Don Carano, one of Reno’s most influential figures, recently died at age 85. An attorney, philanthropist and winery owner, Carano was responsible for promoting and growing Reno’s local gaming and resort industry.
Carano, a Reno native, served in the U.S. Army and earned a law degree from the University of San Francisco. In 1973, he left active practice and built the 282-room Eldorado Hotel and Casino—a risky move since it was located “north of the railroad tracks.”
In 1992, Carano partnered with Circus Circus Enterprises and Mandalay Resorts/MGM to build the Silver Legacy Resort Casino. In 2015, Eldorado Resorts gained full ownership of the Silver Legacy and Circus Circus. Today, Eldorado Resorts owns 19 properties in 10 states.
Carano also was involved in the construction of the National Bowling Stadium in 1995 and Reno Events Center in 2005.
In 1981, Carano founded Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley in California, and in 2008 he purchased Lazy Creek Vineyards. The Carano family also owns other hotels and restaurants and 24 ranches totaling more than 1,900 vineyard acres in Northern California.