Laughlin Buzz

Feb 23, 2013

Coffee, Starbucks, free Wi-Fi in Laughlin, Nevada

** Update October of 2013:
The Starucks in the Aquarius Casino Resort referenced in this blog post closed and has been replaced with Duet Coffee and Wine.  It no longer is open 24 hours but does have free wifi.    
View a review here.

We often get asked where there is a Starbucks or other coffee house in the area.

Turns out there are three Starbucks in Laughlin. Our favorite one is at the Aquarius Casino.    It has always been open 24 hours and has free wifi. Great staff, roomy, with tables, benches, chairs, and even a comfy couch and matching chairs.  

But...We recently heard a rumor that it may be closing for a few weeks for a remodel.   Then today we got a photo of a coffee "stand" set nearby (not yet operational).  Plus a new sign indicating new hours. It is no longer open 24 hours. Perhaps this is a sign changes are coming soon and the rumor may be true.

New Hours at the Starbucks in the Aquarius Casino

Temporary Coffee Bar in the Aquarius coming soon?

There is another Starbucks in the lower level of the Golden Nugget.  This is just steps off the River Walk.  It is much smaller with no seating and no wifi, but easy to drop in.  

The third Starbucks store is in Harrahs.  They seem to have shorter hours but do have a few tables to sit at (no wi-fi). 

Other great places to grab a coffee, latte, or cappuccino:

Java Joe's at River Palms

Poolside Cafe at the Tropicana Laughlin

Both of these places also have other treats, like scones and pastries. 

Where is your favorite place to grab a coffee or a treat?  Share in the comments below. 

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Laughlin Town Fest - 2013

On Wednesday, February 20th the Mohave Daily News reported that the  the Laughlin Times reported that the annual Laughlin Town Fest plans were on hold.  Earlier in the Laughlin Times it had been reported that the event might be postponed until April.

On Friday, on The Morning Show, TV2, Host Bruce Clark announced that the event in fact will be taking place over Easter Weekend.

More details should be forthcoming soon!

Feb 18, 2013

Loved it. The Steakhouse at Tropicana Laughlin

The Steakhouse is located in the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, Nevada

Each time we visit The Steakhouse we are more and more impressed with the food and the service. We normally only go on special occasions, this time we did a pre-Valentines day dinner since we couldn't go out on the 14th.

The restaurant was fairly busy and but we were seated promptly.  You can choose from tables or very nice booths.  This time we chose a booth. Last time we sat in the very comfy high backed chairs. Either choice is very comfortable. The restaurant is well decorated and roomy.

Service was instant, with an offer of filtered water, bottled spring or sparkling water from Italy.  We opted for the bottled spring water.  In addition right away they set out a basket of rolls and flat bread, plus a plate of port wine cheese, regular butter, and rosemary herb butter. Delicious, but way too easy to fill up on fast if you aren't careful.

Bread Basket, Cheese, Butters

Even though we knew the portions were good sized we decided to split a Shrimp Cocktail.  These were among the best, freshest shrimp we have had in a long time.  You only get three to an order but they are huge in size.  For drinks one of us had a dirty vodka martini, the other ordered a glass of wine. Both were good quality,  the martini complete with 2 really good olives.

Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer

Our orders were the New York Strip and the Steak and Seafood Trio.  Entrees come with a salad of nice mixed greens and tomato.  As the salad cart comes to the table you have choices for salad toppings outlined on a wooden paddle handed to you.  Choose what you want on your salad and they prepare it right there. Choice include bacon, artichokes, baby shrimp, croutons, mushrooms, and more.  Plus several dressings.  We are blue cheese fans and theirs was very good.

Service was impeccable this night, with them refilling the water glasses, whisking away dishes, and giving plenty of time between appetizer, salad, and the main meals. No rush, you can relax an enjoy dinner.

The New York Strip (12 oz) was a very good cut, cooked exactly as ordered. No fat but marbled and juicy.  Choice of potato is also included.

The Steak and Seafood Trio was a pleasant surprise.  It consists of a trio of items.  A 3oz. medallion of filet and a large shrimp (both with Barbecue glazing).  Another 3 oz. medallion of filet with a half a lobster tail on mashed redskin potato. And a third 3 oz. medallion of filet with crab and a Bearnaise type sauce. Plus spears of perfectly cooked asparagus. All of them were delicious, with the crab one being our favorite. The filets were melt in your mouth good, even better than the NY Strip, which we loved.  This was a very large entree and something we would recommend trying.

Steak and Seafood Trio

Unfortunately we were too full for dessert, even though we listed to the half dozen choices that all sounded good.

With tax and tip our bill came to about $115 (for two people), which is reasonable considering drinks, appetizers, etc..  Although it is priced a bit higher than most of the restaurants in the area the quality, atmosphere and experience is well worth it.  Both of our waiters were excellent, professional, and wonderful.

The Steakhouse is definitely on our list of top favorites for a nice or celebratory, or holiday dinner out. It is a bit of a hidden gem for Laughlin.

There are several other items to choose from on the menu.  The Prime Rib we have heard is also very good. And the Lobster is among the best you can get in Laughlin.  They do offer a Twin Lobster Tail Special and a great price of just $19.99 with a Trop Advantage Players Card.  We have had this in the past too and it is a wonderful deal. (Players Cards are available at no cost). As with any specials and hours, please check with the property/restaurant. Things may change without notice, or be subject to other special considerations.  Comps from the Player card are honored for payment as well.

Hours are currently listed as Open Wednesday - Sunday at 4 p.m.  Closed Monday & Tuesday
Reservations Recommended, though we have never had a problem getting a table.

Feb 12, 2013

Oak Ridge Boys in Laughlin, Nevada at Riverside Casino

The Oak Ridge boys held a mini Press Conference on Monday, February 11th at Don Laughlin's Riverside Resort and Casino.  In honor of 30 years of continuous playing at the venue, they were presented with a "key" to the Riverside.

40 Year Anniversary Tour - pic from @oakridgeboys on Twitter

While Don Laughlin was unable to attend due to feeling under the weather, the Oak Ridge Boys took questions from and interacted with the enthusiastic, dedicated fans who attended.  Next time they are going to need a bigger room, it was a packed house.

Press Conference - Photo via Twitter @oakridgeboys

The event took place just in front of Don's Celebrity Theater where the Oak Ridge Boys will be performing February 11th through the 17th.

See the Riverside Casino Website or the Riverside Box Office located just outside of the theater for ticket and showtime info.

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Feb 7, 2013

Reba McIntyre "on the River" in Laughlin, NV

Reba McEntire Performs in Laughlin, Nevada on March 16, 2013  

Tickets are  $45/$60/$85/$100/$125 and are available at or by phone at 877-840-045

Most of the Laughlin Hotels and Casinos are also offering ticket and room packages.   The show is being held at the Laughlin Amphitheater and is being called Reba on the River. 

The show is expected to sell out so if you are want to catch one of the bigger acts to come to Laughlin this spring get your tickets early.  

 As the event is outdoors, seating will consist of bleachers (which are not handicap accessible) and "floor" chairs.   A seating chart has been published for the event.

Seating Chart for the Show from TicketForce.Com 

Update on 3/6/2013  Bleachers have been erected for the Reba McIntyre concert and the Ampitheater is being prepared.   Recent pics below:

*** Updated Blog Post *** 


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Feb 6, 2013

A night at Aquarius Casino Resort in Laughlin, Nevada

Being local to the area we rarely stay at the Casino hotels in Laughlin, NV.  However, on the day of the Super Bowl we had guests in the area who wanted to take in the game at one of the Casinos.  Since we had an offer of free tickets to the Big Game event and comped rooms at the Aquarius Resort we took them.    

We checked in at the Executive Services lounge.  This is right inside the main doors to the right.  The regular check in is to the left.  If you have reached a Green or Red players card level this is available.  We were able to check in by 1PM and check in was fast and friendly.  Even though the room was "free" you have to leave a credit card with a deposit of $50 for incidentals.  This is refunded 3 days later.  Our rooms were comped on the 9th floor of the California Tower.   The Casino was already very full and bustling with activity.  

Trying to get to the room it seemed as if only 1 of the 6 elevators were running and it was a full ride both up and down.   The first thing we noticed was the sort of overwhelming dull sea green color theme of the hallways.  Our rooms were at the far end so we got to enjoy the long walk through it.  

The room was more spacious than we expected.  See pictures below. King Bed.  Chair with Ottoman.  Desk and Chair.  Decent sized flat screen TV.  Small refrigerator and single serving coffee pot.  Floor to ceiling windows.  We even had a half river view (toward the Edgewater Casino).  In the other direction it overlooked the parking garage but the strip was in the background.  It was a good view at night when everything was lit up on Casino Drive. 

The bed for some reason didn't have a comforter or heavy bedspread as most hotels will have.  Whether that was an oversight or just how they do up the room we have no idea.  As we didn't need one we didn't bother to ask, it just looked odd upon entering the room.  The room and bathroom were clean.  The AC worked fine (even though it was February we had to put it on to cool the room a bit).  The TV only had limited channels but we weren't there to spend time in the room watching TV anyway.  The bathroom had your basic sample shampoos, conditioner, etc, and a blow dryer.  A iron and board was there but no bags for laundry.  Six pillows on the bed, plus an extra one on the shelf.  Wifi in the room is extra, 12 or 14 dollars per 24 hours.  In our opinion this is excessive especially when a room is comped or at a low rate.  

Wifi should not be a significant percentage compared to the room cost.  At Aquarius at least you do have the option of 24 hour wifi in the Starbucks on the Casino floor.  

Having heard some possible reports about bedbug issues in Laughlin we checked thoroughly right away and all was fine.  No problem at all.  We recommend doing this no matter where you stay.  

Pavillion - Big Game (Super Bowl Event)

After leaving our bag we headed down to the Casino and got a drink from the Executive Services lounge.  They have soft drinks, juice, coffee, and on most occasions champagne.  This day they also had Baileys Irish Cream to add to the coffee.  Plus a tray of cookies and fruit are there. 

After this we headed up to the Big Game event.  This took place in the Splash Cabaret (at the back of the Casino floor) and in the Pavilion (on the second floor).  Our tickets were for the Pavilion.  We didn't know what to expect but it was a pleasant experience.  Each couple got a gift bag with beads, other game related tokens.  Food and drink were free (part of the Big Game ticket price) from 3PM until the end of the game.  This included beer, liquor, soft drinks water. Food included Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Nachos, Hot Wings, Chips and popcorn.  Although we don't know what the cost of the tickets would of been, between the all you can eat drinks and food it seemed like it must of been a good deal.  The Pavilion is huge with TVs in the center.  There were plenty of bars and food sections on both sides so there was very little wait for anything.  The room was divided into Purple and Red themes (with table clothes and pompoms on the table).  Being loyal Packer and Steeler fans we made a random choice and ended up in the sitting in the losing red section.  We enjoyed the game, the unlimited drinks and food and had a good time.  The room was clean, smoke free, the staff was friendly, it was loud but fun and no problems with the crowd. They did have one small room outside the Pavilion for smokers and they only had a couple small TVs to watch the game. If Aquarius has a similar event again next year we would recommend it if you are looking for somewhere to take in the game.  

After the game we played a bit in the Casino.  It was busy but not overly crowded.  Many people must of headed home after the game.  We ended up about even between one of us winning and the other one losing.  
Finally we headed up to the room.  For all of us though we did have one complaint we didn't expect.  The mattresses were very firm, almost hard.  One person referred to it as a marble slab.  Mattress firmness is a personal preference but in our opinion it was a tough nights sleep because these ones seemed just a bit too firm. They were quality mattresses in great shape (noticed they were Sertas during our bedbug check). There was even a brochure on the nightstand talking about how good they are and that they are available for purchase.  We would have to pass on that.   Room service is offered but we didn't try it.  Instead we grabbed a coffee, oatmeal, and a pastry from the 24 hour Starbucks downstairs.  We checked out just before the 11PM checkout time and won $100 on the way out to go home.  

Overall we thought the experience at the Aquarius was a good one.  No complaints other than we would of liked a softer mattress.  Would definitely consider staying there again, even if it was not a comped room. If you are a football fan you also might want to check out the Big Game event next year!  

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Carnegie's Dining Car in the Tropicana Laughlin

Carnegie's Dining Car in the Tropicana Laughlin
We've frequented the 24 hour diner in the Tropicana Laughlin several times over the past year.  This is a very busy open little place to grab breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a very late night snack.  Prices and value are very good.   It sits right next to the Casino floor.   They usually have a special posted on the board just outside the entrance.  In addition (at the time of this post) they offer a Create Your Own Omelet special in the mornings.  We have in the past even seen really good late night specials, like Steak and Eggs for $1.99 on a Saturday night.   It depends on the day and time that you go but be sure to check what specials they have going on or ask your server.   Staff is usually very friendly and service is good even when they are busy.  Mornings seem the busiest time.

On one recent visit our group tried several items.  There was a Roast Beef sandwich special with mashed potatoes, and veggie for $8.99.  The beef was good and they allowed substitution of fries, all covered in gravy.   The veggies were a canned mix of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots though.   Another order of the battered fish and chips was also a good value.  Four big pieces of fish, cooked perfectly.   Served with fries, a creamy coleslaw, tartar and cocktail sauce.  They Chicken Cesar salad came with a good grilled chicken and was big and fresh.  They have several different kinds of burgers or you can build your own.  There are all sorts of typical choices on the menu from the burgers, sandwiches and ranging up to entrees for dinner. Basic home style diner choices at good prices.  
Dessert Selections
They also have wonderful deserts, which are displayed in a glass case along the hallway into the restaurant.  These include a huge chocolate eclair and a delicious strawberry cake among other items.      You really can't miss with just about anything we have tried so far.  It's a good place to grab a inexpensive, tasty snack, dessert or meal.   

You can use your players card comps as well.

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Feb 1, 2013

Pics from Colorado River: Laughlin and Bullhead City

 The Colorado River was at a very low level so we took a walk down the shoreline on the Arizona side directly across from the Laughlin Casinos.  The River looked low and shallow enough that one could walk across it, though we wouldn't recommend trying.  Even though it was still January the temperature was in the mid 60's and there was some wind but not enough to be cold.

Pedestrian Bridge from Laughlin, NV to Bullhead City, AZ
View of the Colorado River from the Bridge


Right after the bridge there is a small park.  Sometimes when the water is low enough you can go right under the bridge.  There is no camping in the area.  Sadly enough there are occasional homeless people forced to seek shelter here.  There is a short path with signs marking the various plants and trees.  Watch out for skunks and raccoons as well. 
Heritage Park Lookout
Heritage Park Lookout
 Just past the Lookout park is a Water Taxi stand that you can take to cross over to the Riverside dock. There is a small island.  This day there were lots of birds and even a couple fisherman trying their luck.

Further down the Colorado River across from the Aquarius Casino 

The very small island in the River

Riverside Hotel and Casino in the background behind the island
Rentals available during the Season
Tables in the shadows of Palm Tree



Looking back upstream toward the Riverside

Bridge and Davis Dam way in the background

Edgewater Hotel and Casino just across the river

Plane that just took off from Laughlin-Bullhead International Airport

Shot down river with Colorado Belle and  River Palms Casino in the distance

Colorado Belle Hotel and Casino across the river

The last Casinos on the strip.  Plus River Rick (cowboy sign at the Pioneer)

Pioneer Gambling Hall and Casino, River Palms, and Harrahs

The only Casino Drive Casino you cannot see from this vantage point is the Tropicana Laughlin (which is on the other side of the street)   When the river is at normal levels it is not possible, or not as easy to walk along the shore/beach.

Below is a very short video clip taken on the same day from the same spot.

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