Mohave County
May 2024
Volume 24 Issue 3

Nov 2023 | November 2023 | 0 comments

Don Laughlin Dies at age of 92

November 2023 | 0 comments

November 2023

LAUGHLIN – The founder of Laughlin and a transformative figure in the gaming industry, Donald J. Laughlin, passed away peacefully on Sunday, October 22, surrounded by family and friends. He was 92 years old.
Don Laughlin’s story is one of ambition, vision, and determination. Born in Owatonna, Minnesota, in 1931, Laughlin’s entrepreneurial journey began at a young age, starting with slot machines and expanding to a gaming and hospitality empire that would redefine the landscape of the Nevada-Arizona border.
In 1966, Laughlin transformed a small, boarded-up motel into the Riverside Resort, laying the foundation for what would become the bustling town of Laughlin, Nevada. Today, the Riverside Resort boasts 1,350 rooms, over 1,000 slot machines, a plethora of gaming tables, and a wide array of entertainment amenities.
Laughlin’s impact, however, extended far beyond the boundaries of his resort and town. He was a catalyst for regional development, fostering economic growth and connectivity. His philanthropic efforts and infrastructure contributions, such as funding the construction of the Laughlin Bridge and supporting the Laughlin Bullhead International Airport, have played a crucial role in the prosperity of the wider region.
“Don Laughlin was a man of vision and generosity. His contributions to this region have left an indelible mark, and his legacy will continue to be felt by generations to come,” said Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo.
Laughlin’s commitment to community and his philanthropic spirit were hallmarks of his character. He was a staunch supporter of local businesses, education, and various charitable causes. His dedication to improving the lives of those in the Laughlin area and beyond earned him the respect and admiration of many.
The Riverside Resort family, where many employees have worked for over four decades, remembers Don Laughlin as an incredible leader and mentor. “Don Laughlin was truly an amazing man to work with and learn from. He touched many lives, and he will be profoundly missed,” reads a statement from the Riverside Resort.
A prayer service in honor of Don Laughlin will be held at Don’s Celebrity Theatre at the Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino on Friday, November 10th at 1:00 p.m. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Colorado River Food Bank in Laughlin’s name, continuing his legacy of community support.
Don Laughlin is survived by his sister, three children, five grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

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