Laughlin’s proximity to the river and its strategic location began in the 1940s. The first settlement consisted of a motel and a bar that accommodated the gold and silver miners who were attracted to the area. Construction on the Davis Dam also brought workers during the 1940s and the early 1950s, in order to regulate the Colorado River and provide electricity to the Southwest. Once the dam was completed in 1953, most of the construction workers left and the motel and bar were left desolate.
A decade passed and in 1964, the area’s luck changed. Don Laughlin, who was the owner of the 101 Club in Las Vegas, flew over the area, got excited by the prospects of the location, and offered to buy the property. Within two years Laughlin managed to transform the sleepy riverside settlement to the “Riverside Resort” with a restaurant, slot machines and gambling tables. The area was also renamed Laughlin after the US Postal Service needed a name for a place to deliver mail.
In 1967, a second casino was opened in the area, called the Bobcat Club, followed by the Monte Carlo Casino in 1968. The 1980s saw a gush of property construction with several hotels and casinos being built. In 1987, Don Laughlin funded and headed the construction of the Laughlin Bridge connecting the states of Nevada and Arizona. This bridge now serves as a major facilitator for tourist traffic and the thousands of casino workers who cross the river daily.
Laughlin is as a more family-orientated holiday destination than Reno and Las Vegas offering the perfect location on the river for outdoor and adventure activities. It is also said to be one of the top five RV destinations in the country. The town itself boasts over 10,000 hotel rooms from nine hotels and casinos, 125,000 square feet of meeting space, 60 restaurants, museums, a superb bowling alley, salons, spas and boutiques.
In close proximity to Laughlin is Lake Mohave which is a major attraction for boaters, fishermen, jet skiers and water sports enthusiasts. Several state parks and recreation areas are a few miles out of Laughlin allowing a family to enjoy the natural trails either on foot or by car. Old mining towns offer walking tours for visitors to get a taste of days bygone, while a few ranches provide the opportunity for city children to experience a taste of the West through horse back rides, ‘gun’ fights and cattle trails.
Laughlin is the perfect oasis of culture and pamper in the desert, while still being a stone’s throw away from the gorgeous natural surroundings for which Nevada is famous. Visit Laughlin for an all-inclusive, fun-packed, entertainment-filled vacation.
Click for a map of Laughlin.