City of the Year
Laughlin should have been named Fun City; nobody goes there on business unless they are in the fun business. Laughlin is a small town adjoining a line of casino hotels built along the west shore of the Colorado River. There are nine casino-hotels now, strung like beads downriver from Don Laughlin’s original Riverside — his South Tower went up in 1994, the last major addition to Laughlin’s skyline — with a total of 10,021 rooms. There are two main residential enclaves with homes of varying description for the 7,321 people (median age 55) who live here and love it. There’s not a great distinction between locals and visitors in Laughlin. In the early morning you’ll see local people in their 70s and 80s waterskiing before the kids get up.