The Laughlin River Run celebrates its 34th Anniversary on Wed-Saturday, April 27-30, with a full slate of events, music and riding. The event started as a small “run” organized by enthusiasts from Southern California—the San Bernardino area more specifically and spearheaded by Harley Davidson store owner Dale Marschke. Marschke and friends thought it would be fun to ride across the desert to a little casino on the Colorado River called Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort. Kind of a weekend getaway with some gambling thrown in for spice.
Well, the ride went well and they decided to “do it again next year”…and next year…and next year. So the first few years after that initial run, it was simply more and more riders joining the fun. Then, as it appeared there was more to this thing than just Southern California involved, a promotion company was formed by Marschke and Joe O’Day called Dal-Con Promotions to see if this growing thing could be organized into a Sturgis type event.
Well, it could and did. During the headiest days of the River Run, when the Baby Boomers bought into the whole motorcycle thing with full wallets, the Laughlin River Run was the West Coast’s biggest motorcycle run.
Today, the River Run is still a big deal and one of the biggest motorcycle events on the West Coast, though other big runs have sprung up over the intervening years. There have been a couple of casinos who have backed off as far as complete participation in the Laughlin River Run, but for the most part it is still a town-wide event with shows, music, vendors, motorcycles, motorcycles and motorcycles.
For many of those heading to Laughlin for the River Run, a favorite way to enjoy things is simply people watching and soaking up the atmosphere of all those bikes and all those colorful characters. But the hotel casinos and Dal-Con Promotions have concerts and live music at many of the resorts; a wide array of vendors and trade show exhibits featuring motorcycle manufacturers; factory demo rides, custom accessories and motorcycle lifestyle merchandise.
What you may need to help you navigate this array can be found in the following pages of the Laughlin entertainer (changes will occur so please cut us some slack, if you can). Read on and have a good run of things.
OFFICIAL LAUGHLIN RIVER RUN REGISTRATION…
Many of those coming to Laughlin for the “River Run” will do so without officially registering for the event. But they are missing out on more than a few bonuses. The $25 per person River Run event pass from Dal-Con Promotions includes the following:
•A commemorative 34th Laughlin River Run ride pin and official 2016 Laughlin River Run T-shirt (various designs; two shown above right);
•Qualification for entry into the custom bike show in the Center Circle adjacent to the Colorado Belle Main Casino Entrance on Saturday with $1,500 in cash and merchandise certificates as prizes (see page 18);
•The chance to be a contestant in the Miss Laughlin River Run Contest to be held at the Riverside Resort’s Bodies Bar & Nightclub in the South Parking Lot on Saturday (4 p.m.) with $1,500 in cash awarded to the winners (see page 8);
•Free entry into the self-guided Early Bird Poker Run that starts at the Riverside Resort and ends at the Colorado Belle (see page 8)
Also, by officially registering, you will be giving to many good causes because Dal-Con Promotions donates part of registration fees to the local community in the form of the Laughlin River Run Foundation—a foundation that has raised more than $400,000 for several charities over the past decade and a half.
WHERE DO I REGISTER?
The official registration site for the Laughlin River Run is in the Starview Room within the Riverside Resort (at the top of the escalator near the entrance to the Losers’ Lounge). Registration takes place Thurs (9 a.m.-9 p.m.); Fri (8 a.m.-8 p.m.); Sat (8 a.m.-2 p.m.). You can also register online at laughlinriverrun.com, click “Event Pass”.
One of the biggest problems facing those in cars is where to park. Bikers can find parking spots at reserved parking sites at all the casinos—some of it secured and with a fee. But with vendors taking up the remainder of the parking lot space, parking for cars is at a premium.
The main rule of thumb is—have patience and when you find a spot in a casino garage or manage to find valet parking that isn’t full, then forget the car and walk your way around Casino Drive, taking in the sights and sounds on foot.
NOTE ON BUSES
Silver Rider Transit’s fixed route buses 777 and 888 and bus stops at the Regional Government Center on Civic Drive will be affected by the River Run. For complete details, call 702-298-4435. The short buses will still be picking up riders on regular Casino Drive stops on a continuous loop during the event.
Yep. There are a few
A few rules should be noted…especially if you want to keep your “Run” fun. These include:
• There is a “No Colors” policy in effect at all Laughlin casinos and the Laughlin Outlet Center. Check with each property for specific rules or the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Laughlin Substation at 702-298-2223.
For general information call the Laughlin Chamber of Commerce, 702-298-2214, extension 0. Also visit the official River Run website at www.laughlinriverrun.com
•Helmets? They are required in Nevada and California. Helmets are not required in Arizona nor at the Avi and its surrounding Fort Mojave Indian Reservation.
•Footwear? This one may catch a few people unawares but appropriate footwear is required when riding a motorcycle, ie., no flip-flops or sandals.
• No public nudity will be allowed, a.k.a., the “no flash” rule.
• A curfew for minors will be enforced and in effect on Casino Drive on Wed-Sun, April 27-30 (6 p.m. to 5 a.m. each day). Anyone 17 or younger must be accompanied by an adult.