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The Mesquite Region spans across the desert terrain between St. George, Utah, and Las Vegas, Nevada, though the territory's boundaries are only located in the states of Arizona and Nevada, with most part of the destination being located in Nevada. The namesake of the destination is the city of Mesquite, which serves as a waypoint for many people traveling on I-15 toward Las Vegas and eventually into California. As is typical for Arizona and Nevada, the Mesquite Region is primarily desert, with some of the only patches of green being the various golf courses located within Mesquite. The area was initially settled by Mormon pioneers, whose legacy remains today in the form of the nearby "Mormon Peak." Some of the more popular attractions in the region include the Valley of Fire State Park and the Lost City Museum.
The city of Mesquite is arguably the most defining feature of the Mesquite Region. The city receives thousands of visitors annually, and the reasons for their visits range extensively. First-time visitors to the area are often "just passing through" or seeking a moment of rest and relaxation for a few days before continuing on their way. That being said, there is a large market in Mesquite for repeat visitors, who primarily visit the city to gamble. Many of these repeat visitors are from Utah, Arizona, and other western states.
The most popular times of the year to visit Mesquite are from early May to mid-June and from the beginning of September to the middle of October. The temperature during those times is one of the most significant factors contributing to the choice to visit in those months. Though the Mesquite Region is virtually all considered to be "desert terrain," there are still visitors who come to exclusively tour the various aspects of nature nearby. One of the most popular attractions that showcase the distinct views of the desert is the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. The park's tag line is "Valley of Fire: Explore nature's work of art." The red rock formations within the park create arches, odd folded rocks, petrified logs, and large domes. The Valley of Fire State Park is a popular location for Las Vegas wedding photoshoots.
Within Mesquite, the economy is heavily defined by the gambling industry. The CasaBlanca Hotel, Eureka Casino Resort, and Envy Nightclub & Lounge are just a few of the locations in Mesquite that are designed for overnight relaxation and gambling activities. Additionally, there are various golf courses; Coyote Springs Golf Club, Conestoga Golf Course, and CasaBlanca Golf Club, to name just a few. Because of the desert climate of the Mesquite Region, these golf courses are open year-round—a unique feature that draws in many golfers in winter months when the activity would normally be impossible. Visitors might also find enjoyment in activities such as visiting a spa or taking a short trip to one of the local parks. Alternatively, they could stop by the Lost City Museum, which showcases artifacts from centuries passed in Nevada, Arizona, and other locations.
Historically, Mesquite has been a center for more survivable crops and animals, such as cotton, wheat, cane, pomegranates, cattle, and chicken. As the highways in the midwestern United States became more popular, Mesquite's crop production was decreased, and more emphasis was placed on the tourism industry. There are not many Mesquite-specific products that are produced today.
The Mesquite Region is located in northwestern Arizona and southeastern Nevada. The destination follows I-15 as one exits Utah and is moving to the west, stopping a fair distance from the city limits of Las Vegas. Mesquite is virtually the only [developed] larger city in the territorial boundaries, though Littlefield, Arizona, also contains a few small restaurants and hotels. Other towns within the destination include Crystal Springs, Hiko, Rachel, Alamo, and Panaca, to name a few. Similar to most of Arizona and Nevada, the Mesquite Region is primarily composed of desert topography. From the city of Mesquite, a prominent mountain range is visible to the east, culminating in Mt. Bangs. Almost directly opposite of those mountains—yet further in the distance—lies Mormon Peak and its surrounding mountains and valleys. Other than a few golf courses and land designated for farming, the earth is dry and barren. Some of the most distinctive splashes of color within the Mesquite Region is the Valley of Fire State Park to the southwest, which derives its name in part from the bright red rocks that make up the park's composition. Another protected area in the Mesquite destination is the Desert Nat'l Wildlife Range, stretching across the southwestern part of the region. Fitting for a desert climate, the Mesquite Region has average temperatures that range from 80 degrees Fahrenheit to 106 degrees in July—the hottest month of the year for Mesquite. Even in the peak months of travel—which are particularly popular because of the "milder" climate, visitors will likely experience temperatures that range from 69 to 96 degrees.
While the heat can be overpowering at times, it also allows for year-round activities that would generally have to shut down in the winter in other places. Golfing is available year-round, and pools are open with the exception of December, January, and February. Humidity is also nearly nonexistent within the Mesquite Region, with only slight humidity occurring exclusively in August. While wildlife may be scarcer than in other places, there are still plants and animals to be found in the heat of the desert. There are more than 30 species of cacti, as well as sagebrush and Joshua trees. The animals that are most common to the Mesquite Region include bighorn sheep, rabbits, horned toads, several varieties of deer, and grouse.
The first settlements in the Mesquite Region were created with an intense effort by multiple pioneering families in the midwestern United States. Two attempts were made to settle a specific location called the Mesquite Flats in 1882 and 1887, but the harsh desert elements proved too difficult by these first groups. Apparently undeterred, a third attempt occurred in 1894, which finally proved to be more successful. Six families from the Bunkerville area rebuilt a previously-destroyed canal and made their permanent home along the Virgin River. The small township changed its name from Mesquite Flats to Mesquite in 1898.
As time progressed, certain crops were able to grow in the area. Figs and pomegranates survived despite the harsh desert conditions, in addition to wheat, cotton, and grapes (which were in turn used to produce raisins). Cattle and chickens allowed for fair productions of milk and eggs. These products were shipped primarily to Las Vegas. There is only one house in Mesquite that has survived the 130 years of the town's original development. Referred to as "the old rock house," the building was inhabited by various families that made regular contributions to its foundations before eventually being placed into the possession of the city. Now it stands as a "tribute" to the difficult early years that the pioneers experienced as they were trying to settle the region.
The Mesquite Region was named for the mesquite timber located near the town's original site. The first casino to open in Mesquite was the Peppermill Mesquite Casino, which started its business in the 1970s. This would be the jumpstart to a few decades of increased growth, causing Mesquite to become one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States by 2006.