The 2017 Laughlin River Run went off without a hitch once again. Promoters boasted incre once again as over 50,000 riders enjoyed the fun and sun in Nevada
The 35th annual Laughlin River Run wound up last weekend, with an estimated 50,000 riders in attendance. Billed as the largest rally in the west, the event brings in nearly $50 million to local businesses. While the rally draws far smaller crowds than the Black Hills Motorcycle Classic in Sturgis, South Dakota, it marks the first big gathering of the year for western riders.
The setting is a mini-Las Vegas, with casinos, resorts, all manner of exhibits and vendors, organized rides and party atmosphere. The entertainment bill included Willie Nelson at Harrah’s Rio Vista Outdoor Amphitheater and Cheap Trick at the Edgewater E Center. The Edgewater Party Zone had four nights of “Hogs and Heifers,” the Colorado Belle Loading Dock had a roster of blues bands, and the Golden Nugget Outdoor Lounge featured various bands and the Straight Up Stunt Show.
Laughlin has worked to overcome the stigma it collected in 2002, when a gun battle broke out between the Mongols and the Hells Angels broke out in a local casino. Three men died in the fight and many more were injured, including non-gang member bystanders. Law enforcement was subsequently beefed up, and the city instituted a “no-colors” policy to help quell the gang influence.
The increase in law enforcement officers, including undercover cops, and the absence of gang insignias has been effective as Laughlin continues to grow in popularity year after year. No incidents of serious violence were reported this year. Instead, cruising a V-Twin in the Nevada sunshine along the Colorado River was the order of the day.