The town was established in 1906 as a station stop on the Western Pacific Railroad, then under construction. From 1917 to 1939, a Western Pacific subsidiary known as the Deep Creek Railroad also operated into Wendover. The Western Pacific became part of the larger Union Pacific Railroad in 1983.
For years, West Wendover, Nevada, has thrived under a lucrative gambling industry in Nevada, which has generated tax revenue for city services and better schools. Only slightly more than an hour's drive from Salt Lake City, it is a popular attraction for Utah residents who cannot legally gamble in their state. Because West Wendover, Nevada caters mainly to Utah residents, it officially runs on Mountain time, the time zone of Utah, instead of Pacific time. When they refer to going to "Wendover", they're actually referring to West Wendover, Nevada.
Meanwhile, just footsteps away, Wendover, Utah, has decayed with almost no business tax base, but investment in Wendover, Utah may be turning the decay around. Residents in both cities have voted to annex Wendover into Nevada, saying they are one community that has been divided for too long. Both Utah and Nevada have endorsed the idea, however, the exact details of an annexation have not been worked out. Any change in state boundaries would have to be approved by the United States Congress and both the Utah and Nevada legislatures. Wendover is receiving some benefits of economic investment. Recently the Utah Department of Transportation completed an interchange at Aria Boulevard on Interstate 80. Investment is also underway to restore the Wendover Airfield. Tooele County is currently managing the airport and bringing in flights with gamblers who want to take their chances at West Wendover, Nevada's casinos.
There are more motels being built in Wendover along Wendover Boulevard that offer places to stay. Tooele County School District has completed a new elementary school in the area. Wendover City and Tooele County recently built a joint complex for municipal and county functions. While West Wendover continues to have better economic prosperity, Wendover, Utah is picking up some economic steam of its own recently.
There were 432 households out of which 54.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.9% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.1% were non-families. 16.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.56 and the average family size was 4.10.
In the city the population was spread out with 39.9% under the age of 18, 13.0% from 18 to 24, 30.0% from 25 to 44, 13.2% from 45 to 64, and 3.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 106.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 106.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $31,196, and the median income for a family was $29,722. Males had a median income of $18,417 versus $20,682 for females. The per capita income for the city was $10,794. About 24.7% of families and 26.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.1% of those under age 18 and 16.1% of those age 65 or over.