Why are the Sister Wives moving? Here’s why they left Las Vegas

Meri, Robyn, Janelle, and Christine from Sister Wives
The Sister Wives discuss their new season. Pic credit: TLC

Kody Brown, his four wives and their 18 children are on the move again, but why?

The Sister Wives have pulled stakes from Las Vegas for the surprisingly cooler world of Flagstaff, Arizona, and they put their homes up for sale. The simple answer is “it’s complicated” as there are many factors for the Browns leaving Las Vegas.

TLC’s Brown family saga Sister Wives has aired for nine years and 13 seasons.  Now, as children are getting older, wives are at different levels of aspirations and earning power and Kody sees the finances of the family hanging in the balance. The move out of Las Vegas is the focus of this season.

Last season, the Brown family was part of a Utah polygamy rally, embracing a new in-law and celebrating the birth of their first grandchild. Season 13 is airing now and the Flagstaff move will be shown during the season.

The reasons they left Las Vegas are rooted in money, lifestyle, acceptance and a bit of fear on Kody’s part.

Last night’s Sister Wives explored the dynamics of “super tricky” sister wives relations and the move to Arizona.

“As much as we’ve loved making our home and memories here in Las Vegas, we are excited to embark on a new adventure in Flagstaff, Arizona!” the Brown family said in a statement to People. “We are looking forward to cooler temperatures, the mountain air, scenic views and the slower lifestyle of Flagstaff.”

Despite Kody’s love of Utah, his daughter Mariah said in a past clip that Utah was the “state that kicked him out.” But Arizona is a tough state for polygamists too.

There are moving parts and nuanced facets to this move.

Timing of the Flagstaff move

It would be another five years before they had the window of opportunity – according to Janelle – if they didn’t move now. This is because a cluster of their collective kids would be seniors in high school.

The equity in their Las Vegas houses too is at a nice high, and Kody knows how volatile real estate markets are. They made good money on the Vegas house sales, and now they are investing in a growing real estate market to preserve and grow family capital and live a quieter life.

Meri’s bid to regain Kody’s love and Wives’ trust

On the last episode, Meri had a private one-on-one with Kody who has been estranged from her since the whole catfishing debacle. She tells him she sides with him regarding the move and notes that if she sided with the wives it would be game over for Kody’s plans. She knows if she stays the course with Kody and agrees it might shore up the rift she created last season.

Having said that, Meri tried to break through to Christine and joked she had “RBF” which means resting b**** face.

“I know it sucks to be on the outs…you are on the outside,” said a sympathetic Christine. We will see how this progresses.

Sharing her own struggle to repair her relationship with Kody and felt on the outside looking in, Christine added: “Until she believes she has a place in this family, she never will [feel a part of the family],…I had to fix me.”

Kody’s fear of aging

The fast living in Las Vegas is not for Kody Brown.  In the past episode, Kody said: “I don’t want to grow old here.”

He added: “I’m a country boy from a country town,” says Kody Brown. Flagstaff was an opportunity for the Browns to move to a place a little bit quieter than Las Vegas, for the kid.  Brown said.

More than half the children are out of school now. “We came from a less urban place, and we kind of wanted to get back to a less urban place, for the sake of the younger children who are still home.”

In past episodes, Kody also noted the financial strain of educating 18 children and noted he would be well into his 70’s before he was off the hook paying for it all.

A town with the right vibe

Flagstaff is “a liberal town” according to Kody. The family considers themselves traditional and they have what Kody described as “traditional values” but they have one gay daughter and a lifestyle that is less than traditional to most people.

Kody said: “Flagstaff is about picking the most beautiful town…Flagstaff is going to be more expensive, I paid less for my houses in Las Vegas than these tiny little postage stamp houses!”

“We need to just go, but I know there will be some scary consequences,” he added.

Consolidating resources

As he stated, Kody would love for all his wives to live in one home. The wives aren’t having it.

Meri says the cul-de-sac is the ideal situation.  The other wives seem to agree on this point.  The family has bought parcels of land in Arizona and have divested themselves of the homes in Las Vegas.

Mariah’s master’s degree and “standards”

Mariah is Kody’s eldest child with Meri. Loyola in Chicago is where Mariah is getting her masters in social work and social justice. Recalling how the family has “standards,” Kody worries Mariah and Audrey are living together. He also worries that if Mariah moves in with her mother, the two girls will wind up living together and he is drawing the line. But the two girls are heading to Chicago.

Kody expressed fear that Mariah has only dated Audrey and no one else.  The sister wives collectively love Audrey and Mariah and are anxious for them to wed.

Meri reminds Kody that he was her only date.



The Associated Press reported in June that the family bought 15 acres a few miles from downtown Flagstaff for $820,000.

Sister Wives airs on Sundays at 8/7c on TLC.


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