Roll Them Dice, Hit Those Slots – A Breakdown Of Lake Tahoe Casinos
By: Alex Silgalis
If you want to experience some of the most unique casinos in the country and pair it with a vacation that embraces the great outdoors, there’s only one place in the United States to find that – Lake Tahoe. To help, here’s a quick breakdown of the Lake Tahoe Casinos scene.
When it comes to the selection of casinos, the south shore of Lake Tahoe, on the border of California & Nevada, has the biggest choice.
Those wanting a home base for schussing at Heavenly Mountain & gaming at night, look no further than Harveys Lake Tahoe. The casino floor boasts a variety of slot machines & table games as well as a race and sportsbook center. Within its campus, you’ll also find the only comedy club at the south end of the lake, The Improv at Harveys. If you visit in the summer, Harveys hosts the Summer Concert Series in their outdoor amphitheater where big acts like the Scorpions and Duran Duran have played.
Right across the street, you’ll find Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, the most popular casino-resort in Lake Tahoe. In addition to the table games such as roulette, craps, & baccarat along with progressive slots, you’ll find a host of amazing dining options, the PEEK nightclub, and the hip Cliché Lounge. For music lovers, the South Shore Room hosts some of the biggest performers up to present day. Need to unwind a bit more? Get a massage at Reflections The Spa or lounge by the indoor pool.
Most Lake Tahoe visitors are looking to enjoy the outdoors in what is the ultimate alpine paradise in any season. After a full day of hiking, skiing, or any other mountain activity, MontBleu Resort & Casino makes sure your stay is in comfort. From the Opal Ultra Lounge night club for party-goers to the indoor grotto-like pool, there’s a lot of choices. Featuring a steak house, buffet, craft beer, & assortment of adult gaming options, you’ll be set for your stay in Tahoe.
For those that embrace the motto “carpe diem” even at night, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is your spot. As one of the most recently refurbished resorts on the south shore, the buzz and excitement is electric just like the Hard Rock brand in places such as Las Vegas, New Orleans, and now Tahoe. The Hard Rock gives a nod to the location’s roots. You’ll find memorabilia from stars like Elvis Presley, back when it was known as the Sahara. The hip new digs feature a classic steak room, oyster bar, “hot” new restaurant called Fire Break, & an intimate showroom named Vinyl.
Have you ever wondered what the casinos were like when the Rat Pack used to visit? Lakeside Inn provides a glimpse of that feeling. The overall architecture of the property is in the theme of a Sierra Lodge. Beautiful wood beams, windows that let light into the casino floor, and hotel rooms decorated in rustic furniture will make you feel comfortable & give you the sense that you’re in Tahoe. Over the years, this casino has earned a reputation for its great value including Lakeside Inn’s commitment to being fee-free from service fees, resort fees, parking fees during concerts, and Wi-Fi.
The north shore of Lake Tahoe features a host of quaint & cozy casinos albeit less unique experiences in and of themselves. Here’s the rundown of those classic spots in places like Incline Village and Crystal Bay.
Built in 1937, the “CBC” as known by locals has renovated its accommodations & re-opened in 2003 but still holds to its old school Tahoe feel. On the casino floor, the walls are adorned with natural stones and a giant (fake) Oak tree standing from the middle of the pit spreading its branches over the table games. Besides the classic games such as blackjack and craps, the Crystal Bay has two performance venues. The red room provides an intimate setting while the Crown Room is their premier spot with a capacity of 550.
One of the oldest family-owned casinos in the ENTIRE state of Nevada, they still follow the philosophy of providing good food and drink at an affordable price. This cozy casino features the latest in slots and a few table games to enjoy. But the real star is the “awful awful” burger that they’ve been serving for more than half a century. The “awful awful” moniker is short for awfully big & awfully good.
If you’re looking for vintage décor and atmosphere, the Tahoe Biltmore Lodge & Casino is your best bet. Known as the “Bilty”, it has some of the classic meal deals you’d find at casinos in Nevada. For example, on Mondays, their café hosts a $2.22 Monday breakfast special. And if you feel like truly celebrating a deep powder day at one of Tahoe’s many world-class resorts, every afternoon their bars host happy hour. Also, if you’re up late, be sure to look out for the local spirit known as “Mary.” According to local lore, she supposedly haunts the halls.
Sitting on the northeastern edge of Lake Tahoe in the quiet town of Incline Village is the Grand Lodge Casino at the Hyatt. Those with a sophisticated palette and price is no object will find this casino & resort perfect. Offering several gaming options on the 20,000 square foot casino floor, take a dip afterward on their private beach. If visiting in the winter, enjoy hot cocoa by their cozy outdoor fire pits gazing upon the waters. Luxury amenities do come at a price: mandatory nightly $36 resort fee in addition to the cost of the room.
Whether you’re looking for alpine lodge charm or electric nightlife alongside your outdoor adventures & gaming fun, as you can see Lake Tahoe casinos are where it’s at.