Gaming: With remodeling done, River Rock plans a party 

The wine country’s River Rock Casino is planning a four-day “grand reopening” May 20-23 to celebrate the completion of its remodeling.

The casino plans to host drawings for $250 and $1,000 prizes, live entertainment and a free-to-enter, $10,000 slot tournament.

Over the last several months, River Rock has constructed an entirely new poker room, built the new American-Asian Fortune Cafe, expanded its entertainment lounge, painted, carpeted and added new chairs.

The Center Stage Bar and Grill has its own menu. The Quail Run restaurant has prime rib and seafood buffets Fridays and Saturdays, and Saturday-Sunday brunch. There is even a selection of sugar-free and no-sugar-added deserts.

The Club, River Rock’s players club, has moved to the rear of the casino, with a long, efficient counter similar to those found in megacasinos.

The Club is free to join and new members get $10 in free play, a benefit that will likely continue, said Chris Wright, advertising and promotions manager.

If there’s good weather, as was the case last Saturday, if you’re playing in the poker room and breaking to eat, or if you’re dining in the Quail Run restaurant, ask to be seated on the outside patio for a relaxing view of the Alexander Valley.

The casino has contracted for an extensive bus service — several buses a day depart from The City and other Bay Area towns. The cost is around $10, and River Rock gives back between $20 and $35 in match play, depending on the game.

River Rock is owned by the 1,000-member Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians.

Jackson gets a jump on the frog contest

Jackson Rancheria Casino and Hotel is getting a jump on the annual Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee by hosting its own frog-jump competition this weekend.

The Calaveras County event grew out of a short story by Mark Twain, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” The Jumping Frog Jubilee ( is May 13-16 at the fairgrounds outside Angels Camp.

To get a jump on the county event, the casino is having a pre-jump from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, CEO Rich Hoffman said. There is no charge, and no frog-jumping experience is necessary. Everything — even frogs — will be provided. Participants must be members of the Jackson players club (it’s free), and there are prizes, a trophy and the ability to qualify for the grand finals at the Calaveras County Fair.

For more information, call (800) 822-9466 or visit

— Staff report

If You Go

River Rock Casino

Where: 3250 Highway 128, Geyserville

Phone: (877) 883-7777

On the Web:

Slots: 1,200

Tables: Six poker, 18 others

Get there: Take U.S. Highway 101 north past Santa Rosa to Geyserville — you can see River Rock’s parking garage from the freeway. Exit at state Route 128.

Check out: Extensive bus service from all over the Bay Area and many related promotions. For transportation information, call (800) 254-3423 or visit the casino’s website.

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Al Pacciorini

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