Private Promoter Keeps Bullhead City Regatta Afloat

By  Casey Kuhn
Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 5:00pm
Updated: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 9:34am

The Bullhead City River Regatta on the Colorado River was a popular event for a decade until the city shut it down last year.

That decision came after tribal authorities asked them to end it, saying bodily waste and trash from the regatta ruined the river water.

A business owner who runs several casinos in Laughlin across the river says he’ll take on the responsibility of keeping the event afloat.

Bullhead City voted to give Anthony Marnell the rights and approved use of parks for the regatta, which brought more than 30,000 to the river in 2016.

It also brought loads of trash, and questionable income for the city, so it was shut down.

City Manager Toby Cotter says that decision divided the community and has been promised the river will be cleaned.

“City Council emphatically said that it’s so important the river remain clean and looked at this as an opportunity because Marnell Gaming stepped forward and said, even before the event starts, they would invest $100,000 into cleaning of the river,” Cotter said.

Cotter believes capping the regatta at 22,000 people will lessen its impact.

“A couple of the parameters the city put on the private promoter, however, are substantial," he said. "Including requirements to clean the river before and during the event, certainly after as well."

The promoter still has to get an approval from the U.S. Coast Guard before it can officially kick off the summer regatta in August. 

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