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Doc
Doc
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September 15th, 2012 at 7:48:52 AM permalink
State: Nevada
City: Las Vegas
Casino: Arizona Charlie's Boulder


Well, it seems that once I broke with the alphabetical sequence in this thread, I forgot how to alphabetize. I suppose I could claim that I planned all along to fill in the blanks in the Nevada set in the order that I obtained the chips, not alphabetically … yeah, that's the ticket. I got the Avi chip in 2010, the Arizona Charlie's Boulder chip in May 2012, and tomorrow's Casino Chip of the Day in August 2012. Yeah, that works; that's what I intended all along…. Understand?

Of course, Arizona Charlie's Boulder is the exact same establishment as Arizona Charlie's East, the casino whose chip I posted way back the first week of this thread, with it now just operating under a different name. At the time I posted that "East" chip, I noted that references on the web and the signs visible on Google Maps Street View said "Boulder," and I asked whether there were chips that said "Boulder."

Sure enough, teddys, following up on his review of the casino, posted an image of a "Boulder" chip from another web site, and I naturally had to pick one up on my next visit to Las Vegas. That opportunity occurred last May, when Nareed, my wife, and I stopped at the East/Boulder casino on our way out to Fiesta Henderson for WoVCon][.1. I think it is interesting to note that all of the chips in play even then said "East", and I had to ask the cage cashier to search for a "Boulder" one. I don't think that rdw4potus has yet found a $5 one that says "Boulder."

The chip shown below is identical to the one teddys found on the web; it is a white RHC Paulson chip with two triangular edge inserts in purple and teal. The center inlay is almost identical to the inlay for the Arizona Charlie's Decatur chip, with the exceptions of very slight differences in color tones, the different street name, the additional note of an RV Park at the Boulder location, and the change from black to white text for the city.

Doc
Doc
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September 16th, 2012 at 7:16:38 AM permalink
State: Nevada
City: Las Vegas
Casino: D


As has become typical, once again it seems there is very limited interest in this thread on the weekend. Nevertheless, I will post the final (for now) Nevada chip in my collection. This makes 146 Nevada casinos presented thus far, with 136 represented by chips, 8 by tokens, and two by both a chip and a token presented together. Plus, of course, all those same casinos' numerous chips and tokens presented by other members who have so kindly contributed to this thread.

Tomorrow, I will begin presenting the few chips that I have from Arizona, but there are no states from which I have anywhere near so many chips as I do from Nevada. I think the second-place state has provided 33 chips so far. There are several states from which I currently have only a single chip, and quite a few that are completely unrepresented in my collection, even though they have active casinos. There is almost always time for more, I suppose.

Back last March, the new (as of last year) owners of Fitzgeralds Casino and Hotel on Fremont Street in Las Vegas announced they were changing the casino's name to "the D." The new name was to allude simultaneously to (1) the majority owner, Derek Stevens, (2) the Downtown location, and (3) the Stevens brothers' hometown of Detroit. In connection with the name change, several renovations/modifications were planned and are underway.

New chips were not yet available for us to check out or collect during WoVCon][ in May, but I was able to pick one up on my following visit to Las Vegas in late August and early September. I played a little craps during the daytime, while the music volume was subdued, and actually came out a little ahead.

The D chip shown below is white and is made with the Sun mold from Blue Chip Company of North Las Vegas. The company was organized by some members of the Endy family after they sold Paul-son Co., or Paulson, and I first discussed it when I presented the CasaBlanca chip back in April. The D chip has four blue edge "inserts" that match portions of the center inlay. However, they don't really seem to be inserts – a view from the edge shows that they don't go all the way through the chip, though they do penetrate significantly from each surface. The Blue Chip product certainly appears to be a clay chip like the Paulson ones, but I don't know their manufacturing process, and the company doesn't seem to have a web site.

The inlay itself is substantially oversized and completely covers the eight sun (a bit like an asterisk) icons on the perimeter. Unlike the CasaBlanca chip, here there is no hidden sun image revealed by UV light -- no hidden image at all, in fact, although the edge inserts do fluoresce.

While I was in Las Vegas, they were doing renovations on the entrance to the D. I think the area above the door may wind up looking a bit like the background shadow Ds on the inlay of this chip. Perhaps someone local can let us know whether it really ends up looking like that.

Johnzimbo
Johnzimbo
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September 16th, 2012 at 3:17:36 PM permalink
Back when you posted your chip from Fitzgeralds (page 72) I mentioned that I had spent many nights at the Fitz and, before that, the Sundance but I didn't post my Sundance chips for some reason then. Here they are, slightly blurry sorry.



Doc
Doc
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September 16th, 2012 at 5:17:20 PM permalink
Thanks, Joyhnzimbo. Sundance chips work just fine as representing a predecessor establishment of either Fitzgeralds or the D.
Doc
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September 17th, 2012 at 7:45:18 AM permalink
State: Arizona
City: Parker
Casino: BlueWater


Yep, we get to start Arizona off with a BJ – that is, a souvenir chip manufactured by the Bud Jones company, with the BJ logo clearly displayed on the center graphic. CasinoCity.com claims that there are 37 casinos in Arizona, but I haven't checked into how many of them have table games and chips. My collection is currently limited to just three of these casinos, and all three are located within just a very few miles of the Colorado River. Some day I will try to visit some of the others, but that interest hasn't yet worked its way high onto my priority list.

I am beginning to suspect that as I move this thread to different states, and particularly to tribal casinos, I may have difficulty finding good information. As an example, the references I can find on line for today's casino spell BlueWater as one word, with the W in upper case. In contrast, the chip itself shows Blue and Water on separate lines, so I am not completely certain which is correct. I will try to stick with the one-word version.

The BlueWater Resort and Casino is owned and operated by the Colorado River Indian Tribes, an association of four separate tribes – Mohave, Chemehuevi, Hopi, and Navajo – which collaborate while maintaining unique identities. They share the Colorado River Indian Reservation, which spans the river into both Arizona and California, from just north of Parker, AZ to around Blythe, CA. (I'm not completely sure of the boundaries.) In spite of the general desert characteristic of that region, much of the reservation land is heavily developed agriculturally, making extensive use of the Colorado River waters. Principal crops are cotton, alfalfa and sorghum.

The resort opened in 1995 on the eastern shore of the river, or more properly on the southern shore of Moovalya Lake, which is formed by the Parker Dam. It is north of Parker and well north of the agricultural development. The resort has a lovely marina serving the lake, and I remember the entire facility as being pretty nice. It is just off Arizona 95, but I don't think you can quite see the building from that highway, just the entrance sign promoting the casino. There is a traffic signal there on AZ95, probably to make sure that drivers slow enough to risk being lured onto the dual-lane driveway over to the resort.

I visited BlueWater just once, in January 2010. Our small group of three had lunch there, and my notes say that I broke even at blackjack. My wife and I drove past the resort again just over two weeks ago, but we were hurrying to our destination and didn't take time to stop in again.

My readings on Wikipedia indicate that in the past half a decade or so the Colorado River Indian Tribes have also proposed a casino near Blythe, California and obtained at least some of the needed approvals, but the facility has not yet been implemented. I don't know whether the deferral is related to regulatory or economic issues.

The Bud Jones plastic injection molded chip shown below is white with purple dashes on two concentric rings, plus the denomination listed in four places. On the edge of the chip there are purple diamonds aligned with the denomination marks on the faces. The center graphic is quite colorful, with a sun backlighting the resort name and city. The MOGH catalog has no information on the issue date of this chip.

rdw4potus
rdw4potus
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September 17th, 2012 at 8:18:48 AM permalink


Here's my BlueWater chip. I visited BlueWater just once. I was impressed by the quality of the resort. I expected it to be more along the lines of Havasu Landing (which I'd visited earlier that day), so I was very pleasantly surprised.
"So as the clock ticked and the day passed, opportunity met preparation, and luck happened." - Maurice Clarett
Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba
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September 17th, 2012 at 9:58:20 AM permalink
Did the Blue Water require a collection for each wager on table games? Do you recall the mix of slots vs. tables? If I recall correctly, there were no "real" craps tables in AZ, but did they have "bubble" or "electronic" versions?
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
Doc
Doc
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September 17th, 2012 at 10:37:38 AM permalink
I'm afraid I don't have a useful memory on some of those details. I'm fairly sure that I would have remembered if they collected a fee for each hand, because that is the kind of thing that irks me.

CasinoCity.com claims that BlueWater has 493 machines and 13 table games, including 6 poker tables, plus keno and bingo. If there had been a real crap table, I'm sure I would have played that instead of blackjack. I have never played the bubble or electronic versions of craps, so I might not have even noticed them if they were there. Some day I might try the bubble version; I tried Rapid Craps at Bill's for the first time less than two weeks ago, and I thought it was a reasonable version of the game.
Doc
Doc
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September 18th, 2012 at 6:36:33 AM permalink
State: Arizona
City: Somerton
Casino: Cocopah


Somerton, Arizona is on the southwest side of Yuma, and the Cocopah Casino lies about eight and a half miles south of the point where Arizona, California, and Mexico meet. The casino opened in 1992 and belongs to the Cocopah Indian tribe, known as "the River People." To me, that sounds quite a bit like the Avi casino's Pipa Aha Macav tribe known as "the People by the River." I suppose that if for centuries life itself was heavily dependent on the Colorado, similar names could develop for quite a collection of peoples along the path of the river.

The Cocopah tribe now has reservation lands split into three tracts generally toward the west side of Yuma, all within Arizona, I believe. The three tracts are identified as North, West, and East Reservations, with the West Reservation bordering Mexico. In addition to the casino, which is on the East Reservation, they have a resort and conference center, a museum, a 3/8-mile semi-banked dirt race track, an RV and golf resort, and a bowling alley complex offering both laser tag and an arcade room.

The casino web site claims they have over 500 slot machines and 10 blackjack tables, in addition to their bingo hall. When I was there on a Friday evening a couple of weeks ago, there were only four tables staffed, and I think one of them was something other than blackjack, perhaps three-card poker. At the three staffed blackjack tables, there were a total of four players, I think, with one table being idle. I think I saw on the web site that they offer a $2 game, but the minimum was $5 while I was there. I guess Friday nights are for the big action.

The images below show the two sides of the token I kept as a souvenir from my blackjack play, in which I broke even. OK, I guess I won $1 after tips, but I don't count the chips/tokens I don't cash in. The casino does not currently use any $1 chips, only tokens, but the MOGH catalog shows a blue Paulson hat and cane chip with a "CB" hot stamped in gold as the only info on the chip. The catalog claims this is a $1 denomination, but I don't know how that could be determined. I can only guess that the "CB" means "Cocopah Bingo" or something like that. The first image of my token includes a label of "Bingomat." The MOGH catalog shows this token but provides no information about when it was issued.

In the second image of the token, just below the big 1, you can see the mint mark "LM" (much more visible in the larger image you get when you click on this small one.) When Lucyjr posted images of some tokens back in June, I pointed out the LM mint mark on the back of the Flamingo token and said, "I believe that stands for Lombardi Mint. I have not found any detailed information about that mint, because most every search result seems to be about some item related to Vince Lombardi that is supposedly in mint condition."

Well, there are plenty of places on the web that mention the "Lombardi" mint, including pages specifically about casino tokens and some eBay pages with tokens for sale. The reason I had trouble finding out more information about the token manufacturer is that their real name is the "Lombardo" mint. Knowing the correct spelling of the name really helps in finding information. If you do a search on the proper name, I think you can find some significant medallions that were minted there.

The company was founded by Orazio Lombardo, who was born in Milan, Italy in 1926. He created his company in Ontario in 1952 as Lombardo Specialty, later renaming it Canadian Artistic Dies and eventually Lombardo Mint. In 2005, the Lombardo operations were acquired by the Mississauga Mint of Mississauga, Ontario, which is on the west side of Toronto. The company claims to be the largest private mint in Canada. I don't have any idea how much competition there is for that title.

OK, folks, let's see all of your Cocopah chips! ;-)

rdw4potus
rdw4potus
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September 18th, 2012 at 6:52:45 AM permalink


I've been to Cocopah many times. It's a fun place. The crowd skews older, but is generally very laid back. I'm still working on getting two last chips from Southern California (from cardclubs in Blythe and El Centro), and I find myself stopping at Cocopah as I drive through.
"So as the clock ticked and the day passed, opportunity met preparation, and luck happened." - Maurice Clarett

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