 1981: South Tower
1995: Hampton Inn Tower
1999: Outdoor Pavilion
Website Official website

Harrah's is a hotel and casino located in Reno, Nevada. It is credited for being Harrahs Entertainment's first hotel when the company was owned by its founder William F. Harrah.

History[edit]

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 the adjacent The Reno Grand Hotel and contracted noted casino architect Martin Stern Jr to create and construct a luxury 24- story hotel tower to built atop the bones of the former Grand Hotel. The tower opened in the summer of 1969. In 1981, a 100-room tower was added to the existing 24-story tower by the new owners Holiday Inn.

In the early 1990s, amidst another major renovation, Harrah's Reno renamed the Headliner Room, which had featured such acts as Joan Rivers, The Smothers Brothers, Merle Haggard and Mitzi Gaynor, to Sammy's Showroom. after Sammy Davis Jr., who had performed at the property regularly and was the opening night act in the former Headliner Room. The room opened with a dual headliner and revue policy, but later switched to a revue show-only policy. Acts in the first few years of the re-christened Sammy's Showroom included Vic Damone, Rich Little, Phyllis Diller, Marilyn McCoo and Norm Crosby.

In 1995, Harrah's Entertainment, was spun off of the Promus Hotel Company (formerly Holiday Inn), and built the world's largest Hampton Inn, one of its signature hotel brands, adjacent the Reno property. The hotel opened in November 1995. Hampton Inn at Harrah's Reno was connected to the casino floor and included its own lobby, valet and meeting facilities. During the Reno flood of 1997, both Hampton Inn and Harrah's had to be closed due to damage. In 1999, the Promus Company was sold to the Hilton Hotels Corporation. Harrah's acquired the 26-story Hampton addition and made it a seamless 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. Opened in 2000 as a concert venue, first year acts included Ray Charles. In 2003, Harrah's remodeled the East Tower, formerly the Hampton Inn, and the original West Tower in 2005-06. Harrah's has left the Steak House, its most recognizable venue that founder Harrah built, virtually untouched. Major interior renovations took place in 1995, 1999 and 2006.

Until recently, it 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.

It is directed under the leadership of company-appointed John Koster, who oversees Caesars Northern Nevada operations and the Caesars properties at Lake Tahoe.[citation needed]

References[edit]

Mandel, Leon (1981). William Fisk Harrah: The Life and Times of a Gambling Magnate. Doubleday & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-385-15513-1.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°31′39″N 119°48′46″W / 39.527536°N 119.812737°W / 39.527536; -119.812737