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6 Last Minute Travel Planning Apps

Despite our best efforts, sometimes circumstances out of our control force us to change our plans. Anybody who has ever found themselves without a place to stay as the sun sets in a foreign city knows the value of good advice or a travel guidebook. Likewise, a last minute business or family trip can force us to book the easiest hotel and rental car, or eat the most accessible and obvious meal, despite better and lower cost alternatives nearby.

Fortunately, the digital world is leveling the playing fields. With a smart phone in your pocket or tablet in your bag, a number of easy-to-use apps are making it possible to enjoy first-class amenities without prior planning AND on a budget.

If you’re often on-the-go, add these apps to your handheld arsenal:

Reno Tahoe USA

reno tahoe usaWhen a travel app is valuable even to locals, it’s worth downloading, and the official Reno Tahoe app certainly makes the cut. With all the entertainment constantly coming through town, the app will keep you up-to-date, in addition to offering daily snow reports, lift statuses, and even golf course green fees. When you’re walking around town, use the onboard map to locate restaurants that fit your palate. There may even be a corresponding coupon you can use in the app to save a few bucks on your bill.

Hotel Tonight

Hotel TonightAs simple as it sounds, this free app for Android and iOS specializes in last minute hotels. Each day at noon in the time zone for a particular market, that day’s deals are announced, based on availability at partner hotels. If a place is completely under-booked, they’ll often mark the prices down to 70 percent off. At most any city in the U.S. and throughout Europe, you can count on at least 20 percent off, just by waiting to commit until the day of your stay.

Triposo

TriposoBilled as a “living, breathing travel guide”, Triposo is working hard to corner the market on up-to-date travel info by outcompeting paper books that may quickly contain outdated information. Their database already includes 200 countries and 8,000 destinations, so chances are that your next stop will be covered. Perhaps best of all, the guides update themselves while you’re connected, but you don’t need internet or wireless coverage to access the guides and maps from your Android or iOS phones and devices, so you’re good-to-go even when you’re off-the-grid (provided you keep that battery charged).

Foodspotting

FoodspottingAlthough plenty of apps exist to find great places to eat, Foodspotting might just be the most fun (which is also why OpenTable recently scooped it up for $10 million). Let’s say you’re in Memphis, but you’re not in the mood for BBQ. Foodspotting pulls up a map of the area, but instead of the names of restaurants, you get photographs posted by other users, pinned to the location of where you can get it. An hour later, you’re sitting at The Elegant Farmer, enjoying their Vegetable Plate, instead of at the chain spot next to your hotel.

Verbalize It

verbalize itJust in case you had any doubts about the small world we live in today, VerbalizeIt is here to connect you anywhere you go. This app doesn’t work like a traditional phone or internet translator, which often provide awkward translations and can be tedious to use. Instead, this iOS and Android app hires human translators who are available 24/7 to translate between English and Spanish, Hindi, Mandarin, French, German and Portuguese. The founder was inspired by an emergency trip to a hospital in rural China where nobody understood him. With the app used on a phone with the speaker setting, a live translator instantly helps two people communicate their exact words. Usage is sold in time increments per language, and the only downside may be that cell service or Wifi is necessary to access the translators.

Milewise

milewiseFlight search engines may be a dime-a-dozen, but for constant travelers, Milewise is worth knowing about. With airlines constantly consolidating and combining their rewards programs in new and confusing ways with their partners, it can be tough to keep track of which flights are eligible for reward travel. With MileWise, all of your accounts are kept in one place, and any flight you search for where you can utilize your miles will be highlighted (as well as those that will help get you to the next benchmark in your miles accumulation). They’ll also give you a heads up to avoid letting miles expire and will estimate the actual value of your rewards, helping you get the most out of your hard-earned miles. Finally, you can set price alerts just like most other search engines so you get the best possible deal.

Has an app ever helped you out of a bind in an unfamiliar city or foreign land? Which of these apps (or others) do you recommend?

Written by guest blogger, Joe Laing

Joe Laing is the Marketing Director for El Monte RV Rentals, your nationwide source for RV rentals. El Monte RV also sells used motorhomes through eight different locations across the United States. For more information on purchasing a used motorhome see http://www.elmontervsales.com/.

Reno’s All American BBQ Festival

WHAT: Downtown Reno presents the All American BBQ Festival July 6-8, sponsored by Circus Circus Hotel Casino Reno, the Eldorado Hotel Casino, Harrah’s Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino and fueled by Monster Energy. This post Fourth of July street festival will include great all-American barbequed food booths, more than 60 street vendors and two stages featuring rocking tribute bands plus special appearances by the Monster Girls and Monster DJs and presentations by Monster Energy’s freestyle motocross stunt teams.

WHO: Circus Circus Hotel Casino Reno, the Eldorado Hotel Casino, Harrah’s Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino

WHEN: Friday, July 6 from noon – 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 7 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sunday, July 8 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Road Closures in effect from 8 a.m. Thursday through 9 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Downtown Reno/ Virginia Street between 2nd and 6th Streets

Commercial Row, 3rd, Plaza, 4th and 5th streets from Sierra to Center streets.

Entertainment Schedule:

Plaza Stage Harrah’s Stage

Friday, July 6 Friday, July 6

12 to 1:30 p.m. – Petty Theft                           2:30 to 4:00 p.m. – Straight Country

A Salute to Tom Petty                                     A Salute to George Straight

2 to 3:30 p.m. – Gwen in Doubt                      4:30 to 6 p.m. – Crossfire

A Salute to No Doubt                                      A Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughn

4 to 5:30 p.m. – Roses & Guns                       6:30 to 8 p.m. – Summer of ‘69

A Salute to Guns & Roses                               A Tribute to Bryan Adams

6 to 7:30 – Blaze of Glory

A Salute to Bon Jovi

Saturday, July 7 Saturday, July 7

12 to 1:30 p.m. – Petty Theft                           12:30 to 2 p.m. – Roses & Guns

A Salute to Tom Petty                                      A Salute to Guns & Roses

2 to 3:30 p.m. – Blaze of Glory                         2:30 to 4:00 p.m. – Crossfire

A Salute to Bon Jovi A Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughn

4 to 5:30 p.m. – Journey Unauthorized            4:30 to 6 p.m. – The Jacks

A Salute to Journey                                          A Tribute to AC/DC

6 to 7:30 – Skynnyn Lynnyrd                            6:30 to 8 p.m. – Hot for Teacher

A Salute to Lynyrd Skynyrd                             A Salute to Van Halen

Sunday, July 8 Sunday, July 8

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Awards Ceremony     10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Summer of ‘69

Eldorado Fireworks 500 Awards                      A Tribute to Bryan Adams

1 to 2:30 p.m. – Heartbreaker                          12:30 to 2 p.m. – I Like It, I Love It

A Tribute to Led Zeppelin                                 A Tribute to Tim Mcgraw

3 to 4:30 p.m. – Chicago Tribute Authority       2:30 to 4 p.m. – Gwen in Doubt

A Tribute to Chicago                                         A Salute to No Doubt

Mardi Gras in Reno Tahoe

Fat Tuesday Mardi CrawlCelebrate Parti Gras – The New Giant Mardi Gras Celebration

February 17 – 21, at John Ascuaga’s Nugget

This five-day massive celebration includes free concerts, Parti Gras casino parades, showgirls, free hats & beads, Mardi Gras face art and caricature artists.  John’s Club players can win their share of $20,000 throughout Parti Gras with hot seat giveaways, cash drawings and trips for two to New Orleans.  Plus, the Rotisserie Buffet will take on the “N’awlins” theme for the weekend with favorites like dirty rice and jambalaya.  There will be New Orleans style food specials in all of the Nugget’s restaurants as well.

BONUS: Guests who stay February 17, 18, or 19 can take advantage of a $97 one night special which includes 2 free drinks with Parti Gras souvenir glasses.

Mardi Gras Dance Party

February 18, at The Ramada

The Reno Blues Society’s will continue to show off their party planning skills with the 18th annual Mardi Gras Dance Party – featuring award winning recording artist, Sista Monica. High energy, heartfelt lyrics and an awesome band backing this dynamic singer will prove to be one of the best RBS Mardi Gras Dance Parties!

The Big Easy is Coming to Silver Legacy

February 21

Not to be missed: the Fat Tuesday feasts at Sterling’s Seafood Steakhouse, Fairchild’s Oyster Bar and Café Sedona. You best be hungry.

We all know Mardi Gras would not be complete without some quality adult libations! Available at all Silver Legacy bars enjoy Pat O’brien style Hurricane’s and Mardi Gras Punch for just $5.

Fat Tuesday Mardi Crawl

February 21 – Squaw Valley

Start the Mardi Crawl at KT Base Bar at 2pm with the Samba Stilt Circus and cruise through the Village to 5 other locations for drink and food specials in honor of Fat Tuesday.

Party the Night Away at Reno Mardi Gras

February 21 – Reno Ballroom

At the 20th annual Rotary Club of Reno event, enjoy festive traditions; including, dancing, indulging in rich food and drink, and dressing in the finest Mardi Gras attire. Local restaurants will team up with over a dozen wineries, offering delectable treats and pouring over 60 types of wine! Buy your tickets at the doors of the Reno Ballroom for $50. Doors open at 6pm.

Eat. Drink. Relax. Stay. Hotel Specials this Valentine’s Day

From a pampered day at a spa to a romantic stay in a luxurious suite – plus divine dining options and North Lake Tahoe getaway specials – Reno Tahoe USA has everything you need to plan the perfect Valentine’s Day. And don’t worry, we’ll let your one and only think it was all your idea.

For a romantic and relaxing celebration, delight you and your sweetheart to an exclusive Valentine’s treatment at Spa Atlantis. Indulge in the hour long Grand Marnier Pedicure complete with a coconut milk soak, hydrating chocolate mask, and hand and foot massage with orange blossom body butter; all for $80. Experience the passion of the Hawaiian Islands with the Lomi Lomi: Tropical Romance massage and let all your stress and tension melt away with the deep, rhythmic kneading along your body.  Prices for this unique massage range from: $130 single or $270 couples for 60 minutes, or $160 single or $330 couples for 90 minutes. And make sure you have Kiss-ably Soft Lips for your Valentine with a complementary collagen lip plumping treatment with every facial booked in February.

Treat your amour to a passionate getaway at the Eldorado Hotel Casino with the special ‘VICP’ – Very Important Couple’s Package for $159; featuring two tickets to the intimate new show Benise – Nights of Fire and a night in the Player’s Spa Suite. Turn up the romance with hand dipped chocolate strawberries and a bottle of champagne for only $40.

The Silver Legacy Resort Casino wants to help you romantics create an unforgettable night with that special someone, and you won’t even have to leave your suite. Starting at $259, the Romance Package includes a one night stay in the luxurious Spa Suite, an in-room dinner, bottle of champagne and delectable strawberries and cream or chocolate dipped strawberries. If you’re in the mood to step out for dinner, substitute the in-room meal, champagne and strawberries for a $125 credit to Sterling’s Steakhouse. Either way, it will be a Valentine’s Day you and your loved one will cherish for years to come.

Romance is in the air at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino with the All You Need is Love package including a night’s stay in a Deluxe Peppermill room or Tuscan Suite, two 50 minute massages at Spa Toscana and dinner for two at Bimini Steakhouse. Rates for this very special Valentine’s Day start at $279.

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John Ascuaga’s Nugget is offering a Suite Deal for your Sweetheart, starting at $104.99. For one exciting night, enjoy a stay in a beautiful Premier East Tower Suite and a $60 dining credit to any restaurant or in-room dining.

The Super Scoop

The Big Game might be in Indianapolis, but the real Super Bowl XLVI action is right here, in Reno Tahoe, on February 5! Not only will you watch the New England Patriots battle against the New York Giants on massive screens, you’ll also enjoy great food, prizes and even NFL cheerleaders!

Watch Tom Brady and Eli Manning go head-to-head at the Super Stadium Bash XLVI hosted by the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in the Tuscany Events Center. For $55, enjoy Bud and Bud Light draft beer at every table, all-you-can-eat stadium food buffet, a Super Stadium Bash t-shirt and mug, exciting prizes every quarter and a meet and greet with the Budweiser Girls!

The Super Bowl fun kicks off before the game even starts at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa with a special Oakland Raiderette Cheerleader meet and greet on the Paradise Terrace from 2-3 pm. After getting your picture taken with the beautiful Raiderettes, catch all the hard hitting action on HDTVs throughout the casino or on 13-feet screens in the comfort of the Race & Sports Book, all while enjoying specials on your favorite stadium food and beer!

The Silver Legacy Resort Casino is throwing the largest Big Game Party in northern  Nevada at the Downtown Reno Ballroom. Hosted by KOZZ’s Smith and McClain, you won’t miss a play or knee-slapping commercial while watching the grid-iron action on multiple giant screens. For $40, enjoy a complimentary drink, all-you-can-eat buffet, big game hat, prizes and Budweiser swag!

At the Eldorado Hotel Casino, every seat is the best seat in the house as they open up the award-winning Broadway style showroom to host the 2012 NFL Championship party, featuring stadium style seating!  Tickets for a reserved seat are $25, and include a drink, stadium food and a souvenir hat commemorating the game. If enjoying delicious micro-brews while watching the action is more your style, head over to The Brew Brothers where you’ll find eighteen big screen TVs; mouthwatering burgers, salads and pizzas; and of course, hand crafted beers. Be sure to keep your eyes open for appearances by former NFL players Frank Hawkins, Dan McGwire, Quinn Early and former Harlem Globetrotter, Eathan O’Bryant.

HOLLY JOLLY DAYS AT ATLANTIS

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa is offering series of special discounts, in exchange for charitable donations during this year’s Holly Jolly Days!

Contributions will be donated to a number of deserving local charities, spanning the entire community. Charities include: The Salvation Army, Food Bank of Northern Nevada, Evelyn Mount Community Outreach Food Drive, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada and Toys for Tots!

Holly Jolly Days runs until Friday, December 23rd.

headerBring in two non-perishable food items (per person) to receive:

Café Alfresco

o   2-4-1 Wood Fired Brick Oven Pizza or Made-to-order Pasta

Manhattan Deli for Two for $20

o   Enjoy Two Select Menu Items, Two Drinks and a Dessert to Share

Purple Parrot $6.99 (midnight-6am)

o   Choice of: NY Steak and Eggs, Ham & Cheese Omelet, Gyro Sandwich or BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

Toucan Charlie’s Buffet & Grille (excludes Sunday Brunch)

o   2-4-1 Breakfast or Lunch or $5-off Dinner Buffet Nightly

6780_122386434444_105321224444_2213633_3562378_nGift Shop

o   20% Discount

Club Paradise Desk

o   Free Slot Tournament Bonus Entry

Bring in a new winter coat to receive:

Spa Atlantis

o   $10 Spa or Salon Gift Certificate

Bring in a new and unwrapped toy or two non-perishable food items to receive:

Fun Center

o   $5 Game Card with a minimum $5 purchase

Health, Hotties, Harmony and Homemade Gelato, the Perfect Girls Getaway Weekend

5327448547_64543031221_60_4908wellnesspc_hp9press.jpg1_page_1Grab the girls for a mini-vacay to Reno Tahoe this October for the perfect getaway weekend.  We listed a few of our favorites below, for a full listing check out our events calendar.

Oct 8-9: GREAT ITALIAN FESTIVAL

Pasta, gelato and wine. I think that covers enough.

Oct 14-15: TIME OUT FOR WOMEN

An inspirational weekend of messages and music.

1_thunder_2011Oct 15: HUNKS – THE SHOW!

The ultimate ladies night.

Oct 15: WINE WALK

Wine tasting along the scenic Riverwalk District is a local favorite.

Oct 21: DAVID COOK AND GAVIN DEGRAW WITH SPECIAL GUEST CAROLINA LIAR

These platinum selling fellas have stolen the hearts of many.

Oct 21-23: WELLNESS WEEKEND – STILL WATER SPA

An all-inclusive weekend combining the best of wellness and beauty: skincare, nutrition, food and wine, fitness classes and spa treatments.

Oct 23: JASON ALDEAN WITH CHRIS YOUNG AND THOMPSON SQUARE

Three of country’s hottest gentlemen, one concert.

Oct 28-29: THUNDER FROM DOWN UNDER

Prepare to be Thunderstruck! If you like a man in uniform, imagine one out of one…

Get Away to Reno Tahoe with these Amazing Deals

4685907036_cd6bcde543Whether you’re planning your next vacation to Reno Tahoe, or you’re a local in need of a stay-cation, you will love these incredible deals.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Coming for a Special Event? Save with one of the many hotels who offer event packages! To name a few, John Ascuaga’s Nugget has packages for Street Vibrations and the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa has packages for Thunder From Down Under.

ROMANTIC GETAWAY02-Couples-Dining-Romanza-Peppermill

Maybe a romantic stay in the Biggest Little City with that significant other is more what you’re looking for? If so, these generous offers from the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino and Silver Legacy Resort Casino will sweep you off your feet. Take advantage of these dueling discounts on everything you need for a sizzling stay; including, your room, dinner, chocolate covered strawberries and couples massage.

FAMILY FIRST2761382466_b2b74550f2_z

Recover from a brain freeze after scarfing down a waffle cone, play in the arcades, or hit the slopes with these unique packages designed for families.

Peppermill Resort Spa Casino We are Family Package

Circus Circus Vacation Ski and Midway Package

SHOW ME SOME LOVE

Eldorado Hotel Casino is offering room packages for those looking to see one of their hit shows Peter Pan or Hairspray!

LAKE TAHOE

Lake Tahoe is a pristine vacation destination where you can enjoy your favorite summer or winter activities among the beautiful surroundings of crystal clear water, towering pine trees and the often snow-capped Sierra Nevada Mountains. From kayaking and paddle boarding to skiing and spa treatments, there are endless savings in Tahoe.

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With an abundance of world-class ski resorts and unsurpassed conditions, Reno Tahoe is one of the most sought-after winter sports destinations on the globe. Now combine our excellent skiing/snowboarding with the pleasure of staying at the luxurious Atlantis Casino Resort Spa and you’re in for a getaway you’ll never forget.  Experience it for yourself with these great ski packages that will get you on the slopes without breaking the bank.

Peppermill Calderium - SpaFrom weekend getaways to week-long retreats, the possibilities for a great time are endless in Reno-Tahoe. Here are few more deals to make your trip even better:

Grand Sierra Resort Golf Packages

Eldorado Hotel Casino Extended Stay Packages

Peppermill Resort Spa Casino Wine and Dine Package

Written by, Cody Haener

MEruelo Group to invest more than $25 million IN RENOVATIONS at Grand Sierra Resort AND CASINO

2358651633_494bfef237_zAlex Meruelo, CEO and Founder of the Meruelo Group, and owner of Grand Sierra Resort and Casino (GSR) announced a $25 million investment in upgrading the GSR campus. This facility’s improvement will focus on areas that most impact guests’ quality of experience including but not limited to guest rooms, dining venues and entertainment spaces.

Construction begins 4th Quarter 2011. Renovations will include:

  • Updated guest rooms and suites, which will showcase classic contemporary furnishings, linens and flooring.
  • The Cantina, a new and authentic Mexican dining venue that will boast Northern Nevada’s largest tequila collection.
  • The casino floor will boast a brand new complete ultra lounge, featuring floor to ceiling sheers and hidden coves with plush furniture.
  • GSR newest club will be a contemporary country western dance hall. With more than $1 million allocated for this portion of the project the new space will feature a larger dance floor, additional seating and a country crossover look and feel.
  • To compliment all of the additions to the property the casino will also be remodeled and renovated to reflect the updated look.
  • The last elements of the renovation will include improvements to existing on-site amenities such as the convention center, heath club and spa as well as new and upgraded carpet and lighting throughout the property.

World’s Tallest Climbing Wall and New “Urban Adventure Destination” Take Reno to New Heights at October 1 Grand Opening

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300381_187155851354888_113991988671275_428467_5538050_n301382_186173698119770_113991988671275_425974_1941555_nCommRow will celebrate its grand opening on October 1, becoming Reno’s first “Urban Adventure Destination.” This property will inject a sample of the region’s outdoor thrills into the heart of Reno’s downtown corridor.

Towering 164-feet above the landmark Reno arch is the world’s tallest climbing wall on the 16-story building’s exterior façade. Inside, climbing enthusiasts or curious beginners will find a world-class bouldering center, plus event space and slacklines. The entire climbing facility, known as BaseCamp, is built to international competition standards but also first-timer friendly.

CommRow also features a menagerie of culturally-diverse eateries and bars dubbed “TheRow”, which were developed by two seasoned restaurateurs who have worked with such acclaimed chefs as Bobby Flay, Charlie Palmer and Bryan Voltaggio. Guests will find something to tempt any palate, from traditional tacos to fresh tuna tartars. Libations from classic cocktails to a selection of more than 100 tequilas can also be found. On the second floor, watch all of the bouldering action while enjoying either smoothies and housemade granolas, or wines by the glass and draft beers.

Two live entertainment venues known as Cargo and Centric will feature local performers and national touring acts. During the day, the 400-person capacity Cargo will transform into a fitness center with a focus on core training. Additional meeting and event space is also available.

Other attractions are slated to open in 2012, including the pet-friendly HANG Hotel in spring, and an outdoor “Adventure Deck” with BMX and skate parks, outdoor bouldering and more.

CommRow’s developer Fernando Leal of Chicago- and Reno-based L3 Development LLC states, “This is a huge opportunity to elevate Reno’s perception in the eyes of both locals and visitors alike, showcasing it for what it truly is – a vibrant, multi-faceted destination.”