Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
John Hollenhorst ReportingAn eight-ton cowboy reappeared in Wendover today. If you've ever been there, you probably know what we're talking about. 'Wendover Will' the mechanical cowboy is back after being put out to pasture for a while.
Jamey Reilly, West Wendover City Council: “’Wendover Will’ has been a big monument and our symbol of Wendover for a long time.”
It's the big cowboy's big comeback.
Jim Carter: “I’m really glad to see ‘Wendover Will’ come back up. He’s been down far too long and it’s a historic moment.”
Jeff Krantz, Young Electric Sign Company: “Yeah, originally he was put up in 1952.”
They took Wendover's most famous resident down last year to freshen up his looks for a new city project. Instead of casinos the old cowboy will eventually be surrounded by government buildings and a performing arts venue.
Jeff Krantz: “A lot of gamblers, when we removed him really felt like it was going to bring them bad luck. And so we’re really glad to get him back up here.”
A lot of people remember that 'Will' used to stand right on the state line, but now he's moved about a mile to the west. It's not to get away from Utah. It's because the center of town is moving.
Chris Melville, West Wendover City Manager: “He won’t be on the state line, but he will be in the center of West Wendover. And he’ll be welcoming people from both directions, east and west.”
Will's looks have changed over the years with every refurbishing project. This time the makeover will be a total throwback. They plan to recreate his come-hither look from 52 years ago, including a little something around his eyes and mouth.
Chris Melville: “And so we wanted to go back to that time when he was first put up, and tie everything together. And that means his eye will be winking and cigarette will be flicking.”
To save money Will's arms won't move. His famous mechanical wave will live on only in memory. The finishing touches on Wendover Will's new look are expected to take about a month.