Fresh Take

While Casino Drive in Laughlin fell quiet the past couple of months, the inside of the Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort was still buzzing. There was no time like the present to update and improve several areas of the property.
So in the silence of casino floors and hotel hallways, employees rolled up their sleeves and tackled some major renovations and extensive cleaning measures.
One of those projects has been room renovations, to the tune of several million dollars.
“We have been very excited about starting this project as we have been planning it for almost a year,” said Matt Laughlin, the Riverside’s COO. “When the pandemic hit, the only silver lining has been our ability to speed up the project, which is expected to last about 10 months, at least.”
They have already finished two floors of the renovations and the new rooms will be available to book by Father’s Day, this Sunday.
Deep cleaning and changes to reflect new health demands also has been a top priority on the property’s agenda.
“I’m very excited about all our regular guests seeing their Riverside friends again,” Laughlin said. “We have put in so much work regarding new safety measures and sanitation procedures. I hope everyone feels comfortable and welcome when they do return.
“Herve Allain, our food and beverage director, has put together an amazing temporary sit-down, casual eatery, BBQ on the River, in the former buffet’s location. I’m excited we are offering this new restaurant, even if it’s only temporary.
“We also did major renovations to our Riverside Cinemas 6-Plex Movie Theater,” he continued. “Every chair upgraded to a motorized, plush recliner and each recliner comes with its own swivel table. With new carpet, as well as floor and ceiling lighting, our cinemas will make watching a movie an amazing and relaxing experience. We are expecting Riverside Cinemas to be open the last week of June.”
Laughlin said the property is in tip-top shape, ready to welcome back Riverside family and friends.
“Our slot floor has never looked as spacious and clean. Our kitchens have never been as spotless with new tiling. Our new safety and sanitation crew we hired specifically for added sanitation will help us maintain this level of cleanliness.”
With all of the history town and resort founder Don Laughlin has been a part of, what was his take on the whole situation?
“My grandfather has been dealing with red tape his entire gaming career, but it’s never been as devastating as this pandemic,” Matt Laughlin said. “He never thought he would see one day of closed doors, let alone 77 days. He is ready to get back to life with his friends.”
Still on the back burner to resume is the Riverside’s air program.
“Right now due to physical distancing challenges, we had to cancel all flights,” he explained. “We are hoping to bring back our air program this fall or winter.”
While the casino was forced to close, the RV Park remained open.
“It’s running better than ever,” he said. “We were glad to be able to keep so many of our loyal RV Park guests and friends with us, and are happy to have even more return to the casino for some much-needed Riverside entertainment.”

The Riverside plays a vital role in the Laughlin economic landscape and hopes the gaming industry will bounce back to help bring our communities back to life.
“Helping serve and being part of our community is really important to the Riverside,” Laughlin said. “Watching the success and growth of our local businesses, residents and our neighboring resorts, is also very important to us.
“My grandfather and I feel our co-workers, employees and guests are the reason we have a successful business, and would like to thank every one of them. With the mutual support of my fellow resorts, the town of Laughlin and the City of Bullhead City, we will all thrive once again.
“I am sure I can speak for my grandfather and the whole management team to say we’re excited to have reopened our doors and welcome back all of our loyal guests, friends and team members,” he said. “There have been many changes made — all for the better — and with these changes put in place, we have been able to return with some normalcy.”