When it comes to country music, sleepy little Laughlin, Nev., is proving to be a big player. Tim McGraw, who performs there Feb. 23, is just one of the gems studding the community’s belt buckle.
The Colorado River town, 95 miles southeast of Las Vegas and 280 miles from L.A., started drawing A-list acts after the 11,600-seat Laughlin Event Center opened in 2014. Alan Jackson came to town that first year, followed by Carrie Underwood in 2015. Toby Keith performed in 2015 and again in 2017.
“By far, Luke Bryan was the biggest concert that we had, which was in April of last year,” said Ryan Walker of Golden Entertainment, which owns the event center. “We’ve developed a reputation over the years of being a quality venue. We take care of the artists when they’re here.”
Despite the winter date in an outdoor arena, sales have been brisk for McGraw’s show. A limited number of tickets starting at $90 are still available.
McGraw will be followed March 16 by the Zac Brown Band. After its Laughlin engagement, the group will spend the rest of the 2019 tour in the eastern half of the country.
Brad Paisley will make his second appearance in Laughlin on April 13. His first concert there persuaded amphitheater managers not to book acts during the summertime, when temperatures are often in triple digits.
“We tried it in 2016 with Brad Paisley,” Walker said. “He was a June 18 concert, over Father’s Day weekend. We had moderate success with that, but it certainly was not sold out.”
He added that although the amphitheater is carpeted, the concrete on which it sits “just radiates heat.”
Laughlin’s was 7,300 in 2010. Its hotel-casinos typically offer room rates significantly lower than those in Vegas.