The River Walk Laughlin Nevada, Colorado banks casinos architecture design, US buildings

The River Walk in Laughlin Nevada

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Feb 13, 2019

The River Walk in Laughlin, Nevada, United States of America

One of the almost best kept secrets of Nevada, for those who like to gamble but want a complete change of scenery when doing so, is the town of Laughlin. Located around an hour or so drive away from Las Vegas it is like an oasis in the desert, but one that comes with its own strip of casinos.

Most of those casinos are located alongside the banks of the Colorado River, and are all connected by a breathtaking pedestrian pathway known locally at the River-Walk.

Laughlin is not one of those towns that you could call steeped in history, for it was formed back in 1964 and is actually named after the man who built the town that being Don Laughlin, who saw the future as a town that could and would offer gamblers somewhere to visit and one that offered a much more relaxing type of environment than Last Vegas.

When he had his vision of building the town, many of his peers in Vegas laughed at the idea of people making the trip there to gamble when Vegas offered them everything they could ever need.

However, he persevered and eventually built what would turn out to be the first of several casinos there, all of which are still going strong to this day.

What does tend to impress people other than the natural surroundings of the River-Walk is the architecture of the casinos built along the banks of the river, for each of them do come with their own look and feel and several of them are also built around some sort of theme too.

Caesars Palace with Fountain, Las Vegas:
Caesars Palace with Fountain, Las Vegas
photograph © Joe Lekas

First Casino Resort to be Built in Laughlin

It was, of course, the casino owned by Don Laughlin that was the very first one to be built in his namesake town, and that casino is the Riverside Casino Resort.

Don himself still lives in the casino apparently, and can often be seen wandering around the gaming floor at all hours of the day and night and he is always happy to stop and talk to guests and visitors alike.

The casino property, however, does not come with what you could all a theme, for whilst it is a huge venue it is one that looks like many other casino resorts built in that era. It is the first casino on Casino Drive in Laughlin and is the starting points for the River-Walk, too.

The second casino one will wander past when walking along the river is the Aquarius Casino Resort, which is a much more modern property consisting of two glass fronted hotels with the gaming area in-between them.

Once again, apart of the water themed named, there is nothing that you could say the building is themed around, and the same could also be said for the next property on that River-Walk that being the Edgewater Casino.

However, the next casino one passes is the Colorado Belle Casino Resort, and that casino has been built to resemble and old paddleboat steamer, complete with funnels. Guests can opt to stay in the rooms and suites above the main building or opt to stay in the adjoining hotel.

Inside that property there is some stunning architecture which whilst the entire building and fixtures and fittings are showing their age, the casino has recently changed hands and it is hoped and expected that the new owner of the Colorado Belle Casino Resort that being Golden Entertainment are going to bring the building back to its former glory.

Moving onto the next casino that is the Pioneer, now what makes that venue so very different to all others in Laughlin is that the accommodation is built away from the main casino building, and both the main gaming area and the lodge type accommodation gives a feeling of an old Wild West town.

The Golden Nugget Casino is the next property everyone will come across on the Laughlin River-Walk, and that casino is much like the others a nondescript building and one built for its main purpose with no major thought given to give it a theme of its own.

Those that are prepared to keep on walking will then come across the Laughlin River Lodge, which is a huge building which sadly from the outside on the river side looks like a tall office block and one with nothing visually stunning.

The final casino on the River-Walk is the Harrah’s Casino which will take some walking to for sure but one that those wishing to play slot machines in particular will enjoy, however unlike the Colorado Belle and Pioneer Casino buildings that is another one that has been built for its main purpose and one that doesn’t have an distinguishing features.

Caesars Fountain at the Palace at Night – Las Vegas:
Caesars Fountain at the Palace at Night - Las Vegas
photo © Joe Lekas

Why Laughlin is Such a Popular Destination

There are a number of reasons why Laughlin has become a main gambling destination, and the first one is that the clientele of the casinos and the majority of visitors to the town are of an older generation, as opposed to the newer generation who seemingly favour an different approach, such as playing online.

As such the crime rate in Laughlin is a fraction of what it is in other parts of Nevada. Therefore, the place is extremely safe and a friendly town too with many people returning year after year.

The town is also nowhere as busy as Vegas for example, and being in such a beautiful part of the world there are several RV parks in and around the town too, so many people opt to take their RV and use the town as a base for them to then go on to explore the local area and beyond.

One interesting aspect of Laughlin is that just across the Colorado River is the next state that of course being Arizona and what can often confuse people is the time zone differences between those two states.

So, if you do plan on visiting Laughlin be aware that if you do look at your cell phone for the time, it could be displaying the Arizona time as opposed to Nevada time, with the latter being one hour behind of the former.

Location: Laughlin, Nevada, USA

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