On the Road from Las Vegas to Laughlin: Laughlin
This is Part 11 of a series. Read Part 1 (Searchlight), Part 2 (Cal-Nev-Ari), Part 3 (Laughlin), Part 4 (Laughlin), Part 5 (Laughlin), Part 6 (Laughlin), Part 7, Part 8 (Laughlin), and Part 9 (Laughlin), and Part 10 (Laughlin)
The End of the Road?
Not quite! Though Harrah’s Hotel & Casino is at the end of the Laughlin Strip, it is not the end of the road. We will be exploring the area past Harrah’s at a later date. For now, let’s see what Harrah’s has to offer you.
Let’s start by saying they have a resort fee, right now, of $14 plus tax. They were actually the first hotel in Laughlin with a resort fee and have increased their fee at least 3 times in the last few years. Their reasoning is they are truly a resort since they are located away from the rest of the hotels, and are more secluded since you have to cab or water taxi to or from their property, and because they have special amenities like beach access and a salon and day spa.
While some of this information is true, you might be hard-pressed to last days at this hotel, unless you like to gamble. You will find the same amenities at the other hotels in town, with the exception of the beach area. The AVI Casino Resort farther away from the Strip also has a sand beach, which is huge compared to Harrah’s.
Harrah’s beach is rocky, with sand, and has a few palapas that you can rent for $200. Unfortunately, when you rent the palapa they do not mark it as yours for the day. There have been some tense moments with guests because of this issue.
Their beach area does not have restrooms near it, which means you will have to go up 4 flights of stairs to the 1-stall bathroom. There is no shower area, either, to get rid of the sand before entering the hotel.
The hotel has 3 towers. Tower 1 is the tower closest to the smoking casino area. It has recently been refurbished and is considered the adult tower. Note: Starting this summer they were allowing families to stay in this tower up to the 6th floor because they needed the 2-bed rooms to accommodate all the children. (This was the overflow from Tower 3.)
Tower 2 is the Central Tower, which has the best view of the Colorado River if you request and receive a river view room. Some rooms have refrigerators and coffee makers. Ask when you are checking in upon arrival.
Tower 3 is the family tower and is super busy with children during the summer months . Tower 3 is closest to the family pool. Note: To get to the pool, exit out of Tower 3 elevators and turn to your left. The pool is out the doors and down the stairs on your right.
Harrah’s does not have live entertainment in the evenings in their bar areas because there is not enough space to put a band or stage. They do have events or shows occasionally, usually 1 event per month, with bigger name headliners or tribute bands.
There are 2 bars, with 1 in the non-smoking casino outside The Range Steakhouse, which is L-shaped, and a larger, circular-type bar in the smoking section of the casino. They also have a poolside bar which is open subject to day of week, time of year and weather.
Their restaurant/food choices would be good at this property if they were open all day long. What you will find is the Beach Café is open 24 hours, while Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho and The Range Steakhouse do not open until 5 p.m.
At the end of the corridor leading to Tower 3, they have Smashburger (which replaced McDonald’s) and Pin-Up Pizza. Both of them are listed on Harrah’s website as being open from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. or 11 a.m.-10 p.m., 7 days a week. Both have been known to close all afternoon, or, in Pin-Up’s case, not to open until 5 p.m., especially during weekdays. You will also find Cinnabon next to Pin-Up Pizza which is great for early morning coffee and cinnamon buns. Of course, Starbucks is also open a.m. and p.m. and is located across from the Reservations area.
Harrah’s Fresh Market Square Buffet is pretty good. They have 6 action stations, including Mexican, Chinese, Italian and American food, and a chocolate fountain, along with a variety of other desserts, salads and soups.
The Buffet specialty nights are Thursday (Southern BBQ), Friday (Seafood), Saturday (Steak), and Sunday (International). Check out their open hour listing when you get to the hotel, since they change their hours depending on business. Following are their listed hours of operation: Brunch is every day from 7:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.; Dinners normally begin at 4 p.m. and run until 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Harrah’s has stated their restaurants change their hours depending on business flow. You must remember that if you plan to stay and not leave the hotel you are depending on their restaurants to fulfill your hunger needs. When they are closed during weekdays because of less traffic it hurts their total business. Or, does it? This brings me to their way-to-stay-busy during non-peak days of the week — tour packages.
While all the hotels in Laughlin have tours arriving on certain days, there are only 2 that have major packages: Riverside Hotel and Harrah’s. Harrah’s offers gambler junkets to people around the country. The gamblers arrive by plane, are bused from the airport in Bullhead City to Harrah’s, and upon arrival at the hotel have their luggage taken directly to their already assigned rooms and receive welcoming packets with their room keys, players cards, lucky beads, and water bottles. These guests usually stay for 2-3 days. They will receive premium rooms, along with any other people that are Seven Star or Diamond player members that just walk into the hotel.
Harrah’s also has tour buses that arrive a couple of times each week filled with people who have flown from Japan, China and South Korea to California and who are on a tour of the American West. The tour buses usually arrive late afternoon, and their passengers already have assigned rooms in Tower 3 and will walk as a group through the hotel to the elevators and to the buffet. You will not be able to miss them on Tuesday night. It can be extremely frustrating, especially with a tour group hitting any hotel at any time, but Tower 3’s elevators at Harrah’s make it exceptionally hard on others staying in that tower of the hotel.
I have never seen all of the elevators working for Tower 3 for all the years and times during each year that I have been going to Laughlin. They are extremely slow, which means that when there is a tour bus offload there is a line from the elevator to past Cinnabon in that small hallway area. Be forewarned so you do not get caught in the crush during that time period. With the long line and the elevator stopping on most floors, people have had to wait in line 45 minutes, just to get to their room.
Harrah’s has 2 pools, adult and family. They also have a fitness room which would fill your basic needs for exercise while in the hotel. They have a nice outdoor patio on the river side of the hotel, along with a patio outside of El Burro Borracho and between the restaurant and gift shop.
Most visitors will stay at Harrah’s for the night and visit other attractions and hotels during the day. Since Harrah’s does not have a movie theater, you can go to the Riverside Hotel or to the Laughlin Outlet Mall for movies. Or you can rent a car and take a day trip to Las Vegas. Or you can just drive a few miles south to AVI Resort Casino which has an 8-plex theater.
— Pauline Cimoch
Lee Greenwood Headlines at the Riverside
American country music artist Lee Greenwood will perform in Don’s Celebrity Theatre at the Riverside, Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 8-11 at 7 p.m. He has more than 30 albums to his credit and in 2013 released an album called “ICON.” Tickets are $40.
For Greenwood’s latest CD “I Want To Be In Your World,” he wrote three of the seven songs and plays saxophone on the original track, “Here Comes Love There Goes My Heart.” Music has always been a part of his life. Greenwood started playing piano at 7-years-old and saxophone at 12. He had his first group the Moonbeams in junior high, and when he finished high school, he played most of the instruments in the orchestra.
Among his many awards, Greenwood is most famous for his song “God Bless the USA,” which won CMA Song of the Year in 1985. This song has been voted the most recognizable patriotic song in America and is now part of the film for Homeland Security shown when swearing in new United States citizens.
Laughlin Event Center Will Feature Kid Rock
American singer-songwriter Kid Rock will energize the outdoor Laughlin Event Center on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $60.
In a career spanning more than 20 years, Kid Rock has made 11 studio albums. He burst onto the music scene in 1998 with his “Devil Without a Cause” album. The recording artist with hit singles like “Bawitdaba” and “Cowboy” to “Picture” and “All Summer Long” has sold more than 26 million albums. His last album in 2017 “Sweet Southern Sugar” was his first one recorded in Nashville.
Rock’s music has encompassed different genres including rock, hip hop and country. In addition, he’s a self-taught multi-instrumentalist who can play every instrument in his backup band.
Always Amusing, Larry the Cable Guy Visits E Center
Top comedian Larry the Cable Guy will appear in concert at The E Center at the Edgewater on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $45.
Larry, born Daniel Lawrence Whitney, won Billboard’s 2005 Comedy Artist of the year and Comedy Album of the year and received the Billboard Top Comedy Tour Award in 2006. With his wit and abundance of material, he’s released seven comedy albums and was one of the members of the famous “Blue Collar Comedy Tour,” which included Bill Engvall, Ron White and Jeff Foxworthy.
As an everyman, Larry was born in Pawnee City, Neb., and raised on a pig farm before attending high school in Florida. He started his career in the early 1990s in radio before migrating to stand-up under his real name. He became famous after developing the Cable Guy character, which is the stereotypical redneck personality with a thick Southern accent he maintains all the time now. One of his expressions is the catchphrase “Git-R-Done!” and that’s what he accomplishes every time he’s on stage.
Dwight Yoakam Brings His Music to the Edgewater
Multiple Grammy Award winner Dwight Yoakam will headline The E Center at the Edgewater on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $35.
Yoakam has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, with 12 being gold and nine reaching platinum or multi-platinum status. He is also the recipient of the Americana Music Association’s prestigious “Artist of the Year” award.
For many folks, country music legend Yoakam is well known for his film and TV acting career. He’s appeared in more than 40 feature films including “Sling Blade” and “Panic Room.” Recently, he appeared in director Steven Soderbergh’s film “Logan Lucky” with Channing Tatum and Daniel Craig. Yoakam has impressively appeared with many more famous actors including Matthew McConaughey, Tommy Lee Jones, Jared Leto, Forest Whitaker and Jodie Foster.
About Town News
The second Classic Car Show will be held in the Parking Lot at the Laughlin River Lodge Friday-Saturday, Nov. 2-3 with food, spirits, music, etc. Vehicles being showcased will include cars, hot rods, lowriders, and motorcycles. It’s free to view the vehicles and $25 to enter one.
The Colorado Belle’s next Riverwalk themed weekend-long event will be the Freedom Festival Nov. 9-11 with free live country rock music by Aces & Eights and Rebel Heart on the Loading Dock Stage. The food and beverages for sale will promote all-American homestyle cooking. Festival hours are Friday 2-10 p.m., Saturday 2 p.m.-midnight, and Sunday noon-7 p.m.
The Veterans Weekend Celebration at the Tropicana will feature the VTT Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall on display in the North Parking Lot, Friday-Sunday, Nov. 9-11. The 4th Annual Run for the Fund Charity Poker Run will be held Saturday, Nov. 10 with registration in the valet area at 8 a.m. Cost is $30 for the rider and $10 for a passenger. On Sunday, Nov. 11 the Veterans Day Pig Roast Dinner will take place at Victory Plaza 4-7 p.m.
The Grand Canyon Pro Rodeo Finals will be hosted at the Mojave Crossing Event Center across the Colorado River from the Avi in Fort Mohave, Ariz., on Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. Tickets start at $10 for the family-friendly event.
The Spartan Race is set for Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 17-18 at Laughlin Events Park. It will be two days of obstacle-filled racing: Sprint races (3-5 miles, 20-23 obstacles) on Saturday; Super races (8-10 miles, 24-29 obstacles) on Sunday; and Kids races both days. Ticket prices for participants vary by race type. The spectator fee is $20 per day. Cash parking fee is $10 per car, $20 per van, and $50 per bus or RV.
— Jackie Brett