Golf, stay and play on the Mojave reservation in Nevada

Just north of Laughlin is the Avi Resort and Casino, complete with two 18-hole golf courses and tidy RV park

by Dennis Begin
Hole no.11 of Avi Resort Golf Course.
Hole no. 11 of Avi Resort Golf Course. — Photo by Dennis Begin

There is a small area in Nevada that many snowbirds are not familiar with. Driving north on Highway 95 from Needles, California, you can cross the Colorado River into Nevada at Bullhead City, Arizona. In this most southern tip of the Silver State is the Avi Casino and Resort. Many people continue on to Laughlin, 11 miles (18 kilometres) north, but the Avi Resort is certainly worth the stop for RVers and golfers. 

The Avi Resort started with a small casino in 1995 and is now celebrating its 20th anniversary. This is the land of the Mojave Indians, known as the Pipa Aha Macav or the people by the river.  The Mojave people have lived along the Colorado River since Mutavikya, their spiritual leader, created the Mojave civilization. Evidence of native existence goes back thousands of years, with geoglyphs found along the Colorado River, such as the Mojave Twins close to the casino. The Spanish were the first Europeans to visit, but it was the Americans who built and occupied Fort Mojave from 1859 to 1891.

The Avi Resort is a Vegas-style facility. The hotel consists of 452 rooms and 29 spa suites. There is a large pool lagoon and a private sandy beach on the river, along with a boat launch.  Other facilities include a massage parlor, weight room, arcade, food court, four restaurants and a gift shop. One of the biggest attractions is the eight-plex Brenden Theaters showing first-run movies. Across the river, the very large Event Center hosts concerts, rodeos and trade shows.  As the resort is part of the Mojave Reservation, the Mojave also offers discounted gas.

If gambling is not your interest, wander down the hallway to the theatre and enjoy the historical photos of Fort Mojave and the early Mojave Indians, including their football teams. The Player’s Club has information on promotions including free play and discounts in the restaurants. The Avi Resort is a good corporate citizen, donating to local charities, holding special events such as beach parties and fireworks, and providing a childcare service called Kids Quest.

The RV park is directly across the street from the casino. This is not a full service RV park and has no social director offering recreational or education programs. The casino itself provides the entertainment. Amenities include 90-foot sites, pull-throughs, 30/50 amps, cable, dog runs, dump station, laundry facilities and Wi-Fi. The park is currently owned and operated by K.O.A. or Kamping of America. There are 260 full gravel sites and a large area set aside for storage or dry camping. Most of the amenities of the casino are extended to residents in the RV park.  Fishing and/or boating on the river can also be arranged.

The resort has two golf courses, the Huukam Golf Club and the Mojave Resort Golf Club, which is the premier course. Huukam has recently been purchased by Avi and will undergo changes in the near future. The Mojave Resort Golf Course, adjacent to the RV park, is just a short walk away.

Golf Digest Magazine has rated the course four stars out of five for places to play. The course can play 6,939 yards from the back tees, with a slope difficulty of 136. To say the grass is lush is an understatement, as it resembles conditions in the Pacific Northwest. The fairways are wide, like any resort course, and lined with desert vegetation. There are 85 sand traps, all strategically placed. Hole No. 10 alone has 12 sand traps plus a waste area. Water comes into play on eight holes, especially on No. 9 and No. 18, which are the top two handicap holes. The greens are of average size, elevated, tiered, undulating and fast. If the prevailing wind is blowing from the west, the course becomes very difficult to play. Overall it is an attractive course, to be enjoyed while being challenged.

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