Fear and Loathing in Wendover

For people in Salt Lake, Wendover is a gambling mecca just a quick 90-minute drive away. Frequented by senior citizens, deer widows, Mormons who should be in church and high-school students with fake IDs, this “city” straddles the Utah/Nevada border, allowing Utahnians the opportunity to strike it rich at the blackjack table. Or not. Usually not.

pecos(Even the iconic Wendover Will, suggests people leave town.)

Hubbie and I went to Wendover to see Bill Cosby perform. (He was fantastic!!) Unfortunately, we had to stay in a Wendover “hotel,” putting up with people who are drunk, obnoxious and soon-t0-be-broke. You thought the People of Walmart were strange? The People of Wendover make Walmartians look like the Kennedys.

In the casino, elderly people stared blindly at slot machines, the soft whirr of their oxygen machine adding background noise to the dings and bells. You can’t talk to these people. They are angry.

After escaping the hellish doom of the slot machine area, you can check out the hotel “décor.” (And by “décor” I mean furniture and accessories that make the hotel look like a Circus-themed bordello.  Garish is an understatement. Psychedelic carpeting, mirrors, the same print on each wall, mirrors, a hazy atmosphere–and did I mention mirrors?


(Good God! Why is this legal? Somewhere, a decorator should be arrested.)

Mirrors, mirrors and more mirrors. Even in our room, it felt like we were in some kind of creepy funhouse. One side of the room was a wall/velvet headboard, the other side was a room-length mirror. Plus, the lighting was non-existent. At my age, applying make-up seems fruitless anyway–but try to do it in a dim room with turquoise reflecting off your face. Bad results. Just bad.


(A wall of mirrors, behind the turquoise Formica desk and chest of drawers. Yes, my husband is taking a picture of me taking a picture.)

There is nothing scenic about Wendover. The drive is boring. The city is boring. The state (Nevada OR Utah) is boring. No trees, shrubbery, landscaping or personality. I guess they figure there is enough color in the casinos. True dat.

But all that aside, we still had fun watching the roulette wheel routinely ignore the number 36, and we saw a couple of drunk proposals. And there was that whole “Cops” episode. Not bad for a few bucks.

6 thoughts on “Fear and Loathing in Wendover

  1. Wow, Peri, that was really clever how you invented the word Walmartians. That’s a word I must use. Even now the automatic spell-checker is underlining in red. Suck it up computer spell-checker! New words are sometimes necessary for fun…and making fun of Walmartians. Hahahahaha!


  2. I could relate to your post. My husband and I have taken a couple of cruises and it seems like the same atmosphere in the Casino as you experienced. It is sad there are some who go on a cruise and all they do is sit in front of a slot machine or by the bar the entire trip. They miss so many neat things. I wish they knew how much they are limiting themselves with the gambling and heavy drinking.

    Thanks for sharing!

    By the way I have created a new Facebook Page “Thoughts From The Porch”. It is designed for people to share their words of encouragement, encouraging pictures, quotes and ect. Cruise by and check it out. Feel free to share if you like.

    Have a blessed day!


  3. quite entertaining in its own way it seems. performance art.


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