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Wendover, Nevada (4/4 - 4/5)

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by jimboguy, Apr 6, 2014.

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  1. jimboguy

    jimboguy Blubbery Whale

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    My Trip Report

    Being a Salt Lake City resident, our "locals" casinos are just across the Utah border in West Wendover, Nevada. Wendover has five casinos. Three of the casinos (Peppermill, Raindow, and Montego Bay) are owned by the same company, while the other two casinos (Wendover Nugget and Red Garter) are owned by another company. In my opinion, the first three casinos mentioned are much nicer than the Nugget and the Garter. This trip I played at Montego Bay and Rainbow.

    The drive from Salt Lake City to Wendover takes about 90 minutes.

    Wendover also does flight junkets with Allegiant Air, so gamblers fly in from various towns throughout the country for 3-4 night stints as well.

    There's also a pretty nice concert hall in Wendover. Concerts are typically Friday and Saturday nights only, and often feature country artists or folks who were popular 20 or more years ago. Occasionally a stand up comic will headline too.

    Wendover has good single-deck blackjack rules at low minimums with a Royal Match side bet. Very similar to the rules you would find at El Cortez in downtown Vegas. There was actually a period of about a year (around 2012) where Wendover tweaked their blackjack rules to where you could only double down on 10 or 11. Lots of people complained, so Wendover went back to double on any two cards. I was quite happy to hear the casinos listened and responded appropriately to the complaints.

    I went out on Friday (April 4) early evening and stayed until about an hour past the end of the Final Four games on Saturday night. I drove out, and had a comped room at the Montego Bay.

    The Montego Bay, Peppermill, and Rainbow casinos were offering 6x comps this weekend - so I figured I'd give it a shot. When I walked into the Wendover casinos on Friday evening I saw that I had $198 in comps. When I left Saturday night I saw I had $401 in comps, so the 6x promotion worked out well I think. They do have some decent restaurants in the casinos, so perhaps a nice steak dinner will be in order the next time I head out there.

    Since the blackjack rules are good and the limits are low, I knew I would be spending at least part of my gambling time playing blackjack. I also wanted to see if there were any decent Video Poker paytables. I have never played video poker in Wendover, but that changed during this trip.

    I played a couple of sessions of blackjack at $5 tables. The drink service at the tables was good. I never had to stare at an empty drink for long. Most of the dealers were friendly and I was fortunate enough to sit at a couple of social tables (I often prefer a social table). Wendover uses a swipe card system to track your play with your player's card even at table games, so there's never really a need to question how you were rated and for how long.

    I was happy to discover that there are a good amount of video poker machines with decent paytables at the $1 level. Montego Bay had 8/5 Bonus Poker, 9/6 Jacks or Better, and 9/6 Double Double Bonus. At the $0.25 level, Double Double Bonus was 9/5. I don't remember what Bonus Poker or JoB paytables were at the $0.25 level, but they weren't as good as the $1 level.
    The Rainbow casino had 9/5 Double Double Bonus at the $0.25 level at the bar. Drink service at the video poker machines on the floor was slow to nonexistent.

    I have been practicing Double Double Bonus at home for a couple of months on my WinPoker iPhone app - so I was excited to try it out for real at the casino. Well, it should be no surprise that I lost my ass. :grrr:
    Y'all weren't kidding when you warned about variance on this game! I hit a few four-of-a-kinds (all of the 5-K variety), and despite having a straight flush dealt to me, I still came home a loser. I still see why the game is a draw to many on this board though, and won't give up on it so soon. However, I am not going to remove Bonus Poker, Bonus Poker Deluxe, and Jacks or Better from my repertoire just yet.

    While it wasn't a winning trip, I do see myself returning. With good blackjack rules, decent video poker, and nice hotel rooms, Wendover is a nice local alternative to Vegas for a gambler.
     
  2. jimboguy

    jimboguy Blubbery Whale

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    One thing I should add about the video poker machines. None of the video poker machines are set up so that 5 credits is "Max Bet." Max Bet on most of the machines I encountered was 25 credits. I learned that the hard way when I accidentally hit the Max Bet button and saw what I wanted to be a $5 bet actually removed $25. I quickly noticed that there is a separate button the screen that says "Bet Five." BTW, the Royal Flush does pay 4000 credits when you bet five.
     
  3. MTMONGO

    MTMONGO Low-Roller

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    My wife and I really like Wendover. We do the flight out of Billings at least twice a year. They give us a BOGO, $169 gets us R/T airfare and 3 nights. We stay at the Montego Bay because of their pool, and setting by the pool and gambling is the only thing to do in Wendover. There is a free 24/7 shuttle the runs to all the casinos (5) on their mini strip, so its easy to check out all of them.
     
  4. Camp Rusty

    Camp Rusty Low-Roller

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    Wendover Is Great

    Good trip report, thanks........didn't have a clue about who owns what either.

    We were in SLC for a ski vacation with the family..........thus we drove to Wendover for a real martini and some Pai Gow poker. I'm not even sure which casino we went to, I seem to remember purple and a lot of mirrors ?

    I do remember no CW' s ever approached me playing .25 JOB......but beers were like a buck. Would be fun to see a concert there. What are the rooms like, where ever we were playing it looked really nice.
     
  5. jimboguy

    jimboguy Blubbery Whale

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    The rooms at Montego Bay are the nicest, and the newest. Large bathrooms with plenty of counter space. In the rooms with two beds, the beds are King size rather than queen or full that you'd find at other hotels. Montego Bay also has some jacuzzi suites.

    The rooms at Rainbow and Peppermill are also quite nice, just not as new as Montego Bay. Still, the rooms are maintained well.

    The rooms at the Wendover Nugget are OK in the main tower, but budget motel quality in the other tower. The rooms at the Red Garter are dumpy; about on par with The Quad in Vegas. That said, a room at the Red Garter on a weekend night will run you about $30 plus tax, whereas a room at Montego Bay on a weekend night will run you about $110 plus tax. I have read that all of the casino hotels in Wendover charge a resort fee now (they didn't used to) of between 4 and 7 dollars per night, depending on the hotel. If you stay based on a comp, however, the resort fee is not charged.

    I've only been to the concert hall once, to see Jim Gaffigan. The concert venue there is nice, with not a bad seat in the place.

    If you were there a few years ago, then describing the casino as "purple and a lot of mirrors" really doesn't narrow it down :evillaugh
    The Montego Bay is still decorated that way: it's a similar decor style to the Peppermill Restaurant on the Vegas Strip (and run by the same company).

    The Rainbow has been updated with a less purple, less mirrored decor and it's really quite inviting now.
     
  6. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the write up.
    The Bonneville Salt Flats are on my bucket list so I we have plans to go there some day. Nice to know the gambling conditions are good.
     
  7. Camp Rusty

    Camp Rusty Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the room info.

    As I recollect we came in from SLC and it was the first hotel on the right up a slight rise. There was a pedestrian overpass that I thought went hotel to hotel but actually just went across the street.

    We actually did the drive up and down the hotel strip, went to the gas station at the far end then came back to that hotel. Anyway, looked like a nice place to stay. The wife put a $100.00 bet on the Seahawks to win the Super Bowl there too......I should ask her what the place was, I know they already paid her.:thumbsup:
     
  8. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    Good to see some folks from Utah spendin' some $$ in Nevada! I was at the Hard Rock a few years back when the Las Vegas Bowl was being played (Utah or BYU was one of the teams). I remarked to the bartender that having a neighbor state in the game was probably good for business as the travel would be easy and he replied, "yeah, you'd think, but people outta Utah bring two-(2) things when they come to Nevada... a copy of the 10 Commandments and a crisp hundred dollar bill and they won't break either one of them!"
     
  9. jimboguy

    jimboguy Blubbery Whale

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  10. jimboguy

    jimboguy Blubbery Whale

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    I live in Utah, but I am not from there. For some, that's an important distinction to make.

    I was in Vegas for the Las Vegas Bowl in 2010 (Utah vs Boise State). That's where I first discovered the beer dispensing system that fills the cups from the bottom. :beer:
     
  11. jimboguy

    jimboguy Blubbery Whale

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    And definitely make your room reservations early; they sell out fast during speed week.
     
  12. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    Ahhhh the turbo-tap! I'm glad you didn't take offense to my post... obviously the bartender's comment while humorous was a tremendous generalization. One of the crazier guys I hook up with at conferences is from Utah and he sure doesn't fit the generalization either!
     
  13. hanoscf

    hanoscf High-Roller

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    Planning a trip to Wendover out of Duluth, MN. I am wondering which casino you would recommend we stay at. Since it's a junket my choices are the Peppermill, Rainbow or Montego Bay. Opinions please.
     
  14. jimboguy

    jimboguy Blubbery Whale

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    You really can't go wrong with any of those hotels. I like Rainbow the best because it has the least amount of neon in the casino, but others will tell you the Montego Bay rooms are newer, and therefore nicer.
     
  15. northerngirl

    northerngirl Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the write up...got me extra excited for my annual summer trip to Wendover with girlfriend(s). We fly out of Duluth and always get the BOGO offers so we each pay $100. One of the best values around....airfare, three nights lodging, free shuttle service, and the comps are fantastic. We only have stayed at Montego Bay...due to the outdoor pool. Our temps today were in the mid 50's, so we are excited to feel some heat. The rooms have two king sized beds and are huge!

    We do shuttle between Peppermill and the Rainbow during the day. The employees at all three casinos are great. I play blackjack approximately 80 percent of the time...the rules are really good. And I love pitch! (I was impressed to read that they changed the limited double down rules due to customer dissatisfaction...kudos to them for listening.).

    The selection of restaurants between the three casinos also offer a nice variety of choices. We certainly do meet a lot of fun folks from Salt Lake City when playing cards!

    T-2!
     
  16. dfalk

    dfalk VIP Whale

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    Good TR

    My first ever solo trip was to Wendover on one of those junkets years ago. I got it all for free from a relative who couldn't go, couldn't cancel it either so she just transfered it to me. I spent 3 whole days in the Peppermill without seeing the light of day once. I played BJ pretty much non stop the whole time. Didn't win, but didn't lose, I came home with $60 less than I brought and that included eating. It was fun but I hated how after midnight the casino was pretty much a ghost town which sucks for me since I'm a late night socal gambler.

    I'd probably never go back again, I can go to Vegas just as cheap and have a lot more fun.
     
  17. DeMoN2318

    DeMoN2318 The DERS

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    I hear Wendover has loose slots...
     
  18. AnAmericanTexanInVegas

    AnAmericanTexanInVegas Tourist

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    I have never. ever. ever. had good luck in Wendover, but I thoroughly enjoy it nonetheless.
    We do the package deals. 3 nights + flight. Usually around $200. Most of the time we have a comp or a BOGO.

    We enjoy staying at the Peppermill, but Montego Bay is nice too. The free shuttle between the properties is a welcome perk. Decent restaurants with reasonable prices, especially with the coupon book given at check-in.

    Going back in September. Can't wait!
     
  19. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    Though I'm from Illinois, I spend a lot of time in Salt Lake City. Haven't been to Wendover yet, but you guys got me thinking about taking one the day-only bus trips over that way.
     
  20. jimboguy

    jimboguy Blubbery Whale

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    Yeah, Chef the daily bus trips are a good deal too. $22 round trip and you get a free buffet and $7 slot play with it.
     
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