So a bear walks into a casino … Wayward cub pays a visit to the MontBleu loading dock |

So a bear walks into a casino … Wayward cub pays a visit to the MontBleu loading dock

William Ferchland

There is truth in advertising.

On Saturday, MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa, whose advertisements promote it as a “habitat for everything wild,” found itself hosting a wandering bear that made its entrance through the loading dock.

The bear, about a year old and weighing about 150 pounds, walked around the employee hallways, finding a dead end near the laundry, and eventually headed toward the cafeteria, but was likely frightened by several workers and quickly scurried out of the Stateline casino the way it came in, warehouse employee Earl Zeller said.

The bear didn’t make it to the employee cafeteria. Zeller credited the work of the security team, especially the security supervisor, in handling the situation.

The bear was spotted inside MontBleu by Fred Mueller, a member of the hotel’s transition team who is a warehouse manager at the River Palms Casino Resort in Laughlin, Zeller said.

Patrick Basney, general manger to the hotel, said employees did get a laugh from the wayward bear but recognized the “need to secure our area a little better.”

Douglas County sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Mezzetta noted there was one report of Harrah’s Lake Tahoe security personnel contacting authorities regarding a bear in its rear parking lot area on Saturday at 7:25 a.m.

The bear sauntered near Bill’s Lake Tahoe Casino and MountBleu, but the report did not state an entry into the property formerly owned by Caesars Entertainment.

In one television commercial for MontBleu, a cocktail waitress is seen walking past urban-dressed guests in a lounge-like setting and then throwing a freshly caught fish to a waiting bear.

“Evidently the bears out there heard the story that bears can be fed at the nightclub at MountBleu,” Zeller said. “I guess we reached our target audience.”

“Our advertising agency was trying to get him under contract … but he got out before we could get his name and number,” Basney joked.

The general manager said the incident was not as bizarre as last month’s report of a bear cub crawling into a vintage Buick convertible and snacking on a barbecue-chicken-and-jalapeño pizza, and washing it down with a half cup of a Jack Daniels mixer and half of an Absolut vodka and tonic. That story made headlines all the way to Australia.

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