West Wendover, Nevada
West Wendover at night
West Wendover is separated from the town of Wendover only by the Nevada-Utah state line. And while West Wendover grows, Wendover decays. The difference is in the gambling industry: West Wendover has 5 full-service casinos fueling its economic engine and Wendover has virtually no business tax base. Wendover was first settled in 1906 as a railroad town and mining supply center. The town grew slowly as a major supply and equipment center for the railroad. Then came legalized gambling in Nevada. William "Bill" Smith added a few slot machines to his gas station on the Nevada side of the state line and the growth of West Wendover began.
The site of that gas station is now the Wendover Nugget. About the same time as Bill Smith's enterprise, the U.S. Military began building Wendover Field. By 1943, Wendover Field was rated as the largest military post on Earth with more than 23,000 personnel, 668 buildings and more than 3.5 million acres of land. Wendover Field was the primary bomber crew training facility in the U.S. The 509th Composite Group (the folks who eventually dropped the first 2 atomic bombs on Japan) called Wendover Field home for many years.
The 1960's saw the establishment and expansion of the Bonneville Speedway, a race track laid out on the salt desert left behind by ancient Lake Bonneville to the east of Wendover. Many world land speed records have been set (and broken) on these salt flats.
The 1970's and 1980's saw West Wendover begin to emerge as a destination resort as new casinos, hotels and golf courses were built. To help control growth in a more orderly fashion, West Wendover incorporated as a self-rule municipality in 1991.
|Fast Facts about West Wendover, Nevada|
West Wendover, Elko County, NV 89883
Resident Racial Breakdown:
White Non-Hispanic: 38.4%
Native American: 2.5%
Two or More Races: 2.7%
High School or Higher: 48.3%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 7.9%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 3.5%
Median Resident Age: 23.9 Years
Estimated Median Household Income: $42,595
Estimated Median Home Value: $118,672
Population Density: 679 People per Square Mile
2009 Cost of Living Index for West Wendover: 81.4
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