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Avi Resort and Casino offers a luxurious ‘oasis in the desert’ for families

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LAUGHLIN, Nev. – The Fort Mohave Indian Tribe has managed to do what Las Vegas couldn’t: create a family-friendly, multi-faceted resort and casino where everyone from toddlers to grandparents can find something to enjoy at a reasonable price.

“There are a lot of places to gamble, but only we have sugar-white beaches with tiki huts, palm trees and a lagoon-style pool – all on the banks of the Colorado River with Arizona mountains as a backdrop. The Avi Resort and Casino is a true resort destination,” explained k.Dee Ignatin, promotions supervisor for the enterprise, which is owned by the tribe and operated separately from the tribal government by the Avi Casino Enterprises Board.

Located between Laughlin, Nev., and Needles, Calif., Avi Resort and Casino is only about 90 minutes south of Las Vegas and five hours north of Los Angeles, making it easily accessible from urban centers all across the Southwest as a year-round vacation spot.

Ignatin estimates that the resort and RV park host more than 3 million overnight guests each year.

The 25,000-square-foot casino offers “full Las Vegas style” gaming with 800 slot machines, 20 table games (including roulette, craps, 21 and Texas Hold ’Em), a sports book, a keno lounge and the largest bingo hall in the area, including Laughlin.

A hotel with 455 newly redecorated rooms and 29 deluxe spa suites complement an affordable full-service RV park with 260 spaces as well as a dry RV lot where tourists and snowbirds can stay for free while enjoying most resort amenities.

Families will find a wide range of activities to enjoy together. The marina provides a boat launch, personal watercraft rentals and a 75-mile guided adventure tour through the spectacular Topock Gorge on the Colorado River. Fishing for striped bass, sunbathing or just relaxing on the beach while the kids build sand castles add up to a fun morning, while in the afternoon adults might want to enjoy the adjacent 18-hole championship course at Mohave Resort and Golf Club, also owned by the tribe. Teens can visit the adult-supervised, on-site arcade. Taking in a show at the eight-screen movie theater might round out the day.

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For the younger set, from six weeks to 12 years old, the resort provides professional child care through Kids Quest, a nationwide franchise that offers fun, safe, healthy, entertaining day care on an hourly basis. At Avi, Kids Quest is available seven days a week.

“The children have a wonderful time,” said Ignatin. “They make pizza, do crafts, play outside on the jungle gym and enjoy carefully selected, nonviolent video games.”

Six restaurants offer a range of fare and experiences, from the Feather Cafe (open 24 hours a day) to casual fine dining at the Moonshadow Grille and live entertainment at the Arrowhead Lounge.

The resort is working through a phased $31 million expansion that includes adding four screens to the movie theater, doubling the size of the casino and adding to the convention facilities – all expected to be completed in 2007.

But there’s no need to wait. The resort has recently opened its new lagoon pool. Set in a landscape of lush tropical foliage, the lagoon pool is accented by two natural stone waterfalls and a jetted hot spa with room for 46 people. Food, beverage and towel service is available; in the lagoon pool itself, guests can relax in submersed in-water lounge chairs and have exotic specialty drinks delivered right to them … no swimming necessary.

The lagoon cabana offers separate shower facilities and restrooms. The children’s pool is an irresistible treat for youngsters, with its built-in water cannons. And if you have a lot of friends and family, the resort can accommodate parties of up to 800 people.

Visit to reserve a vacation at this “oasis in the desert.”