Photos and text by Robert McDaniel
Editor's note: McDaniel, a native of South
Carolina, got his first exposure to the wonders
of Wendover. He files this report.
May 2, 2006 | It is often said after we leave
"I never want to come back to this place," but
then we forget.
Another Saturday in Logan with nothing to do
except the same lame parties with the same people.
One of my roommates had the great idea to ride
the party bus to Wendover. Fifteen dollars for
a bus ride, $7 back from my $15 to gamble, and
a free meal. I was in.
The bus ride is a whole other story in itself.
Every walk of life was on the bus: homeless, young
couples, elderly and college kids.
To make the two-hour bus ride more enjoyable,
the operators provide refreshments and bingo for
money. The elderly widow who sat next to me was
so into the bingo game it reminded me of a lab
rat pressing the lever to get a little food pelt
from the videos in psych class.
Then I found myself acting pretty intense when
I was one number away from black-out on my card.
No better then a red-eyed rat that night.
So we get there and it's an awe-inspiring place,
let me tell you. It looked like a neon skid mark
on the underpants of mother earth.
I will say this buffet at the Nugget is pretty
good for where it's at. It was steak night at
the buffet Saturday, so our crew went on the Atkins
diet for about an hour. We ate till we could not
eat anymore. That's when you know it is time to
So we went for a walk to one end of the neon
skid mark and worked our way down to the other
end. It started at the Red Garter. We affectingly
call it the "the red gutter." It's the low
end of the casino world in Wendover. We stayed
long enough to try to win a Peterbilt semi-truck
and, well, no one did.
We gambled at every casino in Wendover that night.
The Nugget was where we always ended up. The wheel
of fortune slot machine is a favorite for many.
If you bet the max credit of three you get the
chance to spin the wheel. So we gather around
as a group and when one of us gets a spin we all
scream "Spin, boy!" in hopes of winning it
This night in Wendover not of us left winners
monetarily, but way up in life experience. Some
of us left three bills down, and that became a
new nickname. The trip was worth it in stories
The last guy on the bus yelled as he was finding
his seat, "I am nine dollars up and free drunk!
These are stories you will never tell your kid
but you will never forget either. Thanks, Wendover.
. . . Thanks.
Playing the State Line Game -- Utah, Nevada,
Wendover Bill says welcome.
The face of defeat
The author, with all that's left.