ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Recession Holiday in Laughlin, Nevada

Updated on April 15, 2024

More Laid-Back..

Over the years we'd come to enjoy the more laid-back atmosphere in Laughlin, just 90 miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada. Most of the hotels/casinos are located on the Colorado Riverfront, and the riverwalk provides an easy stroll between the casinos, as well as a close-up opportunity to view local birds, fish, and other wildlife. Since we've visited Laughlin during every season except the holidays, we decided to trade the typical chaotic seasonal rituals for a holiday trip to Laughlin.

We exchanged pet-sitting with my sister, so after making those arrangements, and securing a free room in Laughlin, we were ready to go! Driving east on the 10, we encountered heavy traffic almost immediately, which eased off after we passed Cabazon, CA, so I snapped some pictures of the Cabazon outlet, and the Morongo Indian Casino. The remainder of the drive toward 29 Palms and Route 66 was easy, and the views were so much more pleasant than taking the 15 to the 40. Along the way, we stopped at Roy's Cafe in Amboy. Roy's is not a cafe anymore, but they'd done some renovating, and you could purchase T-shirts, sodas, and other novelty items there, as well as use their clean, though old restrooms. So after browsing there a bit, purchasing a T-shirt and 2 Route 66 Beers (root-beer), we also took time to photograph the Amboy crater, the infamous Shoe Tree, and the newly started Bra Tree. Obviously, Amboy residents don't have enough to do! But it's fun to stop in there.

Laughlin in December

Upon arriving in Laughlin, and entering the hotel parking lot, we were shocked to see so many empty parking places, and amazed to find a space so close to the casino entrance. In all the years we'd visited Laughlin, we'd never found parking so easy and so close! Great!! An attractive Christmas tree greeted us at the Casino entrance, and there was only one customer in front of us at registration. Too good to be true! The lines are always long at registration, and then, as if that weren't enough, we were given a very nice room upgrade.. free! It was very roomy, and some friendly pigeons welcomed us to the small but comfortable balcony facing the river. We were feeling quite pleased as we settled in and prepared to go out for a bite to eat and check out the casino.

Reality sets in...

By the second day when the initial trip 'glow' had faded, reality set in as we realized that the recession had taken its toll in Laughlin. Aside from the Christmas tree near the front entrance and a single Christmas poinsettia plant at the bell desk, one wouldn't have known it was the holiday season. And as we strolled the riverwalk, we found that the Pioneer was the only hotel that actually decorated for the holidays. Later we found that several buffets were closed, and would not be reopened for several days. We visited the Laughlin Horizon Outlet Center, another tradition of our Laughlin visits, and were disappointed to find that their prices were laughable.. and upon driving passed Harrahs that evening, the entire complex place was completely DARK. If one didn't know it was there, it wouldn't even be noticed! depressing! By the end of that day we were extremely discouraged, and feeling some regrets about the trip.

On the third day, we decided to visit each casino and try to make the best we could of what was left of our stay. We played some Bingo at the Riverside, Keno at the Colorado Belle, browsed every gift shop in town, and enjoyed a very nice prime rib buffet at the Tropicana ..and we even played a bit at each casino. I never saw a single 'winner' during our entire stay. Favorites like The Wizard of OZ, BIG Wheel of Fortune, and EBAY slots paid out absolutely NOTHING! Luigis Pizzeria, Noahs Ark, and the Peacock slots were the most enjoyable and hospitable; allowing one to play for quite a while on less than $20.

Home before Christmas..

We always looked forward to stopping by the Avi Casino when leaving Laughlin. Though we'd never stayed there, we enjoyed stopping by for their always terrific breakfast buffet, and a final chance to play a bit before heading back to California.. Since we'd stayed at every other hotel in Laughlin, I was sure that one day we would stay there too.

So after playing a few machines, and eating breakfast at their cafe, we headed on home. We'd had a good time but were left feeling a bit down. Laughlin is hurting, just like every other town around the country. I was concerned for the residents of Laughlin and Bullhead City who depend on the casinos for their living.. and for people like us who always appreciated their hospitality while enjoying brief getaways. While certainly not top priorities, those trips provide people stress relief, and that is, or should be a priority in today's upside-down world.

It was good to get home.. but we never visited Laughlin during the Holidays again.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)