For a town that is literally in the middle of nowhere, Wendover, Nevada has a surprising number of casinos. These are reasonably busy casinos too, bustling with the familiar casino sounds of slot machine rings, waitress “Cocktails?” solicitations, and shouts of cheer from the pit areas after a craps point is made or a blackjack dealers’ bust.
There are six casinos in tiny Wendover, Nevada. (The 2010 Census put its population at just a little over 4,000 residents).
More accurately, there are five real casinos, along with a truck stop that has a small area of slot machines and video poker machines.
The list of casinos in Wendover, NV.
Rainbow Hotel and Casino
The Rainbow has 429 Rooms, with an indoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi. In addition to a convention center, the Rainbow has four restaurants, including a buffet. There are slots, video poker machines, table games, a sports book, and a very small poker room.
Montego Bay Casino & Resort
This resort, which is very shiny and blue inside, is located across the pedestrian overpass from the Wendover Nugget, which is odd considering the two casinos are owned by different entities. The Montego Bay Casino and Resort is the newest, and largest hotel casino in Wendover, Nevada, with 552 rooms.
It has the town’s nicest, plushest poker room, a spacious sports book, slots, video poker machines, table games, etc.
There are three restaurants here, including a buffet. The hotel offers an outdoor pool, a fitness center and day spa/salon.
(Here’s a quick promotional video showing most of the Wendover Casinos)
Peppermill Hotel and Casino
Three hundred and eighty-two rooms here. There’s also a restaurant, a buffet, and coffee/deli bar. The casino has a lounge type bar, along with the usual slots, video poker machines, table games and sportsbook.
The hotel is also home to the largest performing venue in town, the Peppermill Concert Hall.
Red Garter Hotel and Casino
The cheap, but clean, lower rent casino hotel in Wendover, is the Red Garter, located next to the Rainbow. The hotel has just over 100 rooms, and they are probably the cheapest rooms you’ll find in Wendover.
The casino itself is small and has slots, a sports book, and a small selection of table games.
The Red Garter is also home to two restaurants, along with a coffee/deli bar takeout stand. There are two small bars.
The second largest hotel in Wendover, the Wendover Nugget has 500 rooms and a small convention/meeting area. A small RV park is attached to the resort grounds.
There are the usual slots, and table games, along with a keno lounge. The keno lounge is cozy and comfortable and the only live keno in town. The Nugget also has a nine table poker room and sports book.
My understanding is that it has the only Starbucks in Wendover. There are three different bars, including one with pool tables. It also is home to a video arcade and an outdoor swimming pool, therefore it may be the best hotel in Wendover for those of you families with kids. (Because of the bars).
As for eats, there is a reasonably priced buffet, the requisite steakhouse, a typical casino café type restaurant, along with both a small mall food court type area with a Taco Bell-type restaurant and Dryer’s Ice Cream stand.
Pilot Travel Center and Casino
Not really a casino, as this is a truck stop that has showers for truckers, an Arby’s restaurant, and tiny room with a “Casino” sign, but which is just a darker area of the building that has some slot machines and video poker machines.
The Rainbow Casino and Hotel, Montego Bay, and the Peppermill are all owned by the same company (Peppermill Casinos Incorporated), that owns the iconic Peppermill Coffee Shop on the Las Vegas Strip.
Another company, Wendover Resorts, owns the other two main casinos, the Wendover Nugget and Red Garter.
For a gambling town in a remote, isolated area, Wendover does pretty well in having six casinos, numerous restaurants and bars, convention centers and performing venues.
The town is located at the far eastern border of Nevada. In fact, Wendover is right on the Utah/Nevada border and connects with the town of Wendover, Utah. Unlike every other part of Nevada, Wendover, Nevada is in the Mountain Time Zone.
The casinos in Wendover survive (and for some, thrive) by:
1) Being located on the Interstate 80, perhaps the main thoroughfare for folks wanting to drive across the United States.
2) An aggressive promotional relationship with Allegiant Airlines, in which hotel/airline packages to Wendover are offered from 65 different cities across the United States. (Go here for more information on the Wendover Fun Flights).
3) Its relative proximity to Salt Lake City. It’s just 123 miles to Salt Lake, or a about an hour and ½ drive. But it sure is a long drive. Perhaps the longest, most boring drive you’ll experience.
Still, on weekend nights in particular, the casinos and restaurants fill up with nearby Salt Lake residents and students of the University of Utah.
All in all, Wendover, Nevada is a place to go gamble, with little else to offer (tourism bureau propaganda notwithstanding). The five main casinos in town (do we really consider a truck stop casino to be a casino?), are mostly spread out, meaning it’s not really a town where you can casino hop from place to place. There is, however, a free casino shuttle that transports guests to and fro all five casinos. Photo courtesy of Doug Kerr via Flickr).