Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Laughlin Amphitheater

Update as of January 2014
The new Laughlin Event Center is being built in Laughlin and will most likely replace this venue that was in use during the 2013 season.  See more info here.   If you are searching for the Amphitheater at Don Laughlin's Riverside Resort or the Rio Vista Ampitheater at Harrah's Laughlin, this is not the venue.  


On March 16, 2013, Reba McIntyre performed the inaugural show at the new venue for the Laughlin Amphitheater.  This was a wonderful show right on the Colorado River at the new venue for the Laughlin Amphitheater.  The Amphitheater is steps off the Laughlin River Walk and is located between the Golden Nugget and River Palms Casino. 

Laughlin Amphitheater stage for Reba

Reba in Concert in Laughlin, NV
Seating Chart for Laughlin Amphitheater
Pre-Concert View of the Venue

The logistics of attending a concert at the Amphitheater went fairly smoothly for us.  Even though there is no parking at the site itself, parking was available for a moderate fee at the Golden Nugget, River Palms, and Pioneer Casinos.  These are the three closest to the Amphitheater.   The other Casinos on the strip offered free shuttle buses to and from the site.  Traffic on Casino Drive was modified to allow for the pick up and drop off of these shuttles.

Getting to the concert was easy.  We boarded a shuttle at the Aquarius Casino. Friends we were going with were staying there.  These were the full luxury coaches, not mini-shuttle buses.  They left every 15 minutes starting over 2 hours before the show.  There was no wait and it took less than 10 minutes to get dropped off right outside the gate.  

After the concert was more of a challenge and perhaps a glitch they organizers may need to look into for alternatives.  The concert was sold out - 8000 people reportedly.  Before the show people arrived and loaded the shuttles in stages, but at the end everyone was leaving at the same time.  This made for long lines to not only board a shuttle but to find the right shuttle to the right hotel.  Like many people we chose to walk back instead of wait.  Many people who may not be able to or want to had to endure the lines and search for their bus.  The walk from River Palms to Aquarius was a bit longer than we anticipated for a few members of our party but overall it isn't that bad.  If you choose to go down the River Walk it seems shorter than going on Casino Drive.  Plus you don't have to maneuver traffic lights, etc..  In retrospect in the future we would probably either opt to pay for the parking -- or -- take a shuttle from a closer Casino like Tropicana or Colorado Belle. 

Once inside the Amphitheater the layout was done well.  Behind the seats there were multliple concessions with drinks, some food, T-shirt sales.  Portable facilities were also available.  Seating is bleachers on three sides of the stage and folding chairs in the center.   The sound was good, the River was a nice backdrop and the weather was beautiful.  Overall other than getting out of the concert we give the new Amphitheater a thumbs up as a great place to see a concert in Laughlin.  Yes, you may have to put up with sitting in bleachers but it is much more intimate than the bigger venues you may see the same acts elsewhere.

Read more about what is going on in and around Laughlin at our LaughlinBuzz page.

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