Bill’s Casino gets a facelift — to re-open today |

Bill’s Casino gets a facelift — to re-open today

Steve Winwood’s “Good Lovin’ ” blasted over the speakers Thursday afternoon, as a flurry of workers prepared Bill’s Casino to reopen at 11 a.m. Friday.

“You should have been here at 4 a.m. the other night. We had Van Halen playing,” Marketing Manager Mike Traum said. Traum oversees the crew’s remodeling job with General Manager Pete Bonner.

Harrah’s small sister casino at Stateline was closed Monday for the $300,000 revamp. In shifts, about 70 workers moved about 300 machines to make room for new carpets and paint and the restrooms were upgraded. New light fixtures were plugged in, as the wire electrician had an overwhelming look of responsibility on his face.

“We just wanted to freshen up the look,” Bonner said, standing on the front floor in blue jeans and tennis shoes that exemplify the casual feel to the casino known for regulars claiming their own machines.

Mixing the old with the new was a task Bonner took seriously. The casino has brought in new machines like the Double Jeopardy game but kept the old mechanical slots, almost extinct in the gaming world.

But Bonner and Traum know their regulars would miss the old favorites they’ve coined that have become the meat and potatoes of their business, such as “nuttin’ but nickels,” “pennies from heaven” and the “dog and draft” – meaning hot dog and beer for under 2 bucks.

“We like to think of this place as the ‘Cheers’ of casinos. We don’t have the big frills of the larger casinos, but we try to give it back to people in value,” Bonner explained.

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