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Sunday, December 31, 2006 PRIOR ISSUE   -   ARCHIVES
Ramada Express Renovates, Haunted Tours Add Laughlin Spook, Colorado Belle's Brings Back Benjamin's Birthday, Riverside Announces Gaming Promotions, SCORE Desert Challenge Offers Big Purse, More...

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Jackie Brett
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The $11.5 million room renovation currently underway at the Ramada Express is transforming rooms into relaxing contemporary-style hideaways. Three hundred new rooms are already on the market with 40 more available weekly. The Casino Tower rooms will be completed in January 2007 and the Promenade Tower rooms by late spring. During the process, the floors above and below the renovation are vacant so as not to disturb guests.

Extensive visitor feedback went into designing the updated rooms. The first priority was the quality and comfort of the beds and the resort went with the pillow-top Sealy Dynasty. Each bed is outfitted with 300-thread count triple sheets and an extra pillows-six for king-size beds, four for queen.

Contemporary furniture from the Kimball Hospitality Urban Jazz Collection is featured throughout the rooms. The rich, dark brown furniture matches new stylish silver lamps. All rooms include a 27-inch wide-format Philips Flat Screen TV and two comfortable side chairs, while the king rooms have a leather espresso lounge chair. Instead of drapes, there are white modern-day shutters. The new amber- and wheat-colored basket weave pattern carpet brightens the room and complements new artwork on the walls.

Other amenities include an alarm clock radio with an audio-in port so guests can play music from an MP3 or CD player, and high-speed Internet access. The upgraded bathrooms have more shower space, granite countertops, tile flooring, and ceramic sinks with satin nickel faucets.

Over the last two years, the Laughlin hotel casino has built the hip Eclipse Bar, expanded and enhanced the pool area, and upgraded Town Square. In 2007, the gaming floor will get new carpet.

"Haunted Vegas Tours" has begun offering a similar tour for the Laughlin area called "Haunted Laughlin Tours: Ghosts of the Colorado River." Three-hour tours are conducted Saturdays through Tuesday beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $32.95 and can be purchased at the "Haunted Laughlin" tour store on the Food Court level of the Preferred Outlet Mall. The box office opens at 3 p.m. and tours leave from the mall. For information, call 866-218-4935.

Tour guides, dressed as Old West morticians, take visitors on an escorted bus tour with stops at local "haunted sites. The tours include a walk around the late-1800s "Hardyville" cemetery on a hill in Bullhead City and a lantern tour of Oatman - the haunting grounds of Clark Gable, Carol Lombard, and a ghost who likes to play pranks on late night visitors. Along the way, the guides tell eerie tales of the legend of Lake Mojave, Davis Dam, the Oatman girls and more.

The Riverside's $2,007 A Day Cash Giveaway will have four winners each taking home $501.75 every night from Jan. 1 - 31. You can earn one entry ticket through Jan. 31 for every 100 points earned at a single rate on reel, video poker and keno machines. Drawings will be conducted at 6 p.m. in the South Tower promotional area each evening.

The second promotion is a Four-of-a-Kind Bonus also running Jan. 2-31. By hitting any natural four sevens on quarter, 50 cent, dollar or $5 video poker machines, you can receive bonus pay. Participants must be a King of Clubs Players' Club member, and be playing with their club card. Membership is free. Maximum $125 payout, maximum coin bet. You need to notify slot attendant for January promotion payout. For information, call 702-298-2535 or 928-763-7070.

TOP OF NEXT COLUMN

The Colorado Belle is marking the 301st anniversary of the year of Benjamin Franklin's birth with a promotion worth more than $30,000. From Jan. 1 through Feb. 1, the "It's All About Benjamin's Birthday" promotion will feature Birthday Bonus Cash Drawings. From Jan. 6-28, players will have a chance to win a share of $8,000 in cash and prizes in Ben's Birthday Prize Patrol. Promotion details will be posted at the One Club booth.

Benjamin Franklin Promotion

A total of $23,000 will be up for grabs in the Birthday Bonus Cash Drawings promotion. Monday through Thursday, there will be two 6 p.m. prize drawings each night and three drawings Friday through Sunday. Each drawing winner will receive "three Benjamins" or $300. Plus, on Jan. 17, which is Franklin's actual birth date, in addition to the two $300 winners, someone will win $1,000. There are a variety of ways to earn drawing tickets or entry coupons to receive drawing tickets.

For Ben's Birthday Prize Patrol promotion, players earn tri-corner hats and wear them while playing their favorite casino games to be eligible to win their share of $8,000 in cash or prizes. To participate, players earn 10 points on the day they wish to receive their hats, and wear the hats each Saturday and Sunday from Jan. 6 to 28.

Drivers and pit crews will compete for almost $400,000 in prize money and contingency postings during the four-day SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge being held for the 13th year in the desert resort town. This will be the first major race of the year for motorsports enthusiasts when the annual event roars into town on Jan. 18, kicking off the six-race 2007 SCORE Desert Series.

Daily general admission tickets, good for grandstand seating, are $20 each for Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, children five and under are free. Daily VIP tickets are $40 each for three days, good for admission to the Laughlin Hospitality Chalet, including food, beverage and special seating. For tickets, call 800-308-2253.

One of the event's most popular features is the Laughlin Leap at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18. Drivers and pit crews will share the spotlight at the Laughlin Events Park and compete for a $16,000 purse and the honor of being the 2007 champion. In the Laughlin Leap, the most daring of drivers and the top cars traditionally fly distances of more than 170 feet from an earthen ramp built into the middle of the arena.

The SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge will be held on a newly designed seven-mile stadium-style course with drivers attempting to complete multiple laps. The newly shortened course will create more fan-friendly races from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Jan. 20 and 21, when 16 different vehicle classes, ranging from stock trucks to the most technologically advanced buggies and the marquee SCORE Trophy-Trucks, converge on the course.

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