Laughlin Correspondence – January 2019


On the Road from Las Vegas to Laughlin: Laughlin

This is Part 13 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 7Part 8 (Laughlin), and Part 9 (Laughlin), Part 10 (Laughlin), Part 11, and Part 12.

Is it time to go home to Las Vegas?

Pretty soon! But first we have to visit The New Pioneer in Laughlin and Railroad Pass in Henderson.


We decided to leave Laughlin after visiting the New Pioneer, but promise to write about AVI Hotel and other areas and things to do in the Laughlin area over the next umpteen months.

The New Pioneer is basically the same as it was when it was The Pioneer prior to the beginning of May of this year.  The new owners did not have their license for gaming, so, the hotel, Sassy Sue’s bar and Bumbleberry Flats restaurant were open for business without casino operations throughout the building.  Once they received their license they opened gaming, with the exception of table games, at the very end of August, just in time for Labor Day weekend.  They are working on table game licensing, and I will update this in a future Laughlin article.

Rooms on the river side of the New Pioneer

The New Pioneer owners are also doing some remodeling of the rooms with free wi-fi and flat screen TV’s.  But the rooms still have the old motel feel to them with dark interior carpeting, bedding, drapes and wallpaper.

One of the conveniences is the parking.  Some people enjoy being able to park outside of their room instead of walking a half-mile from the parking lot.  They do not have a garage.  Keep this in mind during the summer months.  Also, their air conditioning in the rooms are the older type individual room appliances.

Good news for pet owners!  You are finally at another property that allows pets.  The pet rooms are smoking rooms; so be aware of this before you book your stay.  They have a lot of grassy areas for you to walk your dogs and the river walk for their exercise.

More good news is Bumbleberry Flats still has the slower, relaxing meal service.  The food is good and the variety on the menu is different from the rest of the hotels on the strip.  They have the option, in certain booths, for you to pour your own draft beer.  A nice feature to go along with your meal without waiting for a server to come around.

If you had a players card at the original Pioneer it is no longer valid.  You will have to go to the players club to obtain a new card if you want to track your play.

Once we backtrack from Laughlin on our way to Las Vegas we might hit the same spots for breakfast and a pit stop, but we include a stop at Railroad Pass Hotel in Boulder City.  With the new I-11 configuration just to the south of Railroad Pass it makes it easy to get there from Laughlin.

We take I-95 north until it reaches the I-95/I-93 turnoff going north, bypassing the new I-11 bypass to Las Vegas.  Basically, old I-95 ends at I-95/I-93.  You will go under the overpass for I-93 business to Boulder City and the Hoover Dam and take a left at the North 95/93 sign.  You will know you are there because it looks like you are at the end of the road.

Cascata Golf Course

If you go straight ahead you will go under the old railroad track overpass, which is Cascata Drive, the road to the entrance of a golf course.  The mysterious golf course, that is!  Well, not so mysterious.  The golf course is Cascata and you have to have a reservation to get through the electronic gates.  In case you were wondering, the green fees are high because of personalized service from your greeter, caddie, etc.; but the drinks and food are reasonably priced.  (Maybe I’ll review the golf courses for you in another article.)

So now that you have made the left turn and gone up the ramp to connect to I-95/I-93, you should stay in the right lane and turn on the road entrance to Railroad Pass.

The Railroad Pass property has been changed because of the new I-11 interstate.  They have upgraded their parking area and made it a little less stressful to get out of their parking lot onto the interstate.  The only problem with getting back on the interstate is having to travel on their frontage road and watching for the correct turn (which is your 2nd left onto the interstate to make to get to Las Vegas, going north).  The sign should have “To LasVegas” on it, so slow down and pay attention to the signs.

The entrance/exit for their property used to be a main stoplight which slowed down the I-93/I-95 traffic, or going out the side exit and trying to time the traffic going 55 mph from a dead stop.  It’s much safer now with the configuration changes.

They also expanded their south area for a travel center/truck stop.  Pretty large and accommodating for those big-rigs and more drivers staying at the hotel or in their rigs before hitting Las Vegas.  They have 100+ oversized parking spaces with security around the clock.

Railroad Pass bar

The inside of Railroad Pass has not changed.  They have a small casino area with some table games, one cashier area to get change from (no automatic ticket takers/change maker machines), a couple of small bars, Iron Rail Café, Boxcar Buffet, and DeSimone’s Steakhouse.  You can stay at the hotel, which is mainly used by those passing through and, now, for the truckers.

Well, we are back in Vegas now enjoying the weather.  Thanks for joining us on our journey down and back to Laughlin through Searchlight and Cal-Nev-Ari!

— Pauline Cimoch


Country Star Charley Pride Visits the Edgewater

Charley Pride, country music’s first African-American superstar, will headline at the Edgewater’s E Center on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $35.

Between 1966 and 1987, Pride amassed 52 Top-10 Country hits, and in 1971 won two Grammy Awards related to his Gospel album. He won Country Music Association’s “Entertainer of the Year” award and the “Top Male Vocalist” awards of 1971 and 1972, as well as a Grammy Award in 1972 for “Best Male Country Vocal Performance.” In 1994, he opened the Charley Pride Theatre in Branson, Mo., where he performed nearly 200 shows annually for four years. In 2000, Pride was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Pride, who was a sharecropper’s son on a cotton farm in Sledge, Miss., began emerging as a talented baseball player when he was 16-years-old. His journey before music was as a player in the Negro league, minor league and semi-pro baseball before he had an injury.

Riverside Highlights Hitmaker Collin Ray

 One of the real hitmakers of the 1990s, Collin Raye will take the stage at the Riverside in Don’s Celebrity Theatre Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 17-20 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30.

Raye has 24 Top 10 records, 16 No. 1 hits, and has been a 10-time male vocalist of the year nominee…five CMA and five ACM. Before going solo in 1991 with the album “All I Can Be,” he recorded as a member of the band The Wrays between 1983 and 1987. He shot to fame with “Love, Me” in 1991.

Raye’s soulful delivery is heard in such searing ballads as “In This Life,” “Love, Me,” “Not That Different” and “If I were you.” The energizing showman also rocks with songs like “My Kind of Girl,” “That’s My Story,” “I Can Still Feel You,” and “I Want You Bad.”

Old West Comes Alive at the Avi

The audience on Saturday, Jan. 19 in the Avi Grand Ballroom will be taken back in time to the Wild West. Pioneer Pepper and the Sunset Pioneers, the multi-talented cowboy singing group based in Arizona, are helping keep the Old West alive with their act mixing traditional cowboy music, comedy, humor and dance hall girls.

The troupe performs such nostalgic songs as “Tumbling Tumble Weeds,” “Cool Water,” “Ghost Riders in the Sky,” “Old El Paso,” and “Back in the Saddle Again.” The music is reminiscent of the days of Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, the Sons of the Pioneers and Marty Robbins with their traditional cowboy music. Tickets for the 7 p.m. performance start at $20.

Key Lewis Headlines First Friday Comedy Show at Avi

Key Lewis

The evening of comedy at the Avi on Friday, Jan. 4 will spotlight headliner Key Lewis with Richard Weiss and host Paul Scally at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Lewis, who was born in Sacramento, Calif., has made a name for himself through his multi-personality and ability to improvise. His material covers his interracial childhood, family and unusual views on relationships. Lewis has won and been a finalist in many comedy competitions. He’s appeared on Marlon Wayans TBS’ “Funniest Wins,” Starz Network’s “StaannDup,” Kevin Hart’s “One Mic Stand” as well as Bill Bellamy’s “Who’s Got Jokes.?

Over the course of his career, Weiss has crossed the country performing in more than 100 venues. The popular comedian is also an author and comic strip publisher. At the 2014 Coachella Valley Comedy Festival, he was voted “Best Standup” comedian.  The child of alcoholic parents, he was born and raised in New York and overcame his own battle with the bottle. Host Scally is originally from the United Kingdom. After some years stateside, he has become an in-demand comedy host and presenter on the Las Vegas Strip. His sharp, edgy remarks and observational humor have made him a true crowd pleaser.

— Jackie Brett