Monday, October 13, 2008

Laughlin, NV -- a true entrepreneurial success

We spent the last two days at Laughlin, NV which is right on the Colorado River and next to Bullhead City, AZ. This is a casino-oriented town, but a real study in one man's vision and entrepreneurial drive (part of the following from ). This started after the Davis Dam was completed which controlled the Colorado River and created Lake Mohave directly above Laughlin.

In 1964 Don Laughlin, owner of Las Vegas' 101 Club, flew over Laughlin and offered to buy the property. In less than two years the motel and bar, now called the Riverside Resort, was offering all-you-can-eat chicken dinners for 98 cents, play on 12 slot machines and two live gaming tables. Guest accommodations were available in four of the motel's eight motel rooms. The Laughlin family lived in the other four rooms.

Don's current facility is shown below and called the Riverside Casino. Amazingly, he is the only person I have ever heard of that built and donated a huge bridge to the community!

South Pointe was renamed Laughlin when the U.S. Postal Service inspector insisted Don Laughlin give the town a name-any name-in order to receive mail. Don Laughlin recommended the name of Riverside or Casino, but the postal inspector used Laughlin instead.

As the area continued to grow, it was clear a bridge from Arizona to Laughlin was needed, so in 1987, Don Laughlin funded and built the Laughlin Bridge at a cost of $3.5 million. He donated the bridge to the states of Nevada and Arizona and the bridge carries 2,000 vehicles daily. This has enabled the area to really boom and now there are 14 casinos in the area including this one, the Edgewater.

We enjoyed our visit (and left a few bucks with Don's facility) and visited the growing area. We will be on our way to California tomorrow, but would enjoy returning sometime.