Las Vegas is dominated by large corporations that own dozens of hotels and casinos here, there and just about anywhere gambling is legal.
Long gone, it seems, are the independent, family-owned operations.
But, one of these rare phenomena is alive and well in North Las Vegas. Jerry’s Nugget Casino, founded in 1964 by Jerry Lodge and Jerry Stamis, celebrates its 50th anniversary throughout 2014.
What started as a small operation in the Town House Bar moved across the street to the old Bonanza Club in 1968, where today it covers over 95,000 square feet. And in that space – run by the family’s third generation, Jeremy and Joseph Stamis – you’ll find two casual restaurants, slots and video poker, live table action, a race and sports book, keno lounge, an entertainment venue, and a 200-seat bingo hall.
One of the most recent promotions at JN is its Local Legends Series, a monthly meet-and-greet held in the sports book.
This Saturday from 5 to 6:30 p.m., you will have a chance to get up close and personal with UNLV Athletic Hall of Fame inductees Freddie Banks – who was High School Player of the Year (Valley) and the 1987 NCAA Finals 3-point record holder; Moses Scurry – Sixth man for the 1990 NCAA Championship team; Sam Smith – who was a “Hardway Eight” member of the first Final Four team in 1977 and played for the NBA Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls; and Gerald Paddio – who had a 65-8 record in two seasons with UNLV, including the Final Four in 1987, and played three years for the NBA. The group will share some of their classic memories playing in the NCAA Final Four, stories of former head coach Jerry Tarkanian, and their careers in the NBA and internationally.
Also scheduled to appear are teammates and UNLV standouts Reggie Manuel, Eldridge “El Hud” Hudson, Patrick Savoy, Michael “Spiderman” Burns, Dedan Thomas, James Jones, Lonnie Wright, Clint Rossum, Mike Milke, and Anthony Todd – all Runnin’ Rebel basketball greats from the 1970’s to the 1990’s. It’s going to be a big day for the scarlet and grey.
The event is free for all guests 21 and over. You’ll get to shake hands with these greats, ask them a question or two and even receive complimentary autographed photos.
While you’re there, don’t forget to say hello to sports book top gun Mark Dufty, who keeps the JN book humming, although he would have a really hard time doing that without the capable assist of Michelle Wilson.
Hope to see you there. If not, see you around town.
Eileen DiRocco is the owner and publisher of GamingToday, the bible for gaming news “you can bet on.” Contact Eileen at [email protected].