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30 miles W of Kingman; 60 miles N of Lake Havasu City; 216 miles NW of Phoenix

You may find it difficult at first to understand why anyone would ever want to live in Bullhead City. Established in the 1940s to house workers building the nearby Davis Dam, it's one of the hottest places in North America, with temperatures regularly topping 120°F (49°C) in summer. However, to understand the town’s rapid growth in the last few years, you need only gaze across the Colorado River at the gambling mecca of Laughlin, Nevada, where the slot machines are always in action and the gaming tables are nearly as hot as the air outside. Before the advent of Indian casinos in Arizona, Laughlin, at Nevada’s southernmost tip, was the closest place to Phoenix to do any gambling. The 10 large casino hotels across the river in Nevada still make Bullhead City one of Arizona’s busiest little towns.

Laughlin is a perfect miniature Las Vegas, and much easier than Vegas to get around in. High-rise hotels loom above the desert like glass mesas, miles of neon lights turn night into day, and acres of asphalt are always covered with cars and RVs as crowds of hopeful gamblers go searching for Lady Luck. Cheap rooms and meals lure people into spending the money won downstairs in the casino.