Laughlin is an unincorporated town and census-designated place in Clark County, Nevada, United States. It is located on the Colorado River, directly across from the much larger Bullhead City, Arizona. Laughlin lies 90 miles (140 km) south of Las Vegas, in the far southern tip of Nevada, and is known for its gaming and water recreation. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,323. The nearby communities of Bullhead City, Arizona; Needles, California; Fort Mohave, Arizona; and Mohave Valley, Arizona, bring the area’s total population to about 100,000. Laughlin is also 286 miles (460 km) northeast of Los Angeles.
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Laughlin was named for Don Laughlin, an Owatonna, Minnesota native who purchased the southern tip of Nevada in 1964 (informally called South Pointe). At the time, Don Laughlin operated the 101 Club in Las Vegas. He opened what would become the Riverside Resort, and later wanted to call the community Riverside or Casino, but the post office opted for Laughlin instead.
The southernmost tip of Nevada, along the Colorado River, where Nevada, California, and Arizona meet, has become a major national tourist destination and gambling resort within the last few decades. The townsite of Laughlin was established in the 1940s as South Pointe because of the proximity to the southern tip of the state of Nevada. The early town consisted of a motel and bar that catered to gold and silver miners, construction workers building Davis Dam, and fishing enthusiasts. In the 1950s, construction workers left, and the town all but disappeared.
In 1964, Don Laughlin, owner of the 101 Club in Las Vegas, flew over the site and saw its tourism potential. He offered to buy the land, and within a few years, the small motel and casino, consisting of only 12 slots and two live tables, was bustling. In 1972, 48 rooms were added, followed by several additions. In 1983, the Riverside Resort built the first 14-floor high-rise. A second casino, the Bobcat Club, opened in 1967, where the Golden Nugget Laughlin currently operates. In 1968, a third casino, the Monte Carlo, opened its doors. Across the river, Bullhead City, Arizona, sat in the glow of the casino light. Shuttle boats transported customers from the Arizona side of the river to Laughlin’s resorts and back.
The 1980s saw the construction of several more hotels and casinos. The Colorado Hotel (now the Pioneer), The Regency, Sam’s Town Gold River (now the Laughlin River Lodge), and The Edgewater opened in the early 1980s. Other investors saw the growth as an opportunity to get in on the action. A second boom resulted in the construction of The Colorado Belle, Harrah’s Del Rio, and The Ramada Express (now The Tropicana Express). 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. The bridge carries 30,000 vehicles daily. In 1988, a megaresort called the Emerald Resort, that would have been the biggest in southern Nevada, was announced but its first tower was left unfinished due to the junk bond market’s collapse in 1990. Only the project’s golf course opened and it operated from 1991 to 2005. The Flamingo Hilton, now known as The Aquarius, was built in 1990.
Today there are nine hotel/casinos and one motel in Laughlin providing over 10,000 rooms, 154,000 square feet (14,300 m2) of meeting space, 60 restaurants, two museums, a 34-lane bowling center, and a variety of boutiques, spas, and salons. More than 14,000 casino workers now cross the Colorado by shuttle boat or the Laughlin Bridge each day. Laughlin currently attracts less than 2 million visitors annually who visit to gamble, enjoy water sports on the Colorado River, or attend many high-profile special events hosted by the community.
The Mohave Power Station opened in 1971, but closed down on December 31, 2005.
Tourism levels have been down in Laughlin overall the last several years, but the area holds several interesting events. Beginning in 2001, the Tropicana Express Hotel and Casino has been the host for the Talent Quest National Finals. The contest is held in the third week of September, where qualifying singers compete for the top spot in Male and Female Pop/Rock/R&B and Country/Western.
Full article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laughlin,_Nevada