Return from River Rock: Part 1 of 3

April 16, 2008 Posted by Tyler Cruz

First I’d like to say how good it feels to be back ONLINE. My blog, in addition to all my other sites, were down for ten days. I will save my downtime story for a future post as I’m still working on things as we speak. For those wondering, I’ve already extended the campaigns of my advertisers by 10 days as compensation for the downtime. I predict the downtime cost me around $10,000. It’ sure feels sure good to be back.

I returned from my short trip to the River Rock Casino Resort a week ago. Lisa and I don’t go on many excursions together, so even though the trip was only a ferry ride away, it was still a very fun and exciting trip for both of us, like many of the resorts in Nevada

The River Rock is located in Richmond, BC Canada and is only a few years old. Richmond, for those wondering, is right next to Vancouver – about a 20-minute drive away. I had never been to Richmond before, but I was expecting it to be similar to Vancouver.

After taking the 2-hour ferry from Vancouver Island to the mainland, the Google Maps directions I followed were simple enough, but I made a turn when I shouldn’t have. What should have been a 22-minute drive ended up taking closer to an hour-and-a half, but there was no real stress since we weren’t on a schedule and believe that getting lost is half the fun of taking a trip.

When I got back on track according to the map directions, I couldn’t believe how a casino could be placed in the area I was driving around. To be bluntly honest, Richmond isn’t the most beautiful city in the world. I’ve driven around it so much now that I can say that most residential areas are actually pretty nice, but most of downtown is pretty ugly, more on that later. So, I was wondering how we could be in the right area since it looked like a war zone with all the construction around, when I saw the huge pillar and sign:


I guess it is almost a homage to Vegas: all those people driving down through the bare desert with absolutely nothing around with the expectation of landing in a mirage of utopia.

Here’s a shot I took of the back of the casino. It is absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t believe how few people were outside enjoying the many fountains and waterfalls, dock, etc. I mean, people were obviously inside gambling, but it’s a big resort and the most people I saw outside were three Asian women taking photos of each other.


This can be illustrated as well by the pool. Pools are often one of those things that look much larger in the publicity photos you see than in real life, but when we went it was actually much bigger than we imagined. It had a decently long waterslide too that weaved in and out of a rock path…. and absolutely NO people there. Not a sole. Same with the exercise room.

I couldn’t believe how people weren’t using these amenities, although it might be explained by the absolute sheer beauty of the River Rock casino.


I can’t compare the River Rock to other casinos since I’ve never been to any other large casinos, but I think it’s safe to say that the River Rock would be a contender with the best of what Vegas has to offer. It’s just an absolutely beautiful casino. So beautiful that I cannot even describe it.

Unfortunately, I was obviously unable to take photos of the casino due to security reasons, but I approached a security offer and asked if it was okay to take pictures of the hotel area, and I got the green light.


The photo above does not give the place an ounce of justice, but I always feel awkward taking pictures in public so we didn’t take more.

Chris Rock came on April 9th, which brought in a slew of people. I was surprised to see a lot of people and ladies elegantly dressed with suits and fancy dresses like dark green prom dress… I always thought people dressed fairly casually to stand-up shows. We didn’t go see him because I’m not a big comedy person, but it’s still cool knowing that you can wake up in your bed, take the elevator downstairs and catch a show within a couple minutes.


The only slight disappointment I did have in terms of expectation was their 24-hour international food court. I had thought it would be much larger with greater selection, but there were only three places to choose from, and one sold mainly muffins and stuff so that didn’t count 🙂

But Lisa and I went to an absolutely awesome buffet restaurant called Runway 26 later on that definitely made up for it. The only other buffet I went to that can compare to it would be one in Seoul, Korea. Basically, all the food was top-notch quality, unlike what you might expect with most all-you-can-eat buffets. They had a huge ‘bin’ of peppercorn steaks, fresh wild salmon, and baked chicken that alone made you shed a tear in joy.


If you’re ever in Richmond BC, I totally recommend checking out the River Rock Casino Resort. You don’t have to gamble or even spend a dime on anything, and can just go in and walk around if you’d like.

Stay tuned for my next two updates where I’ll give a video tour of our hotel room, talk about how poker went, and describe how John Chow is like in person.

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Posted: April 16th, 2008 under Personal  

29 Responses to “Return from River Rock: Part 1 of 3”

  1. Amazing place, just goes to show how much those casino’s are making. Good to see you’re back and the server is running again. Feel free to let us know which host to avoid, lol.

  2. Tyler Ingram says:

    Great to know you’re sites are at least back up and running.

    I haven’t been to the River Rock yet but it is on my to-do list since it’s only 40mins from my place and 20 minutes from my girlfriends place. In fact it seems the girlfriend has set up dinner with another couple at the casino and we’re going to hit the slots (well I’ll hit the roulette and blackjack tables anyway)

    Did you get to use the amenities while you were there? You mentioned people didn’t use the pool etc, did you? lol

  3. Michael Kwan says:

    I tried to warn you about the food court, but your blog was down during that time (as you recall). The buffet is okay, but it’s pretty far from top-notch, especially when compared to Vegas buffets or what other food you can get in the Vancouver/Richmond area for the same price.

    The poker room is pretty great though, mostly because it’s so big.

  4. Sam Sparro says:

    Good to see you’re back online Tyler! Will be interesting to read about your experience of meeting with John Chow,


  5. Yeah Right says:

    10 days downtime and you think you lost $10k? That’s $30k per month and $360k per year. Sure, we believe you! LOL

    • Dan says:

      It costs a lot to get people in to recover hard drives; $10k isn’t just lost revenue but extra that had to be shelled out.

      • Yeah Right says:

        Are you implying that Tyler paid for the cost of the replacement drives and man hours to do so? I’m confident that ServerMatrix is like every other hosting company and the cost is on them as a provider of webhosting. He’s clearly trying to make it sound as if he lost more than he really did. I highly doubt half the numbers he always posts. This site is turning more and more into nothing but reviews and personal discussion and nothing at all about an “Internet Entrepreneur’s Journey”.

  6. Tyler

    Any chance you could skip this series of your poker playing and write an article about your downtime first? I am sure that would be more relevant to your audience and will be of far more interest.


    – Martin

  7. Andy says:

    So, Tyler, are you through deleting critical comments? Or are you still censoring them?

  8. Siddharth says:

    Your pics says that you have enjoyed a lot.

  9. Jason says:

    Glad to see that your sites are back up, shame about the downtime – I’m experiencing something similar at the moment and it’s not fun at all. 🙂

  10. bryan says:

    Yeah I was just wondering how much sleep you get? You look mad tired in all your pics…You should start focusing your weight loss blog. Lose all that winter weight and get paid to do it.

  11. smemon says:

    good to see you back in action Tyler, i’m sure that place softened the blow of losing all your sites 😉

    so can this trip be written off as a business expense seen as you blogged about it and used it to educate and entertain all of us readers? 👿

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I could have written some of the expenses if I had blogged/reviewed them, but… I didn’t. While it would have saved me a bit of money, it was a trip after all and I was too busy enjoying it instead of taking photos of all my food and such 🙂

  12. That looks absolutely wonderful!!! I had to show my wife, and now it looks like we might be putting off our cruise and taking a trip to Canada! We don’t really gamble but the hotel alone looks worth the trip!!


  13. Looks like you had some fun at river rock. I’m on the other side of Canada but it still looks like a great place to visit!

  14. says:

    It is great to have you back….

  15. blog says:

    Who is that girl ? 😀

    Great pics there, i also once visited river rock and its a great place 😎

  16. […] Return from River Rock: Part 2 of 3 April 19, 2008 Posted by Tyler Cruz Paid Advertisement This is a continuation from my River Rock trip recap. […]

  17. […] Return from River Rock: Part 3 of 3 April 21, 2008 Posted by Tyler Cruz Paid Advertisement This is a continuation from my River Rock trip recap. […]

  18. pretty cool place
    Never been to a casino – Casinos are just like fairy tales in INDIA.
    Lisa looks like an Indian Movie actress Preity Zinta
    Me too always forget about the right “turns’ while driving.

  19. Have you ever been to the casinos in the Sault? They are a joke!

  20. […] go on the occasional trip, but don’t go on all that many. This year Lisa and I went to the River Rock Casino Resort and then to Las Vegas in September for BlogWorld. Next summer I’ll be going to the […]

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