On the Road from Las Vegas to Laughlin: Laughlin
Continuing on at the Laughlin River Lodge Hotel and Casino
If you take the riverwalk from the Golden Nugget you arrive at Laughlin River Lodge after a pleasant uphill stroll. It’s a little longer because there is an empty property lot between the Golden Nugget and Laughlin River Lodge. You can also access the property from the Strip, which is to the south of the Golden Nugget with an entrance at the next stoplight. The Laughlin River Lodge also has a parking garage with free parking, a valet and additional parking outside the main entrance with handicapped spaces; there is handicapped parking inside the garage too.
The Laughlin River Lodge is owned by Dotty’s. Dotty’s has small casinos all over Nevada, with somewhere to the tune of 120 locations. Those locations are intimate casinos which are structured to give a homey atmosphere with brighter lighting and more of a 1-on-1 in customer service.
The hotel portion of Laughlin River Lodge is one tower with 25 floors. If you are staying at the hotel, some of their upgraded rooms have microwaves, along with refrigerators, coffee makers, and 55” TV’s. And, so far, they have no resort fees and free wi-fi throughout the hotel.
They have a new sandy beach area and jet ski rental which opened Memorial weekend. While renting the jet skis is cheaper across the river in Bullhead City, sometimes you have to go with the convenience of being on property.
This is not a pet-friendly property; they do not allow any pets, except for service dogs which are potty trained; so, you would have to board your pet during your stay. At this property, the pet relief area for your service dog is a long distance from your room, through the hotel and across the parking lot. There are only a few hotels that allow pets in town.
The hotel has something for everyone with its Strike! Bowling Alley (above) that just opened the end of April, with the Bingo hall downstairs and the adult arcade area with skee ball.
Laughlin River Lodge is making their mark in Laughlin with an innovative casino within a casino concept. The casino is not just one, but several themed casinos encompassing the floors of the building, with their Bourbon Street sports area, the Red Dragon Casino and La Villita Casino. It also has a Dotty’s on the main floor and the 2nd floor of the building. Unlike some of the other casinos, Dotty’s has comfortable chairs for slot players.
Each of the casino areas have food offerings, which is helpful if you want to spend some time in them instead of looking for the restaurants. The drink tables and UI (User Interface) machines have USB ports for recharging you phones, which is a nice touch. The only thing missing is table games at this time.
The property is more accessible to children, with their video game (eGames) room that has large TV’s, gaming systems (Xbox, PlayStation) and computers. I didn’t count the computers; however, it seemed like around a dozen available. The kids area also has toys and coloring.
The general store/convenience/gift shop (above) is a must visit! It is very large and has so many unique items, along with very cost conscious prices on fountain drinks. It was $1.68 for a 24 oz. soft drink! Buy the fudge, buy the candy, buy the drinks, non and alcoholic, buy some rocks. Yes, they sell rocks — well, stones actually — that are multi-colored and extremely shiny! Then, say “hello” to the well-armed Indian.
Their restaurants include The Big Horn Café, which is open 24 hours and has a terrific $3.99 special of steak, eggs, hashbrowns, and toast available Sunday through Thursday from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. This is great if you are looking for something late at night that’s filling. And their food is good, with happy hour appetizers and $1 draft beers from 4 – 6 p.m. You have to get the big horn fries, which are shaped like, well, big horns! You will have a view of the river as well as entertainment most evenings in their lodge-style, relaxing, comfortable atmosphere.
The Lodge Buffet is only open on weekends, Friday through Sunday. On Friday and Saturday they are open for dinner from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. On both Saturday and Sunday they are open for breakfast from 7 a.m. until noon.
For the fitness minded, the property has a spa, fitness room, steam room/dry sauna, and locker room, in case you want to use indoor facilities instead of using the riverwalk for your exercise. And speaking of the riverwalk, this is where it ends going south. You would have to climb the hill to get to Harrah’s Hotel & Casino.
Item of interest: There is finally some movement with the casino area for The New Pioneer. I have been watching the Nevada Gaming Control Board meetings for the last few months, and the non-restricted gaming license request for possible action was on the Agenda on August 8th and was approved with conditions. Their next round of approvals was voted by the Nevada Gaming Commission at their meeting on August 23rd and was approved with the same conditions. There are six conditions to fulfill, with the most critical being the surveillance system installed and approved by the Enforcement Division before they can have their license for gaming. They are advertising a casino soft opening for August 30th and August 31st as their Casino Grand opening.
The New Pioneer has been advertising their job openings for the past two months and have already started the remodel of some of their rooms. Let’s wish them the best with completing all the projects!
Coming in October: Tips when vacationing in Laughlin and some areas of interest
— Pauline Cimoch
The Platters and Taylor Hicks are Riverside Headliners
The Platters and C will appear at the Riverside in Don’s Celebrity Theatre with 8 p.m. shows in September. Tickets are $30.
The Platters will be in the showroom Wednesday-Sunday, Sept. 5-9. The multi-platinum rock and roll group were known for their romantic songs and mega-hits: “Only You,” “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” “My Prayer,” “The Great Pretender,” “Twilight Time,” and “Harbor Lights.”
The Platters vocal evolution even without the original members continues to this day with vocal stylings of Wayne Miller, Adele Galinda Martin, Lance Bernard Bryant, and Kenny Williams, under the musical direction of Michael Larson.
“American Idol” Taylor Hicks will headline Friday-Sunday, Sept. 14-16. His Southern soul, R & B, country and blues sound helped make him the Season 5 show winner. Less than three weeks after his victory, his debut single, “Do I Make You Proud,” entered at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, Pop 100, and Single Sales Charts. Since Hicks won on “American Idol,” he has released such songs as “Nineteen,” “The Deal,” “Seven Mile Breakdown,” and “What’s Right is Right.”
Lou Gramm Headlines at the E Center
Lou Gramm, a founding member of Foreigner, will be center stage at the Edgewater’s E Center on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $35.
Gramm’s musical career began in his teenage years. He was the front man for the band Black Sheep, and in 1976, auditioned for lead singer with the band which became Foreigner. Gramm became one of the most successful rock vocalists of the 1970s and 1980s. He was the lead vocalist on all of Foreigner’s hit songs, including: “Cold as Ice,” “Feels Like the First Time,” “Hot Blooded,” “Long, Long Way from Home,” “Blue Morning, Blue Day,” “Head Games,” “Double Vision,” “Dirty White Boy,” “Urgent,” “Juke Box Hero,” naming a few.
Gramm co-wrote most of the songs for the band. Two ballads were huge hits, “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” which spent 10 weeks at No. 2 on the 1981-82 American Hot 100, and “I Want to Know What Love Is,” which was a No. 1 international hit in 1985.
In 1997, Gramm was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. The surgery and recovery affected his stamina and voice, yet he continued to work throughout his illness. Gramm was back touring in 1999 with Foreigner playing summer festivals and smaller markets. Gradually, when his health rebounded, he left Foreigner in 2003, and has been touring steadily since January 2004.
Gramm’s autobiography, “Juke Box Hero: My Five Decades in Rock ‘n’ Roll,” was released in May 2013.
Hank Williams Jr. Visits Laughlin Event Center
Five-time Country Music Entertainer of the Year award winner Hank Williams Jr will appear at the outdoor Laughlin Event Center Saturday, Sept. 22. Tickets start at $45 for his 8 p.m. concert.
Having the same name, you can’t forget he’s the son of country music singer Hank Williams. Proudly, he carved out his own outstanding career as a country music star and multi-instrumentalist musically blending country, rock and blues. In October 1982, Williams Jr. simultaneously had nine albums on the Billboard music charts, which is a feat unequaled by any other living artist. After making more than 70 albums on major record labels, is he creatively free now with his own company Bocephus Records.
Laughlin is All About Horsepower
The 27th Annual Classic Car Show presented by River Cruizers will return for another three-day event in the Parking Lot at the Riverside Resort Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 27-29. The event features a car show and contest, vendors, pinstriping, a car corral area with vehicles for sale, an auto parts swap meet, and more. The Show & Shine judging will be Saturday 10 a.m. to noon, with the Awards Ceremony and Beach Party from 8 to 10 p.m. Go online to register a vehicle; proceeds are distributed to local charities.
The Viva Tropicana Celebration & Car Show will be held at various property sites at the Tropicana Friday-Sunday, Sept. 28-30. Free on Friday and Saturday, there will be Latin-inspired live music, vendors, and a wide variety of custom hot rods and low riders in the North Parking Lot. Lucha Libre Voz wrestling will take place at the Pavilion Theater on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and tickets are $20. On Sunday, there’s Sopas from 8 a.m. to closing.
— Jackie Brett