Las Vegas Sun

April 21, 2014

Currently: 78° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

ASK MR. SUN:

What state do people in Laughlin call home?

Sun Coverage

Mr. Sun,

Laughlin

In the Laughlin area, it appears that 90 percent of the population is on the Arizona side of the Colorado River. Why is that?

— Jeff Leatherock

•••

About 80 percent of the population of the Laughlin-Bullhead City metroplex resides on the Arizona side of the Colorado River.

The latest numbers: Bullhead City, 41,600 souls; Laughlin, 8,100.

The primary reason for the disparity is Bullhead City has more land available for development. Like Las Vegas, Laughlin is bordered by federally controlled land.

Also, Bullhead City’s zoning and development laws are less stringent than Clark County’s — Laughlin is an unincorporated town governed by the Clark County Commission.

The result is Bullhead City functions as a bedroom community for Laughlin’s resorts, which are the area’s primary employers.

“Basically, people live here and their jobs are over there,” said Janice Paul, Bullhead City’s development services director. “Most of the services are here. We have two hospitals and most of the retail ... But that’s what our industry here is, the tourism and the resort community across the river.”

Those who do live in Laughlin tend to be retirees who want to live in Southern Nevada but not Las Vegas.

Population growth in the area might start tilting in Nevada’s direction if/when residential development returns. In 2005, the Bureau of Land Management auctioned 282 acres in Laughlin. In 2007, the Legislature handed the county 9,000 acres in the area that were previously owned by the Colorado River Commission.

Planning is under way to develop that land in phases, officials say.

Questions for Mr. Sun can be sent to [email protected].

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

No trusted comments have been posted.