The area surrounding Sparks was originally the home of the Native American Washoe tribe. It wasn't until the 1850s that the first non-native settlers moved into the region. Sparks stayed a sleepy little village until the railroad came to town in 1904. Almost overnight the area was awash with railroad workers, followed closely by gold seekers heading for California.
In the 1950s, Sparks began to develop as a gaming and resort destination, spurred on by similar development in Reno. Ascuaga's Nugget opened in 1955 and remains the city's largest and most luxurious resort. Today, the cities of Reno and Sparks have nearly grown together, forming one large metropolitan area.
Popular resorts in Sparks:
• John Ascuaga's Nugget Resort and Casino – John Ascuaga's Nugget is the area's most luxurious hotel and a Nevada legend. The resort's two 29-story towers house 1600 guest rooms and suites as well as a spa, a wedding chapel, an atrium pool, a health club, and a shopping arcade. The resort's casino offers hundreds of slot as well as all of the standard table games and the hotel's nine eateries serve everything from Polynesian to Basque cuisine.
• Western Village Inn and Casino – The 285-room Western Village has a spacious, 27,000-square foot casino with 820 slots. The four restaurants, including a western-style steakhouse are local favorites. Other facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, a gift shop, and a video arcade.
The water sports, lake cruises, and winter skiing offered in and around Lake Tahoe are about an hour's drive from Sparks. Closer to Sparks, visitors can enjoy the following attractions:
• Great Basin Brewing Company – This locally owned operation crafts a variety of beers, ranging from Nevada Gold to Jackpot Porter. Visitors can tour the brewery, sample the beers, and enjoy lunch or dinner in the adjacent restaurant.
• Wild Island Family Adventure Park – This family favorite offers everything from miniature golf to a multi-acre waterpark. There is also a mini-Indy car racetrack, bowling lanes, a spaghetti restaurant, and a roller coaster.
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