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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

A Night at Wendover’s Montego Bay

Wendover and West Wendover – straddling the border of Utah and Nevada, respectively – have never been on my radar as tourism hotspots. I passed through the area earlier in the year, but I just shrugged it off as a trucker stop and weekend getaway spot for Utahans interested in exercising a few of the several vices that may be unavailable to them at home. But, when I stopped to spend the night at the Montego Bay Casino Resort, I was saucer-eyed at what I found.
Montego Bay was a brief overnight stop for our group on a Utah Office of Tourism-sponsored trip to see a few of the many highlights on the northwestern side of the state. It was much closer to them than any locations east of there, since, quite frankly, there isn’t a lot between Wendover and Salt Lake City except the Bonneville Salt Flats Recreation Area. And that was exactly where we were headed the next morning.
We arrived, checked into our delightfully tacky rooms – outfitted with retro-Vegas carpet and decorations – and headed down to the buffet for a quick bite. And that, the buffet dinner, was just slightly more pleasant than what you would expect from a hotel in West Wendover, Nevada. Yet, it did the job and satisfied in the process, thanks to a large selection that can be compared to many present hotel buffets in Las Vegas hotels and casinos.
Unexpectedly finding myself in Nevada, I was itchy to sit at the tables and play some cards. The limits were right, too, since they are so much more affordable than their southern competitor. And for that simple reason, as well as other tourist opportunities in the area – the historic Wendover Airfield and the salt flats, to name two we visited – makes the area an excellent starting off point for the approximately 60,000 people who travel through the airport each year; it is the second-busiest airport in all of Utah.
I woke a little too early the next morning – the sun had not yet reappeared on the horizon – but at least I did so with an extra $20 in my pocket. I had enjoyed a nice night at the tables having some fun, playing some cards, and enjoying a few complimentary drinks, all the while pleasantly surprised to have found myself in West Wendover for the start of my trip to Utah. Nonetheless, it was a good surprise and one that made me regret not having stopped there on my road trip through the area this past March, especially with so many great things to see and do in the area.
In terms of hotels the world over, the Montego Bay Casino Resort is nothing overly special. But, for what it is and where it is located, the hotel is a fine option and one that I would certainly use again when I’m in the area. And for all I know, that can come sooner than expected; I would have never thought at the beginning of the year that I would have found myself in West Wendover, Nevada twice in my life, let alone in a single year. But, it was a nice place to stay and close to many of the great things to do and see on the western side of Utah.

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