Mesquite is the latest Nevada border town to be transformed into a growing casino-resort and golf community. Mesquite, 81 miles northeast of Las Vegas on Interstate 15, is situated near the Virgin River and nudges against the Arizona border.
Mesquite's present bustle contrasts with its agricultural heritage. Established by Mormon pioneers in 1894, Mesquite eventually benefited from its location on the main highway connecting Los Angeles and Las Vegas to Salt Lake City.
Today's visitors find a growing community with five hotel-casinos. The Oasis Resort is the oldest. It has been joined by the country-western-themed Virgin River and the tropical-designed CasaBlanca Resort, and the Eureka Casino Hotel. The 65-room Budget Inn rounds out the border town's offerings.
Yet Mesquite retains many of its small-town ways. Its population has grown to nearly 15,000, but residents take pride in events like Mesquite Days and in their community ties.
For visitors, golf is a major diversion. Because of the area's mild winters, golf is a year-round sport in Mesquite. Championship links include the Palms, the Arnold Palmer-designed Oasis, CasaBlanca, the nine-hole Vista, the 18-hole Wolf Creek course and the 18-hole Falcon Ridge.
Hafen's Tamarack Trails has cookouts, and the Oasis Arvada Gun Club and Ranch offers skeet shooting, hayrides, barbecues, and other Western activities for groups.
The peaceful Moapa Valley has been a fertile area not only for farmers but also for archaeologists and other lovers of the ancient past. In the 1920s a startling discovery came to light in the fields around Overton, the remnants of an ancient Pueblo culture that became known as the Lost City.
The Lost City Museum was built of adobe by Civilian Conservation Corps workers in the 1930s as Lake Mead slowly formed behind Hoover Dam, covering some sites as the water level rose. Today the museum presents displays and artifacts ‚ baskets, pottery, weapons, and food ‚ that tell of the valley's early residents, some of whom were farmers themselves, and how the people mysteriously left the valley about 1150 A.D.