When Interstate 15 was constructed through the Mesquite Valley in the early 1970's, the town's geographic position along the Nevada state line made it a desirable location to build gambling casinos catering to the large flow of traffic that would pass through on the new intercontinental highway. Many an unlucky gambler has lost all their money in Mesquite well before ever making it to the bright lights and neon of Las Vegas. A local casino has a tag line that says Mesquite is Las Vegas fun without the hangover.There are now four major hotel/casinos catering to the highway gambling trade.
The Casablanca Hotel & Casino
Mesquite's phenomenal growth over the past 20 years has been a result of a warm year-round climate, a beautiful desert setting and Nevada's liberal tax and inheritance laws, which have drawn thousands of retirees to settle in the valley. The availability of water from the Virgin River to develop large-scale golf courses and retirement communities will continue to fuel rapid growth into the foreseeable future.
Wolf Creek Golf Course
Just past exit 122 is the Arizona state line. This remote corner of the state is part of what is known as the Arizona Strip, which is all of the territory south of the Utah state line and north of the Colorado River. Mostly inhabited by Paiute Indians, polygamists and cow punchers this section is culturally and geographically more akin to Utah than to Arizona, but the nineteenth-century federal map makers in Washington, DC who measured out straight lines across unknown territory were not inclined to think in terms of natural geographic boundaries and hence this isolated strip of territory was made a part of Arizona.
Welcome to Arizona!
In order for the residents of the few small towns that exist here to reach the Mohave County seat in Kingman, they must drive first through Nevada on a five-hour trip of 192 miles! Talk about your splendid isolation.
Virgin Mountains & northern Mesquite Valley, Arizona
This part of the valley is growing rapidly as more people fan out into the undeveloped portions of the nearby desert to build homes and ranchettes on the other side of the Virgin River.
Flooding in 2005 caused considerable damage in the Mesquite Valley.