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  • Writer's pictureHelen Avaient

24 hours of fun at Riverside Resort in Laughlin Nevada

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

A casino that offers a lot more than gambling can be found at Laughlin Nevada on the Colorado River, just two hours south of Las Vegas.

This venue is a slower paced casino than the crowded and busy Las Vegas and has so much to offer that guests truly do not even need to leave the resort.

I decided to explore what to do in twenty-four hours at the Riverside Resort. My conclusion? It was too short a time to enjoy everything. Next visit will definitely have to be longer. There is something for everyone here, even the non-gambler.

First, the location is amazing. There are two pool areas at the resort. The poolside has amazing views over the river into the distant Arizona mountains. This is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a drink or read a book. I even saw guests bring out their easels and paint the landscape.

Comfortable cane chairs and cushioned seats surround low tables, perfect for holding drinks. A glass wall allows those seated to overlook the blue waters of the Colorado River flowing past. In the background on the far bank of the river is desert with houses, all beige. In the far distance are small mountains, all under a blue sky with just a few white clouds.

The pool is definitely inviting on hot Nevada days and the poolside cabanas and bars make this area even more enticing. It would be very easy to spend an entire day enjoying this area of the resort. When the outside areas are too hot in summer to be comfortable, the inside of the resort is very comfortably air conditioned. Temperatures can reach 120 degrees F here at times.

a pool at the Riverside Casino is a beautiful clear azure blue. There is a shallow end on the left for just sitting and cooling off and a deeper long area on the right to immerse and swim. the pool is surrounded lie down lounges and by three palm trees. There are several covered cabanas and a round open air bar for patrons to drink at. In the background are the Arizona desert mountains.
White plastic lounges are covered in red cushions for people to lay on next to an unseen pool. These cabanas have ceiling fans and matching red drapes, to entice swimmers to relax in the shade between swims. Palm trees can be seen under a blue sky nearby

For Bingo lovers, there are seven sessions a day in the Bingo Parlor, from 9am to midnight. I don't know much about this game, but one of the participants explained there are two versions played in the parlor. One is electronic bingo and the second is the type where you mark numbers off a printed card.

bingo players in a hall at Riverside casino play on both electronic screens and paper cards. long trestle tables with a board in the middle for hanging cards and papers have seats on both sides.

Another way to relax is to visit the onsite movie theatre where they show the latest releases.

For live performances during the year, the Don's celebrity theater hosts various top performers and even a ballet at Christmas.

The Jean Jeffrey Salon and Day Spa is a fantastic place to spend a few hours being pampered. Massages, facials, pedicures and manicures are a great way to unwind and feel like a brand-new person. Relaxing should definitely be a part of any vacation.

There are many different areas to dine. The most popular is the Prime Rib Room. The meat practically melted at the sight of my knife and fork, and the salad bar was well stocked with fresh choices.

a large piece of prime rib almost covers the plate. a juicy stretch of yellow fat lies in the middle and the juices are collecting on the bottom of the plate. A few cooked mushrooms grace the side of the meat and a small container of horseradish sits nearby. At a second plate just visible in the top left corner is a plate of salad.

This Gourmet Room is an elegant and comfortable restaurant with three menus - French, Italian and a steakhouse. The large glass windows look out onto a glorious sunset when dining here of an evening.

For those who prefer a quicker meal, there is the Mexican restaurant, Casa Serrano. Also, the sidewalk cafe in the south tower fast food court is perfect for casual dining 24 hours a day. Of course, there is also a buffet restaurant open for brunch from 8am to 2pm, and dinner from 3.30pm to 8.30pm, or 9,30pm on weekends. On Sundays they offer a Sunday Champagne Brunch.

If you like dancing, there is a dance club open on Friday and Saturdays from 5pm. I enjoyed relaxing with a drink and listening to the karaoke singers. The dance floor is large, over 1,400 square feet. Boot scooters can often be seen moving around the floor.

Open from 7pm is the Loser's Lounge. The music here is provided by either a live band or DJ and plays top 40 songs. There are two levels of seating and two bars for the crowds that love coming here.

I met up with friends at the resort and we decided to take advantage of the 34-lane bowling alley on site. Glass display cases in the entry show medals and pins from various bowlers who scored perfect 300 games. I could only wish to get that good. Automatic scoring was a bonus, as was the snack area and bar. Enjoying a drink while beating my friends at bowling - a total score! At various times they even have glow in the dark bowling. For younger visitors, there is bumper bowling too.

34 bowling lanes entice players at the Riverside Casino. Automatic scoring and neon signs, along with tv screens above the lanes make it entertaining as well. Two bowlers can be seen, one has just bowled and the other is returning to the seating area after her turn.

Don Laughlin is a big car collector and there are two areas at the resort where car collections can be viewed. The classic car collection is on the third floor of the south tower. As you enter the casino, classic cars for sale are right outside the door, just to tempt me! I just need one big win inside.

parked in the valet undercover area of Riverside Casino are a variety of immaculate antique cards for sale. They have descriptions of the vehicle and prices listed in the front window. This black with white trim car from the 1950s is long and sleek

A free exhibition near the entry hosts an ever-changing display of vehicles, and a fascinating display of old slot machines.

a life sized cutout of Don Laughlin stands next to a 1931 ford Roadster Model A. There is a sign that states the car and Don are the same age but the car is in better condition. Another sign states this was Don's first car and has been restored.

The slot machines have information about the year of manufacture and value. In the past, these antique machines had various prizes, from candy and cigars to golf balls and coins.

an antique 1920 Caille slot machine with its prizes of candy. It was a  nickel play machine and a sign states its appraised value is $11,500. It was made during WW1 and is called the Victory Centre Pull
A 1934 Jennings Victoria Golf ball vending machine. It has an appraised value of $15,000 and the gold ball prizes are still seen in the machine. It is silver with red trim. The balls are held in almost horizontal rows with a slight decline as they roll from the top left to the bottom, down six rows to the bottom

Back on the main casino floor, you can see that these gambling machines have definitely changed over the years. Slot machines of all types, video poker and roulette are just some of the modern gambling choices at Riverside Casino.

a modern day poker machine in the Riverside Casino. It is all electronic, and plays the game Wheel of Fortune. A lone person sits in a chair in front of the machine and pulls a handle with his right hand. The wheel spins large above his head as he waits for his numbers to come up after the bright lights stop flashing.

By now, you can see that there is so much to do here it can wear you out. Fortunately, the rooms are super comfortable, modern and large. The floor to ceiling windows in my room looked out over the river. It was so perfect, I slept with the curtains open during the night to enjoy the view when I awoke.

two large king sized beds in a spacious room. the fittings in the room are modern and streamlines with browns and creams. The large floor to ceiling curtained windows overlook the Colorado River. The room is clean and inviting

Even the bathrooms are designed for pleasure, with a full-sized tub for a relaxing soak after all the walking and sightseeing.

looking into a large bathroom mirror surrounded by a white backlight. A full sized bathtub and toilet can be seen in the reflection. A single basin is in front of the mirror.

Upon waking, it was time for that buffet breakfast and a spot of window shopping. From clothing to jewelry and all sorts of souvenirs, there is bound to be something to take home and remember your visit by.

The town and casino are named after Don Laughlin. In 1966 he opened the Riverside Resort, with 12 slot machines, 2 gambling rooms and 4 accommodation rooms. Yes, the town was named after him. There are now 1,350 accommodation rooms. Don can often be seen at the resort talking to guests. He has donated many millions of dollars into the local community and provides employment for more than 2,000 people.

I enjoyed my stay in Laughlin more than a stay in Las Vegas. The pace here is slower and more enjoyable. It is definitely worth a visit, and perhaps a longer stay next time.

hosting over 1350 accommodation rooms the multi stories Riverside Casino stands out in the desert. This white building has a large sign on the top level. With a red background, the white letters of the word RIVERSIDE stand out and can be seen for miles.

Happy Travels!

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