Sponsored by: Jackpot, Nevada Tourism
After all these years, the early history of Jackpot still hints at the unique character of this scenic, high-elevation town in northeast Nevada.
In the 1950s, when Idaho outlawed casino gaming, entrepreneurs “Cactus” Pete Piersanti and Don French moved their slot machines across the state line. A few years later, the settlement originally called Unincorporated Town One was fittingly renamed to “Jackpot.”
These days, the charming community of about 1,000 residents more than lives up to its name, with top-notch gaming and outdoor adventures that keep visitors busy.
The heart of Jackpot, not surprisingly, beats in its five casinos, all easily accessed on Highway 93.
Guests can savor a range of cuisine at the on-site restaurants, from classic bar food in a saloon setting to fine dining from chefs who focus on upscale seafood and steaks. Approximately 600 hotel rooms, from vintage to modern, are available.
In addition to all the nonstop indoor entertainment, Jackpot is known for its invigorating fresh-air activities, from hiking and camping to fishing and boating.
Fans of UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle) trails enjoy miles of challenging terrain for off-road biking and exploring, including Middle Stack Mountain, so named for its location between two other peaks.
“Jackpot is a wonderful outdoor gem,” says Kaylee Shields, Jackpot’s new director of economic development and tourism. “We are a fun-based community where you can bring the whole family and create new adventures.”
The recreational opportunities are even greater if you consider the town’s proximity to Idaho. In less than a mile, you can cross the state line, climb the famous Balanced Rock and kayak the Snake River, then head back to Jackpot for a delicious dinner and an evening of gambling or a walk-through pedestrian-friendly Jackpot.
“Really, this is a great base camp,” Shields says. “You can have all the excitement of a rugged outdoor adventure and then all of the comfort of a high-quality hotel casino.”
At Jackpot Golf Club, players can spend the day surrounded by beautiful rolling hills, golf greens punctuated by stunning waterways, and a wide-open expanse of desert with frequent appearances by antelope, rabbits and other wildlife. Winner of Golf Digest’s “Best Places to Play Golf Under $50,” the 18-hole course is surprisingly affordable.
Jackpot, of course, isn’t just for adults. Each year, families flock to the sprawling town park for the daylong Fourth of July celebration, complete with morning parade, midday potluck, afternoon DJ music, evening food vendors and, of course, a fireworks finale.
The annual classic car show held each August delights crowds for a whole weekend.
“A lot of people just drive through because they don’t realize the wonderful amenities that are here,” Shields says. “We’d like people to stop and explore because Jackpot has a lot to offer.”
For more info, visit townofjackpot.com. Please note that Jackpot unofficially observes Mountain Time.