Silver Springs Nugget casino opens next week
SILVER SPRINGS – Silver Springs is scheduled to become a two-casino town next week.
The Silver Springs Nugget will join Pipers Casino to give the Highway 50 and Highway 95A junction competitive casinos.
Diannia Piper, who has owned Pipers for 10 years, welcomes the partners from the Fallon Nugget and the Bonanza who are expanding west to Silver Springs.
“People are saying, ‘Oh, no, what are you going to do?'” Piper said. “We’re going to bring them flowers and tell them, ‘Welcome to Silver Springs.’ These gentlemen have a reputation as excellent business people. Silver Springs is lucky to have them choose Silver Springs.”
Paul Nemeth and Scott Tate plan to open the 100-slot Silver Springs Nugget Tuesday or as near that day as they can. Scott said he appreciates Piper’s praise.
“That’s very nice to hear,” said Tate, general manager of both Nuggets and the Bonanza.
Tate hired 35 of his 38 employees from applicants living in Silver Springs and Stagecoach.
“There are extremely good people out there,” Tate said from his Fallon office. “I found applicants two times worth the value. I’m hiring better people there than in Fallon.”
Tate said several employees left jobs at casinos in Carson City and Reno for Silver Springs Nugget jobs close to home. Shift manager Rennie Doyle, who oversees the bar and slots, is transferring from Fallon and lives in Silver Springs.
Nemeth and Tate invested $2 million to open their third casino in a community that’s home to only 7,500 people, or so. And they see locals making up nearly all the gamblers.
“We’re very committed to the project long term,” Tate said. “Not many people are willing to spend $2 million and not make any money for three years.”
The partners are banking on the future in the middle of Nevada’s second fastest growing county. Local and county leaders acknowledge inevitable growth, especially commercial growth, in Silver Springs, which just started construction on the community’s first sewer system.
“I’m committed to rural gaming,” Tate said. “The gaming industry in rural Nevada is one where people are really expecting good quality service. At the same time we’re committed to value games.”
Tate bought into the Fallon Nugget and Bonanza five years ago. Nemeth bought the two properties in 1984.
The Nugget, which has 150 gaming machines and two table games, opened in 1963. The Bonanza opened in 1975 and now has 240 machines and two table games plus a 75-room motel.
The Silver Springs casino will open with 100 gaming machines and lots of room between rows of slots. Tate said the building can hold 150 machines and he foresees having that many machines in the next year or two.
Expansions to the building itself could follow a few years later.
For now the Silver Springs Nugget will have among the first IGT Game King Multi-Denomination machines as well as eight penny-nickel machines.
“Penny machines are making a comeback,” Tate said. “They are making a resurgence big time.”
The penny-nickel machines, made by VLC, use ticket printers instead of coins, the gaming method used at Indian casinos in California. Players can switch from penny to nickel any time they want.
“The penny game offers variety to customers,” Tate said. “If they don’t feel lucky, they can go back down to a penny. If they get lucky, they can go back to a nickel. You can bet up to 250 pennies or 50 nickels at one time.”
The IGT Game King Multi-Denomination machines carry 140 games, from which a choice of 12 will be available to players at any given time. Two machines will have the option of playing nickels, quarters and dollars and two will play nickels, dimes and quarters.
“We’re real committed to bringing new products to our customers,” Tate said.
The Silver Springs Nugget has 12 $1 machines, 20 quarter machines, 64 nickel machines along with the multi-denominational machines. Most are the new game machines, but the casino also has a dozen traditional reel slots.
The Nugget also gives Silver Springs another place to dine. The 10-table, 40-seat CJ’s Grill will offer breakfast, sandwiches, burgers and pizza.
Jay and Kristi Turley own CJ’s, which is named after their 14-month-old son, and the Double Down Pizza Express, which they opened six years ago in the Fallon Nugget.
“Jay wanted to expand,” Kristi Turley said. “He thought about going to Fernley. Jay’s business basically has been pizza. When Scott offered us the restaurant in Silver Springs, he asked us to do breakfast.”
CJ’s Grill will open a couple days after the casino, Thursday or Friday. The hours will be 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Both Tate at the Nugget and Piper at Pipers see the addition of a second casino as a positive step for Silver Springs.
“I think it’s absolutely fantastic for the community,” Piper said. “They’re investing a lot of money. Their casino will bring more people out, for Pipers and for them.”
Tate had similar thoughts.
“By providing a quality facility,” Tate said, “it will be able to support my business, her business and other businesses.”