Primm is a small community in Southern Nevada located at the California and Nevada State Line. It is 40 mi (64 km) south of Las Vegas and 12 mi (19 km) from another small town called Jean. It sits right next to Interstate 15.
In the 1920s, the area only had a gas station which was owned by Pete MacIntyre. The story goes that he was having trouble selling gas so he resorted to bootlegging. He died in 1933 and was originally buried in an unmarked grave close by, though unintended exhumation caused his body to be moved into a cave. The man is now often known locally as "Whisky Pete", with the town's first casino named eponymously after him.
Between the early 1950s to the early 1970s, Dale Hamilton owned the town known as State Line at the time with an ambition to place a few slot machines in his gas station to entice travelers, a tradition that continues to this day.
In 1977, businessman Ernest Jay Primm opened Whiskey Pete's as way of capturing gamblers on their way to or leaving Las Vegas. He passed this venture onto his son Gary Primm.
Several decades later and in 1990, State Line's second casino The Primadona Resort was opened to the public. Its current name is the Primm Valley Resort.
Buffalo Bill's and its Desperado hypercoaster were opened in 1994.
In 1996, State Line was renamed to Primm to remove confusion from the Nevadan town of Stateline near Lake Tahoe and to acknowledge the success that the Primm family had brought the town.
In 2010, the town was featured in the video game Fallout: New Vegas along with much of Southern Nevada including nearby Goodsprings, Jean, and Searchlight.
Primm has a typical desert climate with hot days and cold nights. Also constantly arid with little rainfall as well as hot summers and warm winters.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
- If you're driving to Primm from the Los Angeles area or its surrounding counties, drivers can take I-15 North and stay on the freeway all the way to Exit 1 after crossing the California/Nevada State Line.
- From the Las Vegas area, take I-15 South and get off at Exit 1.
Taxis are available 24 hours a day from Las Vegas to Primm. The fare however is around $100 each way due to the 40 mi (64 km) distance between the two destinations; alternatively cheaper rates can be found via Uber and Lyft.
There are no airports in Primm, though there is a proposal to build the Ivanpah Valley Airport close by.
The nearest airport to Primm is 1 Jean Airport. It's 12 mi (19 km) north and is mostly used for recreational aviation and skydiving rather than commercial flights.
A free monorail connects the three casinos.
Most of the town is walkable.
- 1 Bonnie & Clyde 'Death Car'. Whiskey Pete's displays the 1934 Ford Deluxe that infamous crime couple Bonnie & Clyde were gunned down in. The vehicle is riddled with bullet holes and is quite a spectacle. There is also other memorabilia on display such as Clyde's shirt. Free.
- 2 Welcome to Nevada sign. The sign showing the state's border can be easily seen in Primm. A good photo opportunity for tourists.
- 3 Ivanpah Lake. A dry lake that occasionally fills with water. Popular spot for landsailing.
Goodsprings is 20 mi (32 km) northwest of Primm and 7 mi (11 km) west of Jean on the I-15. The former mining town is quiet with few amenities for the traveler, but it's worth checking out the Pioneer Saloon, the exterior of the Goodsprings Schoolhouse and Goodsprings Cemetery. For travelers that want to see everything the town has to offer the historical society has listed other places of interest on their website which includes a walking tour.
- 4 Goodsprings Schoolhouse. The town's school is a colonial revival building built in 1913 for $2000 (about $52,000 adjusted for inflation) and is listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places.
- 5 Goodsprings Cemetery. Dawn to dusk. A cemetery since 1913. Notable people buried here include George Fayle who built the Fayle Goodsprings Hotel, as well as the Pioneer Saloon, Jean Fayle, of which the nearby town of Jean is named after, and Norman Price who built the Goodsprings Schoolhouse.
Jean is 13 mi (21 km) north of Primm on the I-15. There isn't much to see except the Seven Magic Mountains, a bright and colorful sculpture by Ugo Rondinone.
- 1 Desperado rollercoaster, ☏ . F-Sa noon-9:30PM, Su noon-7:30PM. Buffalo Bill's Desperado rollercoaster is the state's only hypercoaster with a 225 ft (69 m) drop at an 80 mph (130 km/h) speed. Riders must be a minimum of 4 feet (1.2 m) tall in height and have a waist that is no wider than 44 inches (112 cm). Single ticket $13.99; unlimited ride passes: $25, $18 after 5PM.
- 2 Star of the Desert Arena, Buffalo Bill's, ☏ . Buffalo Bill's is home to a 6,500-seat arena which hosts many live events and performances.
- 3 Buffalo Bill's Movie Theater, Buffalo Bill's, ☏ . Open daily from noon. Buffalo Bill's has a small movie theater. The movie selection and showtimes are not listed on the website, so you need to call.
- 4 Primm Valley Golf Club, 1 Yates Wells Road, Nipton, California, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The Primm Valley Resort hotel has a golf course [dead link], which is a short drive into California. Designed by Tom Fazio, it has hosted several tournaments and is considered to be good among its patrons.
- 5 Sandy Valley Ranch, 1411 Kingston Rd, Sandy Valley (34 mi (55 km) west via the I15 and through Goodsprings), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Nearby Sandy Valley Ranch offers a "cowboy experience" complete with horseback riding and rodeo. Also hosts weddings and ranch parties.
If you win...
Chances are that, if you win it big in Primm and you are not a U.S. citizen your winnings will be subject to a 30% withholding tax from the Internal Revenue Service. That $10,000 slot winning can dwindle quite quickly if that is taken off the top. Not to worry though you can reclaim your gambling winnings tax through a 1042-S form. You should get this from the casino so don't lose it: it is your starting ticket to getting your gambling winnings back.
Primm has three casinos, all of which are owned by Primm Valley Casino Resorts. Amongst offering traditional casino games, there are also on-site bookmakers for horseracing and other sport events.
- 6 Buffalo Bill's, 31700 S Las Vegas Blvd. Western-themed casino and home to the Desperado rollercoaster.
- 7 Primm Valley Resort, 31900 S Las Vegas Boulevard. Primm Valley Resort was built after Whiskey Pete's. The casino offers over 1,500 slot machines, and other gambling amenities.
- 8 Whiskey Pete's, 100 W Primm Blvd. The town's first casino, also has a western theme and exhibits the infamous Bonnie & Clyde 'Death Car'.
The Stateline Supermoto Challenge is an annual event at Buffalo Bill's.
Heading southbound, Primm is your last chance to buy gasoline at the usually-lower Nevada prices. Gas prices often jump 15 to 40 cents just by crossing the California state line.
- 1 Chevron, 31900 Las Vegas Blvd S, ☏ .
- 2 Chevron, 115 W Primm Blvd, ☏ . 24/7.
- 3 Texaco, 31960 S Las Vegas Blvd, ☏ .
There is access to a small convenience store on the California side of the state line, where California State Lottery tickets can be purchased. Oddly, this store cannot be reached without travelling through Nevada.
- 4 Primm Valley Lotto Store, 31900 S Las Vegas Blvd, ☏ . 8AM-7:45PM. Sells Powerball tickets and scratch-offs.
The town's shopping mall is part of the Primm Valley Resort.
Restaurants in Primm can be found in three places:
- All three hotel-casinos have restaurants inside them for different budgets and times of day.
- The Prizm Outlets mall has a food court with a variety of restaurants.
- A few restaurants are dotted around the town.
- Starbucks. The Seattle-based coffee chain has two branches in Primm.
- 1 The Back Nine, Primm Valley Resorts, ☏ . 10AM-1AM. Circular bar with slot machines.
- 2 Pioneer Saloon, 310 NV-161, Goodsprings, NV, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 7AM-10PM; Sa Su 7AM-midnight. The nearby town of Goodsprings hosts a century old saloon with a rich history and atmosphere. Of historical note are the bullet holes in the wall resulting from a poker game gone awry and actor Clark Gable sat at the bar for three days awaiting news of his wife Carole Lombard who perished in an airplane accident nearby. The saloon also hosts events such as weddings and tours, along with a souvenir shop to ensure visitors remember their trip.
The community consists of three hotel-type casinos which attract travellers driving from California, typically on their way to Las Vegas and driving back. These hotels also serve as feeders to Las Vegas when a major event and/or convention is taking place.
- 1 Buffalo Bill's, 31700 S Las Vegas Blvd, ☏ . Check-in: 3:00pm, check-out: noon. Buffalo Bill's offers 1,242 guest rooms and suites. It also has a swimming pool shaped like a buffalo.
- 2 Primm Valley Resort, 31900 S Las Vegas Boulevard, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Primm Valley Resort was built after Whiskey Pete's, and offers 624 rooms.
- 3 Whiskey Pete's, 100 W Primm Blvd, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. This was the first hotel built in Primm. Amenities include a large swimming pool, a gift shop, four restaurants, and 777 rooms and suites.
Jean has Terrible's Hotel & Casino.
- Searchlight – 42 mi (68 km) to the southeast of Primm on the I-15 then SR-164. Also a former mining town, Searchlight maintains its heritage with its own museum, which while small is also educational. The town also has two casinos both run by Terrible's and two motels. Searchlight Airport has no scheduled services, and is uncontrolled, unmanned, and unlighted.
- Baker – 50 mi (80 km) to the southwest of Primm on I-15, Baker is the only significant town on the interstate in the remote desert stretch between Barstow and the Nevada border. It offers food, fuel and lodging, is home to the world's tallest thermometer, and is the starting point for the journeying north to Death Valley.
|Routes through Primm|
|St. George ← Las Vegas ←||N S||→ Baker → Barstow|