Truckee Gaming to purchase Pioneer Crossing

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Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

The company that owns the Gold Ranch Casino in Dayton and Verdi is expanding its reach into Lyon County.

Truckee Gaming, LLC is purchasing all three locations of Pioneer Crossing Casino in a deal that could be finalized within the next couple of weeks.

“We’re excited about it because they’re three great operations,” Truckee Gaming CEO Ferenc Szony said.

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Szony said Truckee Gaming first engaged in discussions this summer with Pioneer Crossing co-owners Mike Benjamin and Mike Melarkey about purchasing the properties, and he said it turned out the timing was right for all involved.

“We’ve had interest a long time and this time economy and the conditions were right,” Szony said.

Benjamin deferred comment on the sale to Szony.

While Truckee Gaming already has a footprint in Dayton with the Gold Ranch Casino, the purchase of Pioneer Crossing marks the company’s first forays into the Fernley and Yerington markets.

Szony said it’s those casinos’ base of local customers that makes them attractive.

“This is our first time into both markets and we really looked for the right operation and the right facility,” he said. “Of any operations we could have picked, these were our favorites. We feel they’re great assets and it will be a win-win for everybody.”

Truckee Gaming owns and operates the Gold Ranch Casino and RV Resort in Verdi and Gold Ranch Casino in Dayton, and owned the Sands Regency in Reno for about 20 years until selling that property this summer.

Although Pioneer Crossing and the Gold Ranch in Dayton were competitors, Szony said he doesn’t foresee any conflicts with two properties in close proximity.

“The thing is, we don’t see Dayton as a standalone market,” Szony said. “The Highway 50 corridor runs from Carson City to Dayton and Silver Springs, and casino patrons play at all of those spots. Each has its own identity and we feel we’re going to keep that going.”

Truckee Gaming’s application for gaming license for the Pioneer Crossing properties was on the agenda for last Wednesday’s meeting of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and it is scheduled to go before the Nevada Gaming Commission Dec. 21.

“As of the 22nd our company will be getting a real nice Christmas present,” Szony said.

Truckee Gaming doesn’t plan to make any immediate changes to either of the three Pioneer Crossing properties, and patrons shouldn’t notice any differences, Szony said.

“The employees and management are staying the same, and the players clubs are staying unique to each property,” he said. “They have good food product, good slot product and players clubs, and we think it’s actually going to work pretty good.”

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