Pioneer Hotel & Gambling Hall

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Pioneer Hotel & Gambling Hall
Pioneer Hotel & Gambling Hall logo.png
Pioneer riverview.jpg
Riverside view of Pioneer
Location Laughlin, Nevada, U.S. 89029
Address 2200 Casino Drive
Opening date 1979; 38 years ago (1979)
Theme Old Western
No. of rooms 416
Owner Archon Corporation
Previous names Colorado Club
Coordinates 35°09′19″N 114°34′22″W / 35.15541°N 114.57286°W / 35.15541; -114.57286Coordinates: 35°09′19″N 114°34′22″W / 35.15541°N 114.57286°W / 35.15541; -114.57286
Website Official website

The Pioneer Hotel & Gambling Hall is a hotel and casino in Laughlin, Nevada, United States known for its neon cigarette-puffing "River Rick" marque.[1] It was a sister property of the Pioneer Club in Las Vegas until both properties were sold to separate parties.


Roadside view of Pioneer Club, Laughlin, Nevada

What would become the Pioneer Hotel & Gambling Hall initially opened in 1979 as the Colorado Club[2] and was built by Tom Ward and Ed Nigro.[1] In 1986 the casino had the distinction of being the first casino to open a players' club for slot players in Nevada.[1]

The Hotel and Casino were purchased on January 9, 2004 by current owner Archon Corporation.[3] The current owners continue utilizing the western theme that has been the signature of The Pioneer Club since its inception.[4] The casino added a new sports book, operated by Lucky's Race & Sports Book, in August 2009.

River Rick[edit]

River Rick and Vegas Vic comparison

River Rick is the name of the neon sign that resembles a cowboy that was erected at the Pioneer Hotel & Gambling Hall in 1981. He is also referred to by some as Laughlin Lou,[5] although the hotel itself calls him River Rick.[6]

When Margaret Elardi, owner of the Pioneer Club in Las Vegas, bought the Pioneer Club Laughlin in 1981 she commissioned the River Rick neon sign to be built, which was an almost exact copy of Vegas Vic found at the Pioneer Club in Las Vegas at a cost of $1.5 million.

River Rick was built by the same sign company (Young Electric Sign Company) that made Vegas Vic 30 years prior.

River Rick is one of three neon cowboys in Nevada, the others being Vegas Vic and Wendover Will.


  1. ^ a b c "Week of October 16, 2001". Archived from the original on 2007-08-13. Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  2. ^ "Laughlin, Nevada History". Archived from the original on 2007-08-17. Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  3. ^ "Archon Corporation buy Pioneer". Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  4. ^ "Pioneer Club". Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  5. ^ "Roadside Peek News". Archived from the original on July 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  6. ^ "River Rick". Retrieved 6 March 2012. 

External links[edit]