Later this year when you go Sneakin' To The Beacon Club in Mills, it may seem a little different.

Beacon 1
Drew Kirby, TSM

Not because it won't be the same Beacon Club we all love, but because longtime owner Laura Ryan won't be holding the reins.

The Beacon Club in Mills Sold

Yep, after being a part of the Casper area's go to spot for live music, cold beer, Thankful Thursday and entertainment for over 30 years, Laura will be passing the Beacon Club on to a new owner.

A deal between Laura and Wyoming Downs for the Beacon Club has been made and should be finalized by the end of April of this year.

Laura said:

It's been a longtime in the works and I feel like we got a deal that everybody can deal with.

Laura said that when she and Wyoming Downs partnered up three years ago, they made a deal that if she ever decided to sell, she would give them the first right of refusal to buy the club. That time is now.

I'm getting too old to be out that late, to stay there that late and it's part of the job. It's time.

Laura said another reason for selling was to spend more time with her parents, grandkids and do some traveling. In our conversation she also mentioned that it's been tough since 2020 and things never really recovered from COVID.

Beacon 2
Drew Kirby, TSM

Laura's Beacon Club History

Laura's history with the Beacon Club began when she was working as a teacher in 1991 and started dating her future husband, Bill Ryan. 1991 is also the year Bill and Mark Watson bought the Beacon Club.

Laura explained

I started out as a teacher just dating the owner, and then it just worked out. I started working there that summer of 92. I was working as a teacher and thought that would be a better job than spraying weeds and pests.

Laura and Bill continued dating until they married in the late 1990's and began their partnership in the Beacon Club. That continued until Bill passed in 2009 and Laura continued to take the Beacon to higher levels, being a huge part of the Casper nightlife, bringing bands of all genre's, the rodeo after party headquarters and home to Casper's ongoing fundraising staple, Thankful Thursday.

With the Beacon playing such a major role in so many important event's and activities, you can't imaging it not being a part of them. So, when asked if she felt there would be big changes to the bar she put here blood, sweat and tears into, Laura said Wyoming Downs

wants to keep Carrie (DePaemelere) on and all my staff and run it all the same. We asked him if he was going to put more machines in and he said at this point no.

As for her role in the future of Beacon Club,

I'll be there for Carrie and I'll still come in Thankful Thursday and help out. You know it's been a part of my life for so long and there's no just walking away and never walking in again.

Laura has been a huge part of the Beacon Club for over three decades, the bar and community has had a big impact on her

I've really noticed that I'm on my old customers kids and gettin' to where I'm on their grandkids. I've seen generations come through. It's going to be hard to let go, but I just feel that it's time.

Thank you, Laura, for all you've done to inspire the community and being a large part of the Casper area's history for over 30 years.

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