Don Laughlin's Riverside Resort
4.30.13: We had a great time. Sue & Bill G.
We entered South Bend Regional Airport and were shocked to see the line that had already formed at the Sun Country counter 2 hours ahead of departure time. The flight originated in Lansing, Michigan, so I at assumed the passengers would at least be divided equally between South Bend and Lansing. I later learned that there were only 13 passengers who boarded the sold-out 161-passenger 737 aircraft in Lansing - the rest boarded in South Bend.
We arrived at Bullhead City International Airport right on time, transferred to motor coaches, and were taken to Don Laughlin's Riverside Resort, which is maybe a 15 minute ride from Arizona across the bridge to Nevada. We checked into our rooms with ease. From this time on, everyone was on their own to explore as they pleased.
This was the view from our room. The boats are water taxis that will take you to the other casinos and to the Arizona side.
The airport was directly out our window. Yes, that is Bullhead City International Airport. If you look, you can see an aircraft sitting in front of the terminal, which will give you a good idea of the size of the airport. As you can see in the 2nd picture, there are 2 planes sitting there. I think only 1 plane can be at the terminal at the same time.
Don Laughlin's Riverside Resort is a truly amazing complex! It contains over 1,400 rooms, I'm not even sure how many restaurants and gift shops, a 6-theatre complex showing current run movies (we saw "42" and "The Big Wedding"), an arcade, a dance hall, and they even hold 3 Catholic masses on Saturday and Sunday and a Methodist service on Sunday. We attended mass on Saturday afternoon and it was packed.
Late Friday afternoon, we walked down the boardwalk to explore some of the other casinos. There are 8 or 9 other casinos, all accessible by the boardwalk, with the exception of Harrah's.
It was the Harley Davidson River Run weekend. I asked the Group Sales Representative how many Harley's they were expecting for the weekend and she said they were estimating 50,000 - 60,000. I, along with several of the passengers I talked with, said they added excitement to the weekend. The specimens some of them were riding were amazing! If you look well at the background of some of the pictures, you can see the sea of Harleys that were parked in the parking lots. Every parking lot looked like this.
Harley merchandise tents were set up between most of the casinos.
There was a small vintage car and slot machine museum. If you look closely at the coins in the slot machines, they coincide with the era of the machines.
On Sunday morning, we hopped aboard the U.S.S. Riverside for a narrated cruise down the Colorado River, hearing some pretty interesting facts on how Don Laughlin started the city of Laughlin, Nevada. He and his wife are still both living and live at the resort. One of our passengers said they saw him strolling through the casino one evening, talking with the people. I was told he did this often.
This is a piece of property that Don Laughlin gave to the state for a state park.
There is lots of camping all along the riverbanks.
The bridge connecting Arizona with Nevada was built with no taxpayer money. It was all built with Don Laughlin's money. It took 4 years to plan and 4 months to build. The height of the bridge will accommodate the U.S.S. Riverside, but no other large excursion boats.
The Davis Dam.
The dance hall at Riverside Resort.
Late Monday morning rolled around and it was time to head home. We were waiting for the motor coaches to pick us up and transfer to the airport.
Thank you Riverside Resort and Laughlin for giving us a fun, fun weekend!