The Laughlin River Run 2015

Laughlin River Run

Wednesday, April 22, 2015  –  Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Laughlin River Run has a 32 year streak.  While it has not been with out its issues, especially after the Harrah’s Shooting, It seems to keep on going.  Now there is a “No Colors, No Soft Colors Rule and it is strictly enforced. See more “No Color” Establishments here.

The Police presence seems to be stronger each passing year and I swear there is a cop for every bike in attendance.  If you think you are going to get away with even the smallest infraction of any law, think again.

I have begun to wonder over the past few years if Laughlin still wants this event in their town.  They seem to make it increasingly expensive for vendors, and the room prices are stoopid for guest even if you try to book well in advance.  Last year the Aquarius Hotel did not even have a vendors area on the property at all, nor did they offer any discounts for vendors.  I was going to stay an extra day last year, and even though they had plenty of rooms, they would not drop the room rate from the 160.00, so I let’em keep it. I guess it is better to lose the head in the bed and the business from dining and gambling, than to drop the rate.

More and more people seem to be complaining, and mostly about the cost.  Unlike other events such as Sturgis, Laughlin does not keep official statics on the event.  But I did some hunting, and found a few numbers.  In 2001 the crowd was estimated at 70.000.  A decade later, 2011 the crowd was estimated at 30.000.  However, according to a local news station, the event peaked out at around 26.000 on Friday. That’s more that a 50 percent drop in attendance.   While all the major events throughout the nation have suffered due to the downfall in the economy, some events  are on the rebound and showing improvement  such as Sturgis. In 2001 they had an attendance of 410.000 and in 2011 it rebounded to 416.000. but it is still off by about 50.000 if you consider the average for the decade.  See all the stats here.

Will the Laughlin Run be able to continue with its numbers falling yearly? More and more people are checking it off the list of annual events, major players are and have pulled out.  So all you can do now, is sit back and see what happens. While I don’t mind going, I will be spending my dollars differently if we do make it, and not giving it to the costly hotels, and backing off on the gambling bucks.

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15 responses to “The Laughlin River Run 2015

  1. Went to the very first run then every other.. Was at Harrahs in 2002 when the shit went down.. The best year ever (the hotel returned all our money) Went back in 2003 and 04 it was like a police state.. So Fuck the river run let the shit hole dry up and blow off in the desert…

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  2. I’ve gone to this event at least 14 times over the last several years. My first several years were paying the ridiculous casino rates. However over the last few years I got smart and started staying in Kingman for $59.00 a night with free breakfast and driving the 32 miles down the hill. The River Run is like going to the county fair you see the same vendors with the same product lines each day. Is 4 days of seeing the same thing a little much?

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    • There really is nothing to go for, I can get the same thing at the swap meet for a third of the cost. It really is sad for the local economy. There are lots of other events through out the southwest that are worth the ride and the cost. Laughlin continues to fall short of long time attendees expectations.

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  3. The shocking GREED of the Hotels and certain of the local bars and restaurants is what is killing the River Run. On any other weekend, the hotels are almost giving the rooms away, but like many other short-sighted businesses, they seem intent on squeezing every last nickel out of the attendees, never realizing that they are sacrificing long term business for short term “gains”.

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    • True… While frequenting the vendor tents this year I happened upon a pinstripe business. I’ve had plenty of striping done at other venues before and checked their prices. They started at $350 and went to the $700’s. I had my other bike done at the Primer Nationals a few years ago for $55. I had my wife’s Sporty done at a biker event for $100, and it was excellent! I had my helmet striped 2 years ago locally with gold leaf and beautiful lettering for $75. $350 is gouging. Fortunately the camping rates at Katherine’s Landing were still $10 a night. Best bargain in town!

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      • Sadly I found there is just nothing there that is “fun” because I am older, not a huge drinker… I don’t know. I did enjoy our time in Oatman on Friday. It was not crazy crowded we could sit and have a drink without feeling crowded out. But Honestly, I really enjoy ABW more. There is more to do to see the riding is phenomenal. I don’t want to spend four hundred plus dollars for three nights, pay a premium for everything, and walk through vendors that are no better than my local swap meet, but four times the cost. I hope everyone still had a good time and a safe one (Despite the shitty weather!)

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      • Oatman is always a highlight for me, especially if I get there early enough to enjoy breakfast before the crowds show up. I always go on the cheap. $10 a nite for a nice campsite near Lake Mohave under the stars (or clouds?). $1 showers. This year I splurged and bought a run shirt cuz it didn’t have a flaming eagle or skull on it… Spent a lot of time meeting new people around the campfire, riding along old Route 66, hanging with my motorcycle pooch, sampling some local cuisine, taking a few pictures. Didn’t get a tattoo this time but I digress…

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    • More and more hotels are dropping out. Avi usually has vendors, this year they had nothing. The Aquarius no longer has vendors, Harley dropped out a few years ago, and I didn’t see any other bike manufactures showing and doing test rides either…

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      • Avi used to have drags, which was a blast. Nothing now… With all the “no colors” rules, the lack of MC’s, the numerous RV’s, tail end of a nasty recession, high prices and the decline of the chopper scene, I understand the low numbers. I’ll continue to go, if for no other reason, than to camp and ride. But a more inviting atmosphere would be cool…

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      • LOL OK… There is a point when high prices become gouging.No one I know any longer stay in the hotels, we take our toy haulers. Much more fun.

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  4. Great observations. This will be the 20th year for me in Laughlin/BHC and I’ve also noticed the overall decline in activity. For me personally, that’s not a bad thing. I camp every year, do a lot of riding and exploring and don’t waste time paddle-walking up and down Casino Drive in 100 degree heat. The additional RUB’s and RV jockeys IMHO only detract from this event. Looking forward to going back this year, but to do my own thing.

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