Quite A Legacy

Sid Doan Jr.


  Who Is Sid?     Imagine this guy who’s comprised of parts stolen from a list of characters. A man possessing the generosity and girth of Wilford Brimley, and the comfortable gruff of Ernest Hemingway.  A guy who could spin yarns as coyly as Will Rogers and was as much at ease with fine wines as he was greasy spoons. Sid Doan Jr. was that kind of guy. He was so much that kind of guy that his legacy remains the same personification.  His swagger in life had such gravity that now, after passing; he continues to live in the hearts and minds of many. Special people have that gift. Sid was that: Sid was special. Sid’s folksy charm and unpretentious, no bullshit outlook on life created a casino that mirrored the man himself.  There’s an impressive gun collection, and an intimate museum honoring the man he got to know and whom he always admired: John Wayne.  Elvis is in the house, too. And for a soundtrack, there’s a pleasant cacophony of laughter, conversation and the sound of silver coins on the metal pans.  Sid was demanding om himself and his employees but he was always a benevolent soul; quick with a ham-sized handshake and just as quick to concoct a never-before-seen recipe for liberal sized pancakes. Heck he’s even been given credit for his contribution the quintessential Country Fried Steak as noted in “The All American Truck Stop Cook Book.”  Sid grew up in an era of thrift and knew of no other way to work than diligently and honestly. He had a penchant for grandfather clocks. He had a well-worn chair that doubled as his throne on his “John Wayne Theater” tv show in the 80s.  But mostly Sid had a way with people. He was sincere and authentic, so much so that we have a hard time imagining he’s not here anymore. And that is the mark of a man remembered by so many as being slightly larger than life. 



 Imagine Sierra Sid’s Casino™ is a story of one man’s willingness to roll up his sleeves, face challenges and change, and accept the risks and rewards that come with opportunity. That opportunity arose when Sid Doan-a well-respected, hard-working businessman who ran a rental car agency and gas station in southern California-approached Union Oil about their plans for a truck stop they had on the drawing boards. It was 1971 and at the same time, the land where these plans would take shape was, in Sid’s words, in the “boondocks” east of Reno in Sparks, Nevada. Plans were in the works to expand interstate 80 and Sid recognized the opportunities that existed for a truck stop with prime frontage to America’s main east-west artery of travel and commerce. That year, Sid took the challenge, moved to Sparks and leased the restaurant, gift shop and casino rights from Union Oil. He named his new venture “Sierra Sid’s” in tribute to the mountains he admired. The doors opened in 1972. The thinly populated city that surrounded Sierra Sid’s, took an instant liking to Sid’s reputation for honesty. Over time, Sparks boomed and the casino developed a following of people who came to know Sid personally, a personality whose straight-shooting, no b.s. cordiality coursed the veins of his property. Sid’s profile was further enhanced in the early ‘80s via the “John Wayne Theater” tv series that he hosted from the comfort of his well-worn reclining chair. His collection of guns and memorabilia from John Wayne and Elvis Presley are still prominently displayed in his casino. In January, 2002, Sid sold his truck stop operation to Travel Centers of America and retired. His daughter Marcy took over operations of the family holding that they retained – Sierra Sid’s Casino. On December 1, 2006, Sid Doan passed away. To this day, however, his legacy and character are kept very much alive by his family, his employees, and the steady stream of faithful from faraway roads and nearby neighborhoods who call Sierra Sid’s casino their own. 

Sid's Brand


  Brand Pillars Once upon a time (in the way back year of 1971) a colorful character by the name of Sid Doan left Southern Cal for a patch of sagebrush known as Sparks. Sid jumped at the chance to open a casino and restaurant alongside I-80, which was slated for a nationwide expansion. With his love for serving the common man, Sid opened Sierra Sid’s. These are the “must be’s” that Sid founded his casino on, Brand Pillars that continue to thrive in our casino today. They are the core principles we ask of you and ourselves in all we do in the world of Sierra Sid’s. From grabbing hold of the overhead mic to paying out a jackpot, we strive to be the following:   Original Friendly Hard Working Different Entertaining Reliable Proud Fun Dedicated Caring Happy Helpful     Genuine Casual True to Sid Stress-Free Personable Welcoming Helpful Easygoing    

Sid's Boys


The Grandsons Three;  Justin, Alex, and Adam

His Selling Points


  Unique Selling Points If Popeye hadn’t said it first, Sid would have: “I yams what I yams and that’s all that I yams.” Sid wasn’t a pretender; he was as authentic as they come. He was who he was and his casino is what it is-as well as what it ain’t. While other casinos reached for the sky, Sid reached for the Twinkies. He was unique. As a casino, we are unique as well. These are our Unique Selling Points (USP’s), those claims of distinction that we consistently deliver that set us apart from other casinos and makes us “the last honest casino.”   Sid We are the only casino that possesses the character and comfortable, larger-than-life swagger of Sid.  Snack Trays We are the only Reno/Sparks casino to offer snack trays to customers. Gun Collection Our gun collection is one of the nation’s best and includes one-of-a-kind memorabilia, including John Wayne and Elvis Presley. Name Recognition We know you by name and we go out of our way to welcome you. Blue Collar Sierra Sid’s clientele are largely truckers and blue-collar workers. Family Sierra Sid’s is family-owned and operated.  

Behind Every Great Man is ...


Sid and Florence Doan Enjoying A Relaxing Toast To Life