Tour Around Nevada: Mesquite
September – October 2016
This small southeastern town adds flavor to the state.
BY JANET GEARY
The adage “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” is familiar to most, but it is especially personal in the southeastern town of Mesquite. A handful of pioneers who refused to let the beautiful, but fickle, Virgin River keep them from their manifest destiny are to thank for the existence of this charming town.
THERE IS NO QUITTING
Mesquite Flats—as it was once known—was home to a couple dozen families in the late 1870s. Banking on the Virgin River to support farming, the pioneers flourished until the river changed its banks during a heavy rainstorm. Irrigation canals were destroyed, and the river that once gave the settlers life was now driving them away. In 1887, another farmer gave life along the river a try, but was driven out by the elements just four years later.
Luck was on the settlers’ side when in 1894, six families from nearby Bunkerville fixed the damaged canal and made a permanent home along the river. One of the original rock homes from those early pioneers still stands today, a testament to the fortitude of Mes- quite’s enduring spirit.
SO MUCH TO DO
Today, Mesquite’s proximity to so many state and national parks makes it a perfectly inviting location. While the area’s recreation opportunities attract visitors, Mesquite is also home to numerous sport tournaments. In fact, the city’s more than 1,700 hotel and motel rooms will increase in October when The Rising Star Sports Ranch reopens for business.
The remodeled hotel is designed to fill the needs of people coming to Mesquite to attend baseball and soccer tournaments, with some rooms large enough to hold a baseball team, and a park area to keep the kids occupied when they’re not on the field. For those into less-organized play, within a day’s drive you’ll find Cathedral Gorge State Park, Valley of Fire State Park, Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, and Great Basin National Park. For anyone looking for the perfect location from which to see some of the world’s most indelible scenery, look no further than Mesquite. In case you haven’t heard, there are also world-class golf courses that include Wolf Creek Golf Club—named one of the 10 best places to golf by Wall Street Journal Europe—and the Arnold Palmer-designed Oasis Golf Club.
Mesquite is not just about visitors; residents love the gorgeous vistas and friendly people that live in this border town 90 miles east of Las Vegas. Whether your interests are activity-based or you love the arts scene, you will be pleasantly surprised at all Mesquite has to offer. Colleen and Bob Brown moved to Mesquite 12 years ago to escape the cold Tonopah winters.
“We were tired of shoveling snow, but still wanted to remain in Nevada, so we thought Mesquite would be a perfect choice,” says Colleen. The Browns both grew up in Las Vegas, but wanted a smaller community with less traffic where they felt safe riding their bikes. In 2014, Mesquite was named a bicycle-friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists because of the number of bike lanes and trails available.
Along with the small community feel and recreation, the Browns also found real estate prices to be reasonable and like being able to get anywhere in town in just 10 minutes.
“There are good restaurants and a great movie theater along with nice places to shop,” says Colleen. “And if you can’t find it here, you’re only an hour from Vegas.”
The arts community is another rich part of the town. According to the Greater Mesquite Arts Foundation, there are always theater groups holding musicals and dramas, free artist receptions, guest lecturers, and even the traveling Mesquite-Toes—a group of goodwill, tap-dancing ambassadors that spread “the magic of Mesquite.” Their special performances captivate audiences all over the valley.
Mesquite restaurants range from fine dining at Gregory’s Mesquite Grill inside the Eureka Casino Resort and Katherine’s Steakhouse at the Casablanca, to more casual fare at Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner or Wedgies Sports Bar and Grill.
With all the things to see and do, Mesquite is the perfect weekend getaway whether you live in Las Vegas, Cedar City, Utah, or any of the other cities within a day’s drive. With winter weather that is exceptionally mild, you can enjoy outside activities any time of the year. The food is great, the people are friendly, and the activities are limitless. What are you waiting for?
Visit Mesquite visitmesquite.com 877-637-7848
WORTH A CLICK
Population: 17,496 (census.gov)