WEST WENDOVER, Nevada (KUTV) —
Wendover is on a winning streak lately.
People on both sides of the border town are now receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, and demand is picking back up in the casinos that support the area’s roughly 6,000 residents.
“As we get re-opened, as people start feeling comfortable coming out into the community, we really are rebounding quickly,” West Wendover, Nevada Mayor Daniel Corona told 2News.
It was a year ago this week that the border casino town was brought to a halt. At the beginning of the pandemic, the casinos were closed and the entrances were blocked by heavy machinery to keep people away.
I will never in my life forget driving down Wendover Boulevard and seeing the casinos barricaded off,” Corona said.
Around 2,000 people were laid off or furloughed during the casino closures, he added.
“I’d estimate that most, if not all, have been brought back,” he said.
Wendover’s economy has a few things going for it right now.
One, the mayor says the city’s marijuana dispensary performed “better than anticipated” during the pandemic, supplementing some of the lost tax revenue from the casino closures.
Second, West Wendover is receiving just shy of $4 million in new federal aid, which Corona says he hopes will help the city jump start a new downtown development project that stalled during the pandemic.
“It might be a lot of money up front, but we’re creating jobs and we are helping stimulate our own economy,” he said.
Demand for the casinos is also seeing a steep uptick.
“Once those casinos opened back up, people were able to go back to work fairly quickly,” Corona said.
The city’s casinos require everyone to use masks, and have increased sanitation and distancing procedures.
The Wendover Fun Bus, a shuttle service that takes people from the Wasatch Front to Wendover, is also