LAUGHLIN, Nev. -- Tens of thousands of bikers have taken over a small desert city and many who live there are welcoming them with open arms.
The Laughlin Chamber of Commerce says the annual Laughlin River Run is an important part of the city's economy. Over the last 31 years, it's taken place at the southern tip of Nevada along the Colorado River, near the California and Arizona borders.
The motorcycle rally officially started Wednesday but most of the bikes starts arriving Friday, in time for the weekend events.
The chamber expects nearly 70,000 visitors by the end of the weekend, that is nearly 10 times the local population.
Last year 18,000 visitors came from Nevada, California and Arizona. Nearly 42,000 came from other places. There are vendor exhibits, concerts, bike contests and two poker runs for charity.
The event brought about $36 million to the community last year. For many businesses and casinos, it accounts for 10 percent of their entire year's business. Every hotel room is booked for the weekend.
Organizers say they want everyone to have fun but also have to keep the huge crowd under control with extra law enforcement.
"We have law enforcement from Arizona, California, Nevada. We want our law abiding guests to have a safe river run, it's something we spend a lot of time on every year," M. J. Smith, the executive director of the Laughlin Tourism Commission.
The Laughlin River Run is the largest bike run on the West Coast.
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