Holiday travelers still hitting construction in both directions

2014-08-15 09.57.44According to Eureka Casino owner Greg Lee, the town of Mesquite is all about convenience.

But that critical component in the town’s tourism and gaming dollars has been lacking lately because of all the road construction on Interstate 15 between Las Vegas and Mesquite and then between Mesquite and St. George.

And with another holiday weekend approaching, it’s bound to impact the town again as well.

“We’re getting hit as a destination location, especially for our convenience.” Lee said. “People like to come into town for a weekend dinner, maybe a little entertainment. It’s a big piece of our convenience, especially from St. George.”

Lee sits on the board of directors for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, and he gave them a report on the traffic concerns a few weeks ago.

It seemed to help, as an extra lane was opened on the grade coming into Mesquite near Moapa Valley. The second lane, which actually merges into the southbound lanes, is helpful because big trucks may not be able to get up to speed on the grade and other travelers could get stuck behind them.

However, there doesn’t seem to be an easy fix for Interstate 15 between Mesquite and St. George. The Arizona Department of Transportation is urging motorists traveling on Interstate 15 in the far northwest corner of Arizona to allow for extra travel time due to expected heavy traffic during this upcoming Labor Day weekend (Aug. 29 – Sept. 1) and be aware of an existing work zone through the Virgin River Gorge.

Delays of up to two hours have been reported on previous holiday travel weekends through the gorge.

ADOT is currently working on a major reconstruction project on Virgin River Bridge No. 6 (milepost 16).


  1. Tom Hancock says:

    Totally agree with the traffic issues as discusses. However, perhaps Mesquite could use this issue as a marketing opportunity…rejuvinate by getting off the road and enjoying a at I two of golf, lunch and or dinner at one of Mesquite’s great restaurants and spending the night to provide an opportunity to enjoy many other amenities Mesquite offers.

  2. Construction is a factor but the main reason for the decline in casino revenues is that the players do not like what is happening to the entertainment value. For the same dollars spent by players, the play time has been reduced and their favorite machines have been replaced. The new machines are more complex and offer a chance for bigger rewards that never come. To pay these bigger rewards the machines must collect more revenue and this is done by less smaller payouts. In the past, players that came to town to spend a few dollars were able to play longer and have entertainment. Having been entertained, the player felt that he had received something for his money and concluded that he or she wanted to continue by spending a little more or coming back to try it again.
    The current casino approach is get the money as soon as possible and not consider the entertainment value. No entertainment leads to no customers. Just take a survey of the St. George or local population and see how many of them have stopped going to the casinos because they do not receive any entertainment value. Basic analysis will indicate that a $20 player when being entertained for a long time will again spend $20 to receive the same entertainment, but if he or she loses that money quickly, the extra $20 will not be spent. Providing entertainment is key to success.

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