By Steve Beauregard
The small town of Wendover on the Nevada/Utah border is much more relaxed, friendlier, and laid-back than Las Vegas. And with flights coming into town from sixty-five different cities across the country, Wendover is becoming more of a vacation destination.
For most of its existence, Wendover was mainly a spot for Salt Lake residents to get their gamble on then go home, or a place where road-weary travelers would stop to stay and play/rest before proceeding on their road trip to somewhere else.
In recognition of that fact, the company that owns half of the casinos in Wendover has set up a partnership with a private airline to bring guests into the town through incredibly affordable travel packages.
The company is called the Resorts at Wendover, (an offshoot of Peppermill Casinos Incorporated), and it organizes the airline/hotel package as a way to fill up the thousand-plus hotel rooms in its three Wendover casino/hotels: the Peppermill Hotel and Casino, the Rainbow, and the Montego Bay Casino and Resort.
Packages include roundtrip airfare to Wendover, a three night stay at one of the three hotels mentioned above, bus transportation to and from Wendover Airport, (which, by the way, is actually located in Utah), and a little booklet, or “fun book” of casino and dining coupons.
On many of the flights, flight attendants conduct games and/or drawings for cash or prizes to help get you in the gambling mood before touchdown.
Often times, the Resorts at Wendover will offer packages that include show tickets to a concert. Other times, the package will be for four days, which is a pretty long time to stay in Wendover quite honestly. (I can barely make my gambling money last two days, much less four).
Wendover Fun Flight Origination Points
The Resorts at Wendover works in conjunction with Swift Air in this promotion. Previously they were aligned with Allegiant Airlines.
In total, the Swift Air Wendover Fun Flights are offered from 65 different cities, in 16 different states, ranging from California on the West Coast, to as far east as the state of Wisconsin.
Texas has the most popular Fun Flight origination points, with 16 different airports having flights to Wendover. Wisconsin and Montana are tied for second, as the both are home to seven different towns with Wendover Flights.
Other starting off points range from Sioux City, Iowa to Bellingham, Washington, from Harlingen, Texas to Minot, North Dakota. Larger cities such as Seattle, Minneapolis, Portland, Austin and El Paso, Texas also serviced by the Wendover Fun Flights.
In California, Wendover flights fly out of Fresno and Redding. In Colorado, they fly out of Grand Junction, Denver, Pueblo, and Colorado Springs.
New Mexico has just one origination point, (Albuquerque), whereas Montana has fun flights out of Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell and Missoula.
Wisconsin’s routes to Wendover fly out of Appleton, Eau Claire, Green Bay, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee and Mosinee.
Wendover Fun Flights Rates and Schedules
If you live in one of the 65 Wendover Fun Flight cities, you’ll likely see the flight advertised in your town’s daily newspaper.
They’ll usually advertise the base, or lowest rate, which is typically the rate for the airfare, bus transfer and three night stay in either the Peppermill or the Rainbow. Staying at The Montego Bay involves a slightly higher rate, between $30 to $40 (depending on the time of year). That upgrade fee is for the entire stay, and not per night.
Rates also depend on which part of the country you’ll fly out from. Because of fuel costs, Wendover Fun Flight rates are higher the further away you get from Wendover.
Based on my searching, it seems that Green Bay, Wisconsin and Corpus Christi, Texas compete with each other for the highest priced Wendover Fun Flight prices.
As for schedule, that too, varies from city to city and from month to month. Typically, however, each city served will see a Wendover Fun Flight at least once every other month.
Free Wendover Shuttle
Once in Wendover, you’re free of course, to wander and play in other casinos, but casino hopping is difficult here, as Wendover is a pretty spread out town.
Fortunately, there is a free casino shuttle that can take you to and from all five of the casinos in town. There is technically as sixth casino in town, but it’s actually just a little room in the town’s truck stop, and not worth a visit.
Either way, the free shuttle runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It goes to and from all five main casinos.
Besides gambling, drinking, spa visits (at the Montego Bay), eating and concerts at the Peppermill Concert Hall, other activities in Wendover include ATV tours and golfing. Besides that, there is not much to do during your three days.
Yet overall, the Wendover Fun Flight is a cheap way to fly out of town to enjoy a quick escape from the ordinary and to get your gambling fix.
Other Wendover Fun Flight Tidbits
* You must be 21 years or older of course.
* Passengers are allowed one free checked bag each. An additional checked bag will cost you $25 more.
* The website is: WendoverFun.com
* The phone number for the Wendover Fun Flight is: (866) 359-9363.
(Photo courtesy of Wendover Resorts)