Las Vegas Sun

April 25, 2015

Currently: 63° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Boulder City unexpectedly quiet with biker gang in town


Sam Morris

Members of the Mongols Motorcycle Club shake hands outside the Boulder City Inn and Suites as they hold their annual convention in Boulder City Saturday, June 23, 2012.

Mongols in Boulder City

Members of the Mongols Motorcycle Club stand guard outside the Boulder City Inn and Suites as they hold their annual convention in Boulder City Saturday, June 23, 2012. Launch slideshow »

City quiet during Mongols' stay

KSNV coverage of biker gang Mongols' presence in Boulder City, June 23, 2012.

Boulder City prepares for Mongols

KSNV reports that Boulder City braces for the Mongols motorcycle club to visit for their national meeting on Saturday, reported on June 22.

Ever since the Mongols Motorcycle Club members rumbled into Boulder City with their tattooed bodies, low-riding motorcycles and black leather vests that declare “Mind your own business,” they have been downright pleasant.

At least that’s what Cindy Ford, owner of Southwest Diner and Restaurant, has noticed.

Ford’s restaurant, Southwest Diner, seems like the last place someone in a motorcycle club that considers itself the “Baddest 1 percenters” would be. It is the definition of quaint, with dolls and flowers along the wall, antique tool decorations and signs that read “Give Thanks” and “The Woman’s Guide to Love and a Lasting Relationship.”

Yet Mongols members have flooded her restaurant with business since they arrived Friday. Ford said they’ve been polite, friendly and great tippers.

“My friend Shirley, who is 80 — she is just the sweetest little lady — came in yesterday,” Ford said. “And a couple (of Mongols) stopped to talk to her. They were just really nice. It was real cute.”

Ford’s restaurant is across the street from Boulder City Inn, the site of this year’s national Mongols meeting. The event has brought more than 300 club members as well as more than 100 police officers waiting to pounce at the first sign of trouble. No one knew what to expect from the gathering.

Some worried it would bring rival clubs like the Hells Angels, inciting a shootout like what occurred at a motorcycle rally in 2002 in Laughlin. Others felt it would bring a big boost to business. Instead, Mike Sitton, a Boulder City resident, said the event, which has been the buzz of the town for two weeks, has been quiet.

“It’s a hummer, a yawner,” Sitton said. “As far as I can tell they’ve barely been downtown.”

The most action since the group’s arrival has involved minor traffic tickets for not using a turn signal and jaywalking.

Instead, many of the Mongols are behaving like, well, tourists. A group purchased ice cream sandwiches from an ice cream truck, others visited local restaurants and many walked around near the hotel. Lee Bennett, owner of Little City Grille, said he thinks they’re enjoying their stay, and went out of his way to make them feel at home with a “Welcome Black and White” sign.

“They’re having a great time,” said Lee Bennett, owner of Little City Grille. “They love the food, they love the atmosphere.”

Still, many locals have stayed home to avoid any trouble with the Mongols. Frank Freer, owner of Frank’s Barber Shop, said almost no locals are outside. His shop is in the heart of downtown, a few blocks from the hotel. Normally he said the sidewalks would be filled with foot traffic, but on Saturday, all he’s seen are a few Mongols and a lot of police officers.

“A lot of (locals) said they’re not going to come up here, they’re just going to stay away,” Freer said. “I’m not going to let it stop me from doing whatever I want to. If I go somewhere and there’s Mongols there, so be it.”

Freer said his business has dropped off dramatically. John Kaposta, manager of Tony’s Pizza and Subs downtown, said his bar and restaurant is usually packed, but on Saturday there were open seats and tables everywhere.

“There’s been a few of our regulars come up, but really the last few days, it’s been three of the slowest days we’ve had,” Freer said.

On Sunday, however, all the excitement will be gone, rumbling out of town the same way it came in. There may not have been a lot of excitement, but Ford said it will give the peaceful, small town a lot to talk about.

“We’ll just be talking about it the whole week,” Ford said. “It’s something for a small town to say, ‘Oh they were here.’”

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: 5 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.

  1. Southwest Diner is the last place they should hang out.She will call the cops

  2. "...on Saturday, all he's seen are a few Mongols and a lot of police officers."

    Imagine that -- all those cops and nothing to do.

    "Indifference to personal liberty is but the precursor of the State's hostility to it." -- United States v. Penn, 647 F.2d 876 (9th Circuit, 1980), Judge Kennedy dissenting

  3. A few hundred folks who own Hogs get together and they're called a 'gang'. PFFT!! The proper term is 'club', thank you very much. We have 15,000 known gang members here in the valley alone. These biker clubs have rallies that raise some serious coin for organizations like the American Cancer Society. I never saw any 'gang' do that before. Leave these folks alone, they're just regular joes and US.

  4. Find it interesting all the posts about the "cops" over reacting and to many of them there.

    If nothing happens, people complain because the department was there. If they are not there and something happens there would be the same number of posts complaining about the police not doing their jobs.

    Think about it, who really wants that job since they can't make any of you happy no matter what they do?

    You get what you ask for folks.

  5. I dont think Double D can get out of his chair in the trailer. i been waiting all day for him to crash the mongol party, like he said he would do he never showed.