Laughlin Buzz

Jan 16, 2014

It's Still Lights Out at the Pioneer

Back in September (of 2013) we wrote about the ridiculous lack of maintenance of the signs and lights around the Pioneer Gambling Hall and Casino in Laughlin, NV.   See the original piece here.

A few days ago we happened to be on the Riverwalk in Laughlin again and thought to see if anything has changed for the better.   Unfortunately, it has not.

Many of the large globe style lights that line the otherwise nice portion of the Riverwalk behind the Pioneer Hotel rooms are burned out.

The clock still continues to display the wrong time and more burned out bulbs.

River Rick (the cowboy sign) still looks terrible at night, with over half of the sign burned out or not working on both sides. 

Both sides of the main sign underneath River Rick have letters burned out or not lit up.   A group of tourists walked by, laughed and joked about the "HO BLING" message being displayed.  We overheard one of them comment about how they wouldn't play at the Pioneer because if they can't even afford to change a light bulb, the slots are sure to be very tight.   Needless to say this isn't true as gaming percentages and payouts are governed by the licensing regulations.  Still the perception isn't a good one.  

Around the front of the Casino, the situation is not much better.   Even the very front entrance to the Casino has burned out letters.  At least in September the LING was not burned out, so it is worse not better.

The very tall sign that is one of the most noticeable in all of Laughlin has not been lit up properly in the past as well.   See the pictures from September here.  

On this night when we went past the sign the scrolling part was burned out in the middle of the message. 

A short time later they had completely turned off the lights to the same sign (both sides)

Two days later the sign was still displaying the half a message on the scroll again.  

We were happy to see someone had finally taken down the ripped sign by the entrance to the Riverwalk. This had been hanging torn since we had a small monsoon rain in August of 2013. 

The sign itself leading the the Riverwalk is in rough shape.  A little repair and some paint would go a long way to make it look nicer.

We previously noted that Sue Lowden is the former president of the Pioneer Hotel and Gambling Hall and currently serves as a member of the board of directors and secretary-treasurer of Archon Corp (the owner of the Pioneer).    She recently announced plans to run for Nevada Lt. Governor (see the Las Vegas Review Journal article here).

An article last year in the Review Journal also addressed her leftover campaign debt from a failed 2010 Senate run.   Following this, the Las Vegas Sun reported on January 16th of this year that despite claims otherwise, she is still dealing with unpaid debt.

While this campaign debt has nothing to do with the lighting situation at the Pioneer, Sue Lowden is on the board of directors and presumably has ownership shares as well.   As a (part-time?) resident of Laughlin and influential member of the company that owns the Pioneer, we would hope she could help them divert some cash toward fixing River Rick and the poor image the lighting problems give to Laughlin.  

We noticed the Casino seems fairly busy most of the time, the hotel seems popular, they recently put in some new slot machines, and have remodeled and created a new restaurant.

We were walking past the hotel and an older gentleman was leaning on the post by his hotel room smoking a cigarette.   He smiled and called out,  "Hell, this is still nice, it sure beats sitting at home!"    We agree, but now is the time.  Make it nicer, change the light bulbs!

You can help encourage them to have some Laughlin Pride.

Send Sue Lowden a tweet on Twitter at 

Go to her facebook page and let her know what you think.

For more about Laughlin, Nevada, visit our homepage at:


  1. Pathetic!

    I get that neon is expensive -- The bulbs in the globes on the Riverwalk are an easy fix -- that's just poor maintenance. It's also a safety issue.

    I will try to take it to them on FB & Twitter.

    Don Jr.

  2. Regardless of the expense, that is a primary part of their property and it should be included. We have had no luck so far getting any response from anyone associated with the Pioneer. There was just a comment on the Laughlin TripaAdvisor forum this week from a visitor who said it is an embarrassing sight. It is sad.