They're making moves! Sister Wives star Kody Brown and his loyal family of four wives and most — if not all — of his 18 (yes, 18!!!!!!) kids were on the move again in 2020 when they announced they’d be leaving their beloved Las Vegas compound to relocate to Flagstaff, AZ.
The reality TV star and his four wives — Meri, Christine, Janelle, and Robyn — first moved to Las Vegas in 2011. In August 2018, the family said in a statement, Kody and his large brood were ready for a new adventure in the Grand Canyon State. And, since 2020, Kody, his wives, and his more than a dozen children among them have been living somewhere they figured would be a little more accepting of their lifestyle.
“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 statement said, per People. “We are looking forward to cooler temperatures, the mountain air, scenic views, and the slower lifestyle of Flagstaff.”
Why did the 'Sister Wives' stars move from Las Vegas?
The move was documented in Season 13 of the reality show. After calling Las Vegas home for more than seven years, the move was a bittersweet time for the Browns.
"Vegas has been good for us; I’m not saying that it hasn’t, it’s been really good. And it’s been great for our kids. They’ve all really grown here and done so many wonderful things and it’s been great for us," Christine said at the time. "I’m just ready for the next adventure."
Unfortunately, though, Meri's initial move to Flagstaff hit a bit of a bump in the road. In the Jan. 12, 2020 episode of Sister Wives, Meri was forced to move all of her belongings from her rental home in Flagstaff, Arizona, into a new place. Evidently, the landlady ended up getting flak about Meri from her neighbors, who weren't happy about her plural lifestyle. It's for this reason Meri temporarily moved back to Las Vegas until a more permanent living situation could be arranged in Flagstaff.
Mixed feelings/emotions about staying in Vegas for 3 months while I found another house in Flagstaff. I LOVE Vegas (no secret) but it was hard being away from the family. I traveled back and forth often those months!#SisterWives— Meri Brown (@MeriBrown1) January 6, 2020
Though they came to love Sin City, the decision to make Las Vegas their home wasn't an easy one for the extended Brown family. The first time we saw the Browns move, they made the jump to Las Vegas from their native Utah, where they were being persecuted for their polygamist lifestyle.
Though Kody can only be legally married to one wife at a time (he was legally married to his first wife, Meri, from 1990 until 2014, when he legally divorced her so that he could legally marry his most recent wife, Robyn), he’s spiritually married to all four of his wives, making it technically legal despite laws in Utah saying it’s a felony to marry or cohabitate with more than one person.
The COVID-19 pandemic hasn't been easy on Kody Brown's wives.
As if the dynamic in the relationship wasn't difficult enough for Kody and his wives, the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 made things even more complicated. Ahead of the Season 15 premiere, Janelle Brown was shown in the clip from the season feeling hopeless in the marriage since she hadn't been able to see her husband much during the pandemic.
Because all of Kody's wives live in different homes in Arizona, he has always had to divide his time and attention between them. But COVID-19 made matters worse in terms of remaining safe and, it seems, it will be a high point of tension in the Brown family. Their move to Arizona was one that suited their family's needs, but it might not have been enough to save all of Kody's relationships.
Fortunately, the Browns were safe from any persecution once they settled in Arizona; while one local article from 2008 said that the state’s rules on polygamy are "fuzzy" at best, there are only laws banning bigamy, which is legally defined as marrying a second person. Unlike Utah, there are no laws against cohabitation in Arizona, meaning Kody and his wives were legally sound for their new life among the mountains.
Watch Sister Wives on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on TLC.