The Nugget Resort Casino Press Room is designed to keep you up-to-date on the latest news and events at the hotel. For more information, a press kit or to schedule a media visit, please contact Randy Kennedy, Director of Marketing Communications at or (775) 356-3437.

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Nugget Casino Resort Debuts Oktoberfest Event

Reno/Sparks, Nevada – Gilley’s Saloon, Dance Hall & Bar-B-Que inside the Nugget Casino Resort will become a Bavarian wonderland for its first Oktoberfest celebration from Friday, September 30 to Sunday, October 2!

“It’s party time for German food fans all over the world and Gilley’s wanted to get in on the party.” said Lisa Jansen, Director of Special Events & Entertainment.  “It is time to bring out the lederhosen because we are turning Gilley’s into the best place in town to eat, drink, and celebrate Oktoberfest in Bavarian style.”

Oktoberfest at the Nugget will feature themed entertainment, and it will have no shortage of Bavarian-style food, including giant pretzels served with sweet mustard and beer cheese sauce, hofbräuhaus bratwurst chili, schweinebraten (Bavarian roast pork) and much more. Of course, who can forget about the beer? The bar will feature all kinds of German lagers, and you can also buy a souvenir beer stein that includes bottomless refills!

Saturday, October 1 is sure to draw a big crowd for the inaugural stein-holding contest. It’s a test of strength and endurance. Competitors must hold a stein of beer, which generally weighs about five pounds, in front of them at shoulder level, keeping their arm straight out, for as long as they can without spilling their beer. Prizes will be given to the top three winners who can keep their stein aloft the longest.

The Nugget welcomes guests to dress up in Bavarian costumes as Gilley’s employees will also get into the spirit of Oktoberfest!

Rasta Joe’s BBQ Takes First Place at the 28th Annual Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off

Reno/Sparks, Nevada – First place honors at the 2016 Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off in Sparks, Nevada went to Rasta Joe’s BBQ Inc. from Plymouth, IN. 23 of the country’s top competitive, large volume barbecue teams competed for the coveted first place prize at the event. This is the 28th year of the six-day event, heralded as the most prestigious and popular rib cooking competition in the nation.

Rasta Joe’s has placed both second and third twice in past years, but this marks the first championship for owner, Joe Alexander, who said, “Now I have the trifecta, Best Sauce, People’s Choice and First Place!”

The top five winners for 2016 are:

First place: Rasta Joe’s BBQ Inc., from Plymouth, IN, $7,500
Second place: Bone Daddy’s BBQ, from Midland, MI, $3,000
Third place: Joey’s Texas Thunder from Borger, TX, $2,000
Fourth Place: Montana Q Bar-B-Que House, from Frenchtown, MT  $1,000
Fifth Place: Texas Outlaw Barbecue, from Elizabethtown, KY,  $500
People’s Choice Award also went to Fourth Place winner: Montana Q Bar-B-Que House, from Frenchtown, MT
Best Sauce: Checkered Pig BBQ, from Martinsville, VA $500.

While bragging rights, a trophy and the prize money are great benefits for the winners, they also generally see increased sales at the event the next year.

The 29th annual Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off is scheduled for Wednesday, August 30 through Monday, September 4, 2017. For reservations, and event information call (800) 648-1177 or (775) 356-3300.

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Thank you to 2016’s Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off sponsors, including AT&T, Floor & Decor, Home Depot and Kingsford, IGT, Kansas City Barbecue Society, KBUL Nash FM 98.1 and Cumulus, Kenwood Vineyards, KOZZ and Lotus Radio, More 106.9 FM and Reno Media Group, Marnell Gaming, Metro PCS, Model Dairy, Morrey Distributing and Budweiser, Northern Nevada Toyota Dealers, Seaboard Farms, the City of Sparks, Tahoe University and Wells Fargo.

Democratic Pig Representative Wins Presidential Pig Race at the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off

Sparks, NV, September 1, 2016 - The Nugget Casino Resort held its third edition of the election year, “Presidential Pig Race” to unofficially predict the winner of the 2016 run for the White House. The Democrat “Clinton” representative pig won the race by nearly a full length.

It was a fast track as pigs wearing blue “Clinton” and red “Trump” colors scampered alongside two running mates in the contest. The race has been held during the Best In The West Nugget Rib Cook-Off for the last three election years. In 2008 the “McCain” narrowly defeated the “Obama” pig, but in 2012 the “Obama” pig beat the “Romney” pig by a snout. The margin of error for the race is 50% for predicting America’s next Commander in Chief.

“We have a lot of fun with the race every election year,” said Randy Kennedy, Director of Marketing Communications at the Nugget Casino Resort. “It’s a great way to add some levity during an intense political season.”

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Video available.

#1 Competitive Eater Joey Chestnut Reclaims Title at Nugget World Rib Eating Championship

Joey “Jaws” Chestnut downs 9.6 pounds of ribs in 12 minutes; Last year’s champ, Matt “Megatoad” Stonie finishes second with 7.8 pounds.

Reno/Sparks, Nevada –Joey Chestnut, the world’s No.1-ranked competitive eater, retook the first place trophy and his ninth World Rib Eating title, placing first by nearly two pounds at the 11th Annual Championship during the 28th Annual Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off.

Chestnut, the world top ranked competitive eater, consumed a gut-busting 9.6 pounds of St. Louis style pork rib meat during the marathon 12-minute contest. He still holds the world record for the highest amount of rib meat consumed at the annual event. He polished off over 13 pounds in 2013. Chestnut secured the $2,500 cash grand prize for his eating prowess, scoring his ninth win in eleven years of the event.

Second-place finisher and world number two-ranked eater, Matt “Megatoad” Stonie consumed an impressive 7.8 pounds during the competition, eclipsing the third place finisher by a full three pounds.

In third place, with 4.8 pounds, was Rich “The Locust” LeFevre. LeFevre is 76 years old and has enjoyed an impressive career on the Major League Eating circuit. He has placed in the top five multiple times at the Nugget World Rib Eating Championship.

Fourth place went to Steve Hendry, the number 16 ranked eater who downed 3.6 pounds and fifth place went to contest newcomer and Reno-Sparks local D. Brian Burghart, a University of Nevada Reno instructor who has also been a Rib Cook-Off judge. Burghart put away two pounds of ribs in his first contest.

The Nugget World Rib Eating Championship is the kick-off event for America’s largest rib cook-off. The Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off is a six-day barbecue festival in Sparks, Nevada where rib fans from all over the country to eat more than 240,000 pounds of ribs cooked by 23 of the nation’s most decorated rib cookers. The cook-off continues through Monday, September 5, 2016.

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