The Laughlin Experience

The Laughlin Experience

'Dear Geno,' a member writes. 'My fiancée and I are planning to go to Laughlin, NV. to get married and spend our honeymoon there. What can you tell us about Laughlin that we should know. Thanks. Dawn N., Tempe, AZ.'

First, let me offer my congratulations to Dawn and her husband-to-be for their decision to tie the knot.  In today's complex world, I know that is quite a commitment to make for a couple to promise to remain together for the rest of their lives.  I have faith they can make it and wish them the best.

I lived and worked in Laughlin for more than a year and really liked the place.  The scenery is spectacular.  Laughlin sits along the banks of the Colorado River just across from Bullhead City, AZ.

It has nine casinos that light up the river at night, the most famous being Don Laughlin's Riverside Casino.  The town is named after Laughlin who spent his own money to build a bridge across the Colorado from Bullhead City in order to allow visitors to cross the river.

Laughlin is an energetic and enterprising casino owner who tired of waiting for the legislatures of both states to come up with the funds to pay for the bridge.  He spent his own money, around $2.5 million, to construct the bridge and it paid off for all the casinos on the Nevada side.

Laughlin Experience 1

What can I tell Dawn and her fiancée about Laughlin?

Well, the gambling is good, the food is great, and the price of a hotel room in one of the resorts is comparable to and even lower than what you can expect in Las Vegas.

The casinos provide all the major gambling games, from poker to betting on the horses, sports betting, dice, baccarat, roulette and of course slot machines.

There are plenty of wedding chapels where they can get married.  I knew of a minister and his wife who operated six wedding chapels. You could get married in a boat on the Colorado River, on a horse, in a hot air balloon  or in a land-based casino.

A scenic river walk connects the casinos. Fishing in the Colorado is great -- there are some record-sized catfish in that body of water -- and you can take a boat for a sunset cruise.


For a side trip, you can travel to the ghost town of Oatman, AZ. which is less than 30 minutes away.  You are also only a few miles from the California border.

One of my favorite casinos for eating as well as playing poker is the Colorado Belle, a casino built like a steamboat.  The casino has a Mardi Gras atmosphere complete with dancers who drape beads around the necks of visitors and who do a rousing rendition of 'When The Saints Go Marching In.'

Dining at the Colorado Belle is done New Orleans style. The menu includes blackened catfish, shrimp, po' boys and all the other food fare that the Louisiana Cajun country is famous for serving.

The only thing negative about Laughlin that I can remember is the mosquitoes.  During the summer months they do proliferate along the river and you would do well to avoid them.

The Riverside Casino features name performers as do other casinos along the river. Laughlin also has an antique car collection that is worth viewing.  And the poker games in the casino's poker room remind me of the games that proliferated in the Old West in the late 1800s.

I actually worked for the Riverside Casino some years back.  I needed employment and they had an opening for a change attendant.  Since I wanted to see what the experience would be like to work inside a casino, I took the job.

Weighed down by about 80 pounds of quarters, dimes and nickels, I only lasted a week.  I found the people friendly and generous with their tips, especially after hitting a jackpot, but walking around the casino eight hours a day killed my feet. At the end of the week, I turned in my heavy vest, thanked them for the opportunity, and resigned.

I think Dawn and her fiancée made a good choice in deciding to wed in Laughlin. Hopefully they will drop me a line and let me know how their wedding went.  A happy life to both of them.

“I think Dawn and her fiancée made a good choice in deciding to wed in Laughlin.”

  • Laughlin is a different experience than Las Vegas. It does have a small-town atmosphere although the casinos are first class. Visitors to Laughlin will enjoy their experience. Thanks for the feedback.
  • Congratulations to the happy newlyweds to be. I like reading Mr. Lawrenzi's articles as they open other worlds for me, especially perspectives of his adopted home turf in the American West (amongst others). I never even heard of Laughlin before, for example. It sounds a little like Vegas lite, perhaps a more relaxed, less intense version of sin city. Now I can google Laughlin and indulge my newly discovered curiousity further, thanks to Mr. L's introduction here.
  • I read Lipstick's comments about Laughlin. I cannot vouch for her unsatisfactory ratings of the buffets, but her other comments were on target. Thanks for the mail.
  • Hi Dawn, Congrats! I am a regular in Laughlin getting free trips there on a monthly basis you could say I've grown accustomed to the area. I have created a a topic exclusively about Laughlin. You can find it here:

Join today and start earning rewards

You will immediately get full access to our online casino forum/chat plus receive our newsletter with news & exclusive bonuses every month.
S logo

Report to moderator

Use this function to inform the moderators and administrator of an abusive or wrongly posted message.

Please note that your email address will be revealed to the moderators if you use this

Select Language
Search Results