The River Regatta is back in action after a year hiatus, with a new sponsor taking the event over from the City of Bullhead. Marnell Gaming is responsible for the revival of the popular river float that brings thousands of people together for a relaxing day just coasting along the Colorado without the usual boat traffic on the river.
“Back and Better Than Ever” is the theme of this year’s float, and with the help of volunteers and participants, the 2018 regatta will be just that.
As there will be a few changes this year, make sure to read the following sections carefully so when float day arrives there are no surprises and you come prepared.
The event is meant for fun, so feel free to let loose, but remember to be respectful of other participants and the environment by following the guidelines to ensure this year’s regatta is a great time for all!
Official Laughlin River Regatta wristbands must be worn during the float and to ride the shuttles. Participants not wearing wristbands are subject to removal from the event. The float is open to those 8 years or older (minors 8-17 must have a written release, including a telephone number, by a parent or legal guardian).
Wristbands are $70 per person plus processing fees. Online registration at LaughlinRiverRegatta.com closes at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, or once the maximum 22,000 participants have registered.
After you register online, you will receive a “paper ticket” sent to you via email. You will need to have that printed ticket or a smart phone with the QR code displayed in order to pick up your wristband at the on-site registration center listed below. If you are picking up wristbands for others, you must have their “paper tickets” with the QR code, too.
On-site registration and online check-in:
The E Center at the Edgewater—Thursday, Aug. 9 (noon-10 p.m.); Friday, Aug. 10 (8 a.m.-10 p.m.) and Saturday, Aug. 11 (7 a.m.-noon).
Registration includes access to the river for the float, a hot dog lunch at Rotary Park upon completion of the float, shuttle bus transportation, plus discounts at the Edgewater Grand Buffet for adult entries. River Regatta wristbands and fees are non-refundable.
You must pick up your wristbands at the E Center regardless of which way you registered. Participants must have copies of all receipts, registration forms and proper ID with them to receive their wristbands.
The official Regatta logo retailer is “Ace the Regatta Place” carrying everything a participant will need — from life jackets and water shoes to tubes, hats, coolers and official logo’d tank tops and bandannas. Check out the merch at the Tri-State Ace Home Center, 2350 Miracle Mile, Bullhead City, within the Riverview Shopping Center (928-758-2816), or visit AceRegattaPlace.com.
The actual float on the river takes place Saturday, Aug. 11, with one Arizona launch site and two casino sites. The launch sites are:
Davis Camp Launch Site—north of the Laughlin Bridge on the Arizona side of the river (7 a.m. check-in; launch any time after check in up until final launch by 1 p.m.). Float time is approximately 4.5 hours.
Regatta participants catching the free shuttle buses from Laughlin properties will be taken to Davis Camp for launch. Participants must be wearing a wristband and be in the casino shuttle bus line by 11 a.m. to ensure a ride to the launch site. NOTE: if you fail to launch by 1 p.m., you will not be permitted to launch. Shuttles from the Laughlin casinos only go to the Davis Camp launch site.
There will be vendors, lost & found and a medical booth at Davis Camp. Swimwear, life vests, ice, food and more will be available for purchase at the Vendor Village. If you drive a car to Davis Camp, there will be a $30 per vehicle entry fee (cash only; no walk-ins).
Two Laughlin casinos are offering launch sites from their beaches for registered guests of their respective hotels only. You still must be an official registered Regatta participant with an official 2018 wristband to launch from these sites.
Harrah’s Laughlin (7 a.m.-1 p.m.)—float time to Rotary Park approximately 3.5 hours.
The New Pioneer beach (7 a.m.-1 p.m.)—float time to Rotary Park approximately 4 hours.
To assist in inflating your tubes and floats there will be a Tri-State Ace Hardware Inflation Station set up at Davis Camp (7 a.m.-1 p.m.). There is no overnight storage of tubes allowed.
ON THE RIVER
All participants will float downriver to the end site at Rotary Park in Bullhead City (west of Highway 95 on Riverview Drive).
When you are nearing the end, there will be a large yellow directional buoy about one mile out from Rotary Park. When you pass under the white gas pipeline crossing the river there will be a white half-mile buoy, which is your reminder to start making your way to the Arizona side of the river. There is another quarter-mile buoy at Veteran’s Memorial Park. There is no exiting at Veteran’s Memorial Park; the Rotary Park landing zone is only about 1,000 feet south from here.
There will be a large Hornitos buoy at the end point at Rotary Park. Regatta staff will assist floaters to shore at the Rotary Park beach.
OFF THE RIVER
There will be a “Tube Deflation Area” at Rotary Park in the grassy area near the shuttle bus line (it will be marked). All tubes must be deflated before catching one of the shuttles taking participants back to drop off spots (see “Shuttles” section). You must be in the bus line before 5 p.m. to be guaranteed a ride back to the casinos and/or launch sites.
There will be a Vendor Village at Rotary Park with vendors offering food, ice cream and more.
The Bullhead City Rotary Club will provide participants wearing a wristband a free hot dog, bag of chips and water bottle, at a booth set up just east of the beach at Rotary Park (near the large ramada).
Hundreds of trash containers will be set up at Rotary Park and participants are urged to utilize them to keep the park clean. Also, be sure to obtain your free onion bag for trash at the launch site.
There will be a first aid tent at Rotary Park, located near the basketball courts. A Lost & Found area will be located next to the medical tent. This is where you go if you are separated from your party or have lost someone in your party.
A FEW RULES
While the point of the event is to have fun there are a few rules and regulations to the float, including;
· No one under the age of 8 years old may be on a float. Minors (ages 8-17) must have a written release (including telephone number) signed by a parent or legal guardian.
· Participants are required to sign event waivers provided at registration.
· All entrants must wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket (vest type) at all times while in the water. Not wearing a life jacket subjects participants to a fine and/or possible removal from the river.
· No kegs, styrofoam coolers, glass or unlawful substances allowed on the river. NOTE: Only beer is allowed in Arizona parks.
· Marijuana use is strictly prohibited. It is illegal in Arizona and the Colorado River is a federal waterway, so ignoring this rule could result in a citation or arrest.
· No disposing of or sinking of any foreign materials in the river, dunking, upsetting or purposely deflating other
participant’s tubes. No dumping of trash in the river. Any participant found doing so is subject to a fine and/or removal from the event.
• Floats may not exceed eight people and should not exceed 12 feet in diameter. Large floats that can take on water must contact the Nevada Department of Wildlife for a permit.
• No more than 10 tubes are allowed to be tied together at one time. Floats must be commercially made. No kayaks or canoes. Participants must provide their own paddles/oars to assist in navigation.
• No launching of water balloons or any materials of any kind during the event. The use of drones during the float is strictly prohibited.
• Participants must deflate their tubes upon completion of the float before boarding a shuttle bus. If you no longer want your float, deflate it and properly dispose of it in a trash bin.
• The river will become a safety zone on Saturday (6 a.m.-6 p.m.). This means no one but regatta participants will be on the river—no boats or jet skis allowed during those times.
• Wear sunblock, a wide brim hat or visor, sunglasses and drink plenty of water as dehydration and other heat illnesses can occur quickly.
• Do not enter the water from the casino docks or Fisherman’s Access on the Nevada side of the river (except guests of Harrah’s and the Pioneer; see launch sites info on previous page). The undertow by the docks is dangerous. Which also means stay clear of all docks on both sides of the river during the float.
HELP ON THE RIVER
There will be 17 government and private agencies working the regatta to make sure everyone has a safe and fun day. Safety stops marked with signs are located on islands along the regatta route. Volunteers will be working safety stops armed with cell phones. There also will be lifeguards positioned all along the river.
There is an extensive bus shuttling service set up to get people to and from launch sites and the end site at Rotary Park. These include:
Laughlin properties with regatta shuttle service include the Riverside Resort, Aquarius, Edgewater, Colorado Belle, Tropicana, New Pioneer, Golden Nugget, Laughlin River Lodge and Harrah’s. Contact the property you are utilizing the shuttle service from to find out the bus pick-up location.
The Laughlin casinos’ shuttle service is available on Saturday, Aug. 11 (7 a.m.-11 a.m.) and goes only to the Davis Camp launch site. Participants with a 2018 River Regatta wristband can utilize the free shuttle service from the Laughlin properties but you must be in line by the 11 a.m. cut off time. Shuttle buses will continue to run until the lines are depleted.
BULLHEAD CITY SHUTTLES
Launch Bus Service:
• Yellowline — service from Rotary Park to Riverside Resort Arizona Lot and Davis Camp.
Service will begin Saturday, Aug. 11 (7 a.m.) and will run continuously to both parks.
Return Bus Service:
Return service will begin Saturday, Aug. 11 (10 a.m.) and shuttle participants with wristbands from Rotary Park back to the Laughlin hotel properties and Bullhead City launch sites (closes at 5 p.m.). Participants must be in line prior to that time to utilize the service. Shuttle buses will continue to run until the lines are depleted. The return service shuttle lines are:
• Redline: Route One — service to the Riverside Resort and Aquarius;
• Orangeline: Route Two — service to Tropicana;
• Blueline: Route Three — service to Harrah’s;
• Purpleline: Route Four — Service to Golden Nugget and Laughlin River Lodge;
• Greenline: Route Five — service to Edgewater, Colorado Belle and New Pioneer
Bullhead City Return Bus Service:
• Yellowline — service from Rotary Park to Riverside’s Arizona parking lot and Davis Camp.
Rotary Park — Friday and Saturday, free parking located around the softball fields and soccer fields—trolleys and golf carts will assist participants to their vehicles. Participants can park their cars at Rotary Park on Saturday between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. and take the shuttle to their launch site. When you come off the water at the end of the float, your vehicle already will be there.
Davis Camp — Saturday only with a $30 per vehicle fee (cash only). If you enter Davis Camp by any means other than official regatta shuttle bus, you will be required to pay the Davis Camp $30 per vehicle entry fee. No walk-ins.
North Lot (Riverside Resort Arizona parking lot across Highway 95 from Sam’s Club in Bullhead City) — Saturday only parking fee of $30 cash only (you can take the Yellowline shuttle from the lot to Davis Camp).
Marnell Gaming is committed to the long-term environmental responsibility that goes along with this event. The company has pledged to dedicate $100,000 annually to improve and maintain the “highest possible levels of cleanliness” in the Colorado River and along its banks in the Bullhead City/Laughlin vicinity.
Since December 2017, Marnell has performed three formal cleanup events, netting a total of 3.25 tons of trash. Trash management will be a priority during the Regatta and an additional cleanup will be held following the event as part of the company’s ongoing commitment.
Ryan Walker, General Manager of Marnell’s Colorado Belle and Edgewater Casino Resorts, said, “The cleanup efforts over the past few months have removed a substantial amount of trash from the river and we are grateful for the efforts of all of the volunteers, sponsors and organizations who have participated. It has made a meaningful impact on the river environment and prepares the way for the Regatta, a significant tourism event that benefits our local community in many ways. Marnell Gaming is proud to be an involved partner in the community and is committed to hosting a safe, fun and clean Regatta.”
Official River Regatta Parties take place at the Colorado Belle and Harrah’s.
• Harrah’s is hosting the official pre-party Friday, Aug. 10, with the last show of its summer Beach Party Concert Series. Sugar Ray will headline the party on Harrah’s beach, taking the stage at 10 p.m. Gates will open at 8 p.m. with a DJ spinning tracks until show time. For tickets, visit Caesars.com/harrahs-laughlin/shows. For more on Sugar Ray, see pages 20-21.
• The Colorado Belle is hosting the official after party with live music on the Riverwalk. The Loading Dock stage will be live from 7 p.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday, Aug. 10-11 with music by Fresh. Come enjoy the free entertainment and keep the party rolling all weekend.
• The Tropicana is hosting a Fire and Ice Pool Party—Friday-Saturday, Aug 10-11 (8 p.m.- 1 a.m.). The party will include music by a live DJ, and a cash bar. There is no cover to attend this party (must be at least 21).
• Other bands and DJs will be playing the casino lounges all weekend, from country and rock to jazz and everything in between. For complete info on lounge bands and shows, see the listings on pages 4-5.
For the latest on the Laughlin River Regatta, see the official website at LaughlinRiverRegatta.com or call 1-800-876-0046. Search “laughlinregatta” on Instagram to check out pictures from past regattas on their page.