LAUGHLIN, Nev. -- The Ramada Express Hotel & Casino here offers
an American Heroes Program for the 55-and-over age group.
The resort casino, nestled on the shores of the Colorado River,
is a popular reunion and vacation retreat for World War II, Korea,
Vietnam and Desert Storm veterans.
According to a Ramada spokeswoman, features such as swing music,
pin-ups, war memorabilia and a "living American flag" planted
annually from 10,000 flowers enable guests to revert to the
exciting times of their youth.
A typical program day begins with a 7 a.m. flag-raising ceremony
with coffee and doughnuts in the "canteen," where guests can view
the collections of World War II insignia, medals, patches and
In the multimedia showroom, the 15-minute "On the Wings of
Eagles -- A tribute to American Heroes" video is shown every hour
on screens measuring 1,200 square feet.
Ramada's American Heroes Foundation, approved as a nonprofit
organization by the federal government, has donated $10,000 to the
National D-day Memorial Overlord Arch in Bedford, Va., and supports
other veterans' causes. A speakers program draws authors and
decorated servicemen and women.
All components of the American Heroes program are free.
The Gambling Train of Laughlin, which surrounds the 27-acre
property, has carried more than 2 million riders since the resort
laid the tracks in 1988.
A replica of the Genoa, which hauled freight and passengers
along the Virginia and Truckee Line in western Nevada a century
ago, the train is operated by retired railroad men.
Casino action is lively at the Ramada, where slot machines serve
up double and triple jackpots all day. The 53,000-square-foot
casino offers 30 table games, and a Grand Junction lounge features
reel and video poker and keno machines that pay from 50 cents to
Video poker is the game in the Conductor, Caboose and Grand
The property's six restaurants include an award-winning
steakhouse and the Passagio Italian Garden, as well as a 24-hour
dining car and the Roundhouse for Ribs, which offers a
Cooler-on-the-Go meal with beverages available for take-out.
Although the resort has nothing against kids, its focus is on
"People are here to relax, and don't want kids under their
feet," said the spokeswoman. "Our East Tower is for adults only;
kids stay in the West Tower."
Adults and kids also have separate hours at the
Entertainment showcases the music of the early '50s, with
headliners such as the Platters.
The Pavilion Theater stages a "Shout!" tribute to the bygone
era, a Broadway revue and an Arizona jamboree country music
The resort, an Aztar Corp. property, offers a free shuttle
service to the nearby Horizon Outlet Center.
"[Clients] can stay here for under $20 midweek, or have a suite
for $75 midweek to $150 weekends. And it's safe to walk the streets
here at 2 a.m.," she added.
For more information on the American Heroes program, contact the
Ramada Express Hotel at & Casino at (800) 243-6846 or (702)
The hotel's Web site is at www.ramadaexpress.com.