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Harrah’s contest winners arrive in Tahoe

Michael Schneider

Although their biggest nights might not have happened when they entered the contest, 15 lucky winners are spending two big nights at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.

Winners from 15 Harrah’s casinos arrived in South Lake Tahoe Tuesday as part of the “Harrah’s Biggest Nights Dream Tour.”

The winners were given $50,000 in cash and taken on a “VIP” trip to Atlantic City, Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas.



Fifteen of Harrah’s 19 casinos participated. Entrants needed to play casino games with a “Total Gold Card” to enter.

The more they played, the more times they entered the contest, according to John Packer, public relations director for Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.



One winner was taken from each of the 15 participating casinos. Charlie Saurez, a retired house painter from Sacramento, was the lucky entrant from Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.

Saurez, and his wife, Mary, got off the Harrah’s airplane at the Lake Tahoe Airport, grinning ear to ear.

Mary said the Saurez’s were in Lake Tahoe to see Debbie Reynolds when they took a seat at the one-armed-bandits, inserted the gold card, and, unbeknownst to them, won the trip.

A few days after returning home, they heard a recorded message on their answering machine telling them they’d won the contest.

The Saurez’s said Atlantic City was magical.

“I don’t know how Tahoe can outdo them,” Mary said.

After arriving in Tahoe, a fleet of limousines picked up the winners and took them to Harrah’s where a reception in their honor was planned Tuesday night.

Today, the contest winners will tour the lake on Harrah’s yacht before California wine tasting and a dinner in the Summit restaurant. Following dinner they will watch a casino show.

The group will hop into the Harrah’s 737 one last time Thursday morning for a trip to Harrah’s Las Vegas. There they will be treated to a private concert honoring George Gershwin’s centennial anniversary that features Linda Ronstadt, Rosemary Clooney and Michael Feinstein.

When the trip is over, the contest winners will be flown first class to their home. They can keep any of the cash prize they haven’t spent at Harrah’s.

The promotion began in the spring to announce Harrah’s new advertising campaign, “Your Biggest Nights Happen at Harrah’s.”

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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