Okay, Vegas is doing just fine and downtown is booming. So.....comps will dwindle and great deals for frugal gambers will ....well....dry up.
I need a place to go that is still a frugal destination.

I especially need to escape the rush to downtown that has already made any quiet nights impossible.

Laughlin is one possibility.

All the reviews say the Pioneer is the worst place in Laughlin, but I've always wanted to stay here. It is a strange desire since I don't want to pay for the premium riverview rooms, and I don't want to gamble or eat here.
It was the cheapest I could find for these three days in Laughlin, so I booked it for a total of $83.
I expected a bare bones room and that is what this is. However, it was not rundown or dirty. The beds were basic, but for some reason this is the best sleep I have gotten on the trip.
Perhaps all the Red Rock hiking set me up to sleep well. I have slept through the night each time at this hotel.
There was a very comfortable old country round table with old fashioned wooden, country decorated chairs. A hanging lamp looking like the old gas lamps hung from the ceiling. The dresser had a nice oak look and behind it were two round mirrors. The only “art” were two reproductions of Norman Rockwell and one was screwed in a tad crooked.
Two shampoos were included. I don't get room service for short stays, so this was nice. Soaps were goodsoaps, not those little bits of nothing that come in these sort of cheap motel rooms at home.
I really like having the car right in front of my room, so I don't have to be so super organized. I would not like it were I on a floor with stairs, but these ground floor places are just great. It really beats even the easy walk I had at Red Rock.
There was an unheated pool and it looked fine, but it was too cold for me to try it out.
It was pretty quiet at night and I heard very little of anything from other rooms.
Turner Classic Movies was included on the television, but the reception was terrible.
A shower tub made it easy to do my laundry.
When I had an issue, they were quick to respond.
While I did not have a river view, I could walk a few steps and through an ice machine area and sit in a fine old fashioned swing right on the river. The swing was build sturdy, comfortable, and decorated at each end with wagon wheels. I sat there so long the first night that Security called down and asked if I were okay.
A short walk to the Colorado Belle gave me an easy breakfast. It gets very bad reviews, but for what I eat, it was more than adequate. I had eggs over easy sprinkled with cheese, topped with a country fried chicken patty and some country gravy. I brought along on this trip my own hot sauce: Mexico Lindo Habanera sauce, and it is very good. This hot sauce is hotter than the Lousiana sauces like Frank's and has a very different flavor.
The coffee was not much.
The watermelon was very sweet. Canned pears and peaches are fine with me. And I had a nice taste of a bit of a dark sweet bread they make.
Something is up with their cable reception. They know it, but can't seem to get it fixed. The screen has a line moving from bottom to top and some distortion. It is not fun to watch. I love having TCM, but it was of no use here except when I was unpacking and organizing and could be entertained by just listening.
They played an old Dick Cavette interview with Robert Mitchem. Such wonderful interviewing went on in those days. The pace was relaxed and there was no shouting.
On the television there was also a Good Morning local station with an old guy who talked about the area a bit. This one too could just be listened to and enjoyed.
However, the poor TV reception might be a deal breaker for me on future trips.
The fellow who checked me in for three nights only validated my key for one night. That is so annoying.
At almost midnight when I got back from playing poker at Harrahs the battery died on the old fashioned smoke detector, so I had to call someone to change it and end that annoying pattern of beeps.
The AC heater was responsive but noisy. I had thought that might happen, but expected that the weather would make sleeping cool with no AC, and it did, except for one night. When I was away from the room, I'd run it on high, and then turn it off when I got in. That worked for November.
I love the river walk, and the Pioneer has one of the most interesting fronts on that walk with a long string of old fashioned park lamps. However, they are not maintained. Many bulbs were missing and nothing had been dusted in quite a while.
No buffet.
Only four hangers in the closet and they needed the attention of a pliers to tighten them up a bit, but they worked. The long bar in the closet was fine for drying my socks.
It does seem to me that I could pay for an upscale stay at Red Rock if I follow it with this downscale stay at Pioneer and have plenty of poker with good promotions while escaping downtown for an extended period of time.


I always liked visiting Oatman and feeding the wild burros. However, I don't remember the shops being so negative about the burros with signs and sprays of water and obvious frustration. The burros is what attracts us. Don
t they get that?
Then too like every little tourist town, there are things to buy priced three times what they would cost on the internet. What are they thinking?
I found a seven dollar hat for three dollars and a piece of scrap rock for one dollar. Those were great deals. Other things interested me, but were just overpriced.
I did like seeing the room where Carol Lombard and Clark Gable spent their Honeymoon, and the burros were very gentle and easy, wild but clearly tamed.
On the other hand, the Hoover Dam was a great visit on the way back to Vegas and I'lll do that again.

In Laughlin for the most part I played poker at Harrah's and at the Colorado Belle and enjoyed all the games. I also walked along the river at night and sat in that swing I mentioned, drinking a little wine, and just relaxing. It was quiet. A huge contrast with downtown and the coming upswing in Vegas.
I went to see the Letterman on a cheap ticket and actually could play poker until the last minute and then drive from Harrah's to the Riverside in a predictable time and see the show. No huge traffic. No parades or festivals or Santa runs or holiday crowds to interrupt the ride. I liked that.
My rooms cost me less than a night than the cost of any resort fee on the strip.
I'll be back.
Meanwhile, I used the card protector scrap of very decorative rock up in Ocala, Florida for the first time and took very many compliments. So that was a good frugal dollar well spent.