Don Laughlin Death ? Don Laughlin Cause of Death?

by Ami Dalsania

Don Laughlin Death ? Don Laughlin Cause of Death? Don Laughlin, the man who reshaped the landscape of Laughlin, Nevada, passed away on October 22, 2023, at the age of 92.

His legacy is woven into the very fabric of this thriving resort destination. In this article, we’ll explore the life and accomplishments of this remarkable individual, celebrating the journey that transformed a riverside motel into the Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino.

On that fateful October day, the news of Don Laughlin’s passing reverberated across Laughlin, Nevada, and far beyond. A visionary and entrepreneur, Laughlin’s life story is nothing short of captivating. Let’s dive into his fascinating journey, starting from humble beginnings.

From Fur Trapping to Slot Machines

Don Laughlin was born on May 4, 1931, in Owatonna, Minnesota. His early life was marked by an adventurous spirit. During the harsh winters, he earned his keep by trapping fur. However, what truly set him apart was his knack for business.

With the earnings from fur trapping, Laughlin ventured into the world of slot machines. He strategically placed these machines in hunting lodges, an unconventional but highly profitable move. It wasn’t long before his principal confronted him, presenting a choice – continue with the slot machine business or prioritize school. Laughlin chose the former, a decision that would set him on the path to becoming an iconic figure in the world of casinos and resorts.

The Birth of a Vision

In the late 1950s, Don Laughlin’s life took a decisive turn. He moved to Las Vegas, a city synonymous with casinos and entertainment. It was here that he acquired his first casino, the “101 Club,” marking the beginning of his enduring legacy.

By 1964, Laughlin had sold the 101 Club and embarked on a life-altering journey. He began flying over the picturesque tri-state area of California, Arizona, and Nevada. The breathtaking views from above ignited a visionary spark within him. He dreamt of creating a thriving resort destination nestled along the banks of the Colorado River.

Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino

Don Laughlin’s vision started to take shape when he purchased a dormant riverside motel in the area for $250,000. Little did he know that this acquisition would evolve into the Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino, a landmark that would define the region. In 1972, this magnificent establishment opened its doors to the public, promising an unforgettable experience.

One of the standout features of the Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino is its notable automotive museum. Open to the public, this museum showcases an impressive collection of classic cars, a testament to Laughlin’s commitment to offering something unique and captivating to his visitors.

Expanding the Legacy

Don Laughlin’s ambitions knew no bounds. In 1986, he added a 14-floor tower to the Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino, bringing the room count to 307. This expansion was yet another milestone in his journey to redefine Laughlin, Nevada.

His vision and contributions turned a once-sleepy town into a thriving resort destination. Today, Laughlin, Nevada, is synonymous with entertainment, gaming, and the picturesque Colorado River.


In the world of hospitality and entertainment, Don Laughlin’s legacy will always shine bright. His entrepreneurial spirit and visionary ideas transformed Laughlin, Nevada, into a place that draws visitors from all corners of the globe. Don Laughlin’s journey, from fur trapping to casino ownership, is a testament to what one individual’s determination and vision can achieve.

Don Laughlin may have left us, but his legacy lives on, inspiring generations to come.

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