In a city that straddles the Utah-Nevada border, the pay of sin is a higher salary for municipal workers.
West Wendover, Nevada, is just a short drive west of Salt Lake City, making it the closest destination for residents of Utah’s capital to enjoy casinos, legal recreational marijuana, and looser marijuana laws. alcoholic beverages.
Although residents consider it a community, the state line divides West Wendover, a city of 4,600 with five casinos, and Wendover, a city of 1,200 on the Utah side of the border.
Last year, nine of West Wendover’s 82 employees received more than $100,000, while only two of Wendover’s 26 employees earned more than $50,000, acAccording to a review of salary records by the Las Vegas Magazine.
“They have legal gambling on the west side, which makes a lot of money,” Wendover City Manager Glenn Wadsworth told the outlet. “Whether it’s fair or not, I don’t make that judgment.”
Wendover Boulevard is seen where it crosses the state line, with Utah on the left and Nevada on the right. Municipal workers on both sides see a big difference in their pay
West Wendover, Nevada is seen looking across the border into Utah. The city is the closest place to Salt Lake City for casinos, legal recreational marijuana, and looser liquor laws.
In 2023, Wadsworth received just $41,000, while his counterpart in West Wendover, City Manager Chris Melville, earned $170,000.
Melville told the newspaper that because of its casinos, the number of people in West Wendover may increase to 30,000 over the weekend, requiring a larger police force and other city services.
Although the two cities are considered a single community, municipal services are largely managed separately.
In a sign of unity between the two cities, West Wendover in 1999 won federal approval to switch from Pacific Time to Mountain Time so that clocks on both sides of the border would coincide.
This makes West Wendover the only part of Nevada that is legally in the Mountain Time Zone.
In the past, residents of both cities voted to approve the annexation of Wendover to Nevada, so they can unite their city governments and services.
However, the U.S. House resolution allowing Wendover to leave Utah and join Nevada stalled in the Senate in 2002 and did not become law.
The United States Constitution requires that any changes to state borders be approved by both houses of Congress and the state legislatures of the two states in question.
West Wendover City Manager Chris Melville said that because of its casinos, the number of people in West Wendover may increase to 30,000 over the weekend.
Just off Highway 80 near the Utah border, the Peppermill Hotel Casino proudly lit its neon sign with a patriotic message in a file photo.
Wendover was established in 1908 as a stop on the then-under-construction Western Pacific Railroad.
It gained fame as the location where the last telephone pole was erected to complete the 3,400-mile transcontinental telephone line on June 27, 1914.
During World War II, Wendover Army Air Field was used as a training base for bomber pilots, including the crew of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first nuclear bomb used in the war.
The small town’s population has never exceeded 2,000 on the Utah side.
The first casino on the Nevada side of the state line opened shortly after the state legalized gambling in 1931.
Originally known as State Line Casino, the facility has changed names and ownership and is now known as Wendover Nugget.
West Wendover grew during the 1970s and 1980s as a small resort and casino town, but remained an unincorporated location in Elko County.
In 1991, West Wendover was officially incorporated under the motto “Come Grow With Us.”