Thousands roll in for Laughlin River Run - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Thousands roll in for Laughlin River Run

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The Laughlin River Run celebrates its 31st year, and expects crowds up to 60,000. The Laughlin River Run celebrates its 31st year, and expects crowds up to 60,000.
Laughlin is expecting a large public safety presence, including help from neighboring states. Laughlin is expecting a large public safety presence, including help from neighboring states.
LAUGHLIN, NV (FOX5) -

Tens of thousands of bikers are expected to be in town for the Laughlin River Run, and the town says it's ready to accommodate everyone who rolls through.

"This is our biggest event of the year, by far," said MJ Smith, executive director of the Laughlin Tourism Commission.

The town is expecting 50,000 to 60,000 people through Sunday, and the Laughlin Chamber of Commerce says every hotel room is booked.

On Wednesday, the crowds were just getting ready to go.

"I love Laughlin!" screamed one visitor who was looking at a new bike in front of the Riverside Resort.

Metro police had some areas cordoned off around the resorts for safety reasons.

"Putting 50,000 people in one area where they aren't normally, you have to step up," Smith said. "We focus on safety. It's a top priority for us with any event, not just this one."

And that means crews from Arizona and California pitching in.

The bikers travel much greater distances to be here, including one couple from Wisconsin, who was trying to beat the bigger crowd.

"I think you'll definitely see Friday and Saturday's crowd come, and that's when I won't be here," said Louise McLaughlin.

That crowd, however, means big bucks for the town, and accounts for about 10 percent of Laughlin's bottom line every year, according to Smith.

"We came from Idaho where it was snowing and cold. Down here you get to enjoy the sun and check out the bikes and have a good time," said Tom Ashley.

Bill Biler of A Team Motorcycles brought 25 bikes from Las Vegas, and says the long-weekend atmosphere is perfect for doing business.

"Many shows are 14-15 days. This one's actually only functioning three days, so it gets a lot of people in a concentrated area for three days," he said.

That is also why safety is always a concern. During the 2002 Laughlin River Run, three people were killed as a result of a motorcycle club rivalry.

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