When the crew filming Netflix‘s drama Longmire goes to Las Vegas, they’re not there for the gambling and The Strip. They’re headed to Las Vegas, New Mexico, the town that portrays Durant, Wyoming, on the wildly popular show.
Yes, it’s a bit confusing, but let’s start with the books about Wyoming sheriff, Walt Longmire. They were written by Ucross, Wyoming (population 25), resident Craig Johnson, who set the Longmire mysteries in a fictional town called Durant, Wyoming. Durant doesn’t really exist, but it’s based on
Johnson’s neighboring town, Buffalo, Wyoming. (Read more about Longmire and Buffalo here.) Buffalo is full of Durant-esque charm, including the Busy Bee Restaurant and a whole host of real Old West history.
Longmire, the television show, debuted on cable’s A&E network in 2012. Wyoming’s unruly, unpredictable and downright cold weather prevented the show from being shot in Buffalo, and A&E chose Las Vegas, New Mexico, as a fill-in. The town was no stranger to film crews – the 1984 film Red Dawn starring Patrick Swayze, was filmed there, as well as parts of Easy Rider and No Country for Old Men. The Plaza Hotel stood in for the Virginian, and a staircase on a historic downtown building stood in as the long stairway to Walt Longmire’s office in Durant.
After three very successful seasons with a large fan base, A&E surprised audiences by cancelling the show. Fans exploded and used the Longmire Posse, (Twitter: @LongmirePosse) a fan group, to overwhelm the TV industry with pleas to put the show back on the air. Long negotiations took place and the Posse was rewarded when Netflix picked up the show. It is set to debut September 10 with a full 10-episode season.
Longmire tourists are thrilled to find a lot of the show’s locations accessible, including the historic Plaza Hotel, the park across the street where Walt and his deputies picked up many victims and criminals, and the staircase and door reading “Absaroka County Sheriff’s Department.”