The annual Laughlin, Nevada biker lifestyle and police overtime festival was last weekend. Officially, the event is called River Run.
Greed has been killing the golden goose that literally built this Colorado River gambling town for years. Yet somehow, it lives. It is now an over-policed, third rate swap meet – which is probably unfair to third rate swap meets that do not require you to buy a minimum of $600 of food and lodging before you can enter. Local boosters claim 45,000 people attended this year. There have been no official attendance estimates announced. A good guess is that there may have been as many as 30,000 people in town. That is down about 5,000 from 2010 and significantly lower than in 1995 when the event was at its peak and may have attracted 50,000 bikers. This was the annual event’s thirty-third year.
There were no colors in sight again this year. Motorcycle club patches have been banned since 2002.
Vegas Metro, which polices Laughlin, issued 189 traffic tickets in town and another 96 to motorcyclists outside town. There were 35 arrests at the River Run this year. Twenty-seven of them were misdemeanors. There were a total of 25 arrests last year.
On the eastern side of the river, Bullhead City police issued 67 traffic tickets. They only wrote 40 last year.
There were 11 motorcycle accidents this year on both sides of the river. Four of them resulted in injuries. Nobody died. One motorcycle was stolen.
In general, the numbers for everything except tickets and arrests were down this year which continues a long time trend. There wasn’t a single arrest for public nudity.
A police Lieutenant named John Healy, who runs the Vegas Metro substation in Laughlin declared “The thirty-third Laughlin River Run was a huge success. Overall the event was well attended and very peaceful. As I walked along Casino Drive with several members from our Command Staff, numerous out-of-town visitors and local citizens, along with security chiefs, commended the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police and how well the officers were working amongst the public to keep the community safe and allowing the visitors to have an enjoyable River Run,” he said. “I look forward to the 34th Laughlin River Run in 2016.”
The musical acts included Slaughter, ZZ Top, Foghat and Burton Cummings who was once the lead singer for The Guess Who.
Also, it rained.