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From the top of the Ameristar, you catch the first glimpse of the sun rising over Denver far below, glinting off the aspen that have already turned to gold on the mountainsides.
Black Hawk It was the discovery of gold a mile up the canyon 151 years ago that led to the founding of Central City and Black Hawk, which early on learned how to make the most of its location.
While miners pulled ore out of the hills around Central City, Black Hawk became the milling center that pulled the gold out of that ore, then sent it on its way to Denver and the rest click the following article the world.
Black Hawk had the trailer park and the gas station and the corner market β€” but true to its tradition, it understood the power of "processing.
The amendment passed in November 1990, and when gambling started up on October 1, 1991, Central City was the center of the action; Main Street in Black Hawk was still dirt.
But while Central City officials closely observed the language of the law β€” and even imposed a moratorium on development while they studied the impact that gaming would have on historic buildings β€” Black Hawk took advantage of its location.
The wide spot in the road became wider as developers scraped away the hillsides and erased history to build ever-bigger casinos, casinos that were a mile closer to the metro area than the smaller casinos of Central City and captured most of the traffic.
But that dream died with Central City's moratorium β€” and Spellman realized that his future, and his fortune, lay in his home town.
His father had driven down the canyon for forty years to a job; Spellman decided to make Black Hawk his life's work.
He was a city councilman when gambling came to Black Hawk.
Along the way, the town's leaders have carefully, sometimes ruthlessly, strategized their next moves in the game.
Gaming has paid for Black Hawk's new offices in fixed-up historic buildings; it's enabled most of the town's hundred residents to rebuild their homes from the foundation up β€” and to move those structures that were in the way of progress, like the Lace House, which had become marooned in a casino parking lot, into a re-created Mountain Village.
Spellman says the town plans to reopen the Lace House as a museum and put retail shops in the surrounding buildings, much as it helped put a restaurant into Crook's Palace.
Gaming has paid for Black Hawk's new roads, a new water treatment plant that can handle 30,000 to 50,000 people a day "I'm not a mayor of a hundred people," Spellman points outa reservoir and a new sanitation district.
Spellman isn't just the mayor of what could be the most prosperous town in Colorado; he's also a publisher, having taken over the 148-year-old Weekly Register-Call after William Russell, the longtime owner, passed away last year.
With the Rocky Mountain News gone, the Register-Call is now Colorado's oldest continually operating newspaper β€” one that was full of praise from state lawmakers after their recent trip up to Black Hawk.
They had lunch at the Ameristar, which technically bills itself as Ameristar Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk.
Casino employees boast that it's the tallest building between Denver and Salt Lake City even when you don't count the 3,000-foot head start that Black Hawk's altitude offersand had the developers really been thinking, they might have just gone another ten feet higher and created the tallest building between Denver and Vegas.
Hell, Black Hawk might have thrown enough money into the pot just to secure those bragging rights.
The streets of Central City are nearly deserted on this overcast morning; the only sign of life is a Bud Light truck unloading cases and kegs.
Inside the Doc Holliday Casino, 131 Main Street, the scene is only slightly more lively.
Under a grand chandelier hanging from the pressed-copper ceiling and over the speakers pouring out pop songs from click to see more the ages β€” everything from "Footloose" to Whitney Houston's over-the-top "I Will Always Love You" β€” a mischievous-looking white-haired woman shakes a finger and admonishes, "Don't you steal my machine!
Otherwise, the place is empty.
The original Doc Holliday opened in 1992, across and down the street from its current location.
In 2004, as Central City's casino scene shook out, it moved here, into a building that had once housed the legendary Glory Hole bar, then the lavish Glory Hole casino that quickly went bust.
Doc Holliday has slot machines and only slot machines, 170 in all, boasting a variety of themes.
Even Hexbreaker and Kismet, for the superstitious.
They're arranged by denomination β€” penny slots most of them penny slotsnickel slots and higher β€” but otherwise, there seems to be no rhyme nor reason to the layout.
Sea Monkeys next to the Tiki Torch, with comfortable seats in front of every machine.
We can change the computer chips and the glass and make it a whole new game.
The players don't know and don't care β€” as long as you stay away from their machine.
Down the hill, at the Isle of Capri Casino in Black Hawk, the scene is very different.
The slot machines here are more organized: Traditional slots are lined up across from more modern games; digital touch-screen slots nestle next to slots with rotating wheels of fortune, and everywhere, the words "triple," "double," "lucky" and "2X pay" assault the eyes.
No matter what your interest, there's a slot machine just for you.
One called Glitz plays loud snippets of disco house, and the Dean Martin-themed slot talks to passersby in a cool, crooning voice.
There are 1,300 slot machines in all, occupying well over half of the casino's gaming floor.
There are no clocks on the wall to track time, and the shades are pulled against even the overcast sky outside.
A man in an orange baseball cap sits before the two slot machines he's staked out, pushing buttons efficiently and smoothly.
He could do this all day.
On the first Wednesday of every month, Tommy Donahue and a group of his friends climb aboard a bus bound for Black Hawk.
The trip is a pleasant distraction for the 85-year-old retired cattleman, who spends the rest of his time being retired and doing the stuff that retired people do.
With striking blue eyes and a remarkably unweathered face, Tommy's advanced age isn't immediately apparent.
Just the same, the silver locks tucked neatly beneath his ballcap best casinos in central city lobbying for a senior discount unnecessary.
Then again, Tommy's accumulated enough points on his player's club card that his lunch at Calypso's Buffet in the Isle of Capri Casino is comped.
Unlike the rest of the diners, who are seated together in clusters, Tommy is sitting by himself at a table for two.
It turns out the other members of his group are up the hill at another casino.
But Tommy's undergone a few surgical alterations to his ticker that make the notion of staying at the lower altitude of Black Hawk decidedly more appealing.
Besides, he likes the food here article source as well he should.
The offerings at this buffet justify a trip to Black Hawk just to eat.
As Tommy gets up to help himself to some dessert, he notices another ballcap on the table next to him.
Sure enough, inside the folder is a picture of the young Yankees posing with a few other guys, one of whom is holding a toddler: Tommy when he was two years old.
Tommy's dad was apparently acquainted with the Babe through some ranch, and the print is from a negative that his dad gave him decades ago.
Before he finished eating that breakfast, a guy from another outfit that happened to have an office in the same building had offered him another job, a better job, and Tommy went on to make a nice life for himself and his family in the Mile High City.
Oh, and then there's the story about how when he retired and moved to Phoenix, he started his own tamale delivery company.
And how one of his best sales reps was a gal one of his managers recruited from a street known for harboring ladies of the evening.
And how Tommy and his family used to dine with the parents of a man who became a famously reclusive Denver billionaire.
Tommy could go on for hours β€” and he probably would, if he didn't have to rush off to catch his bus.
It's high noon in Black Hawk, and Crook's Palace, the only non-casino restaurant in town and the oldest saloon in Colorado, according to a sign outside although all claims in these gaming districts should be taken with a grain of salt, if not an entire saltshakerhas just two lunchtime diners: a couple of women, both hooked to oxygen tanks, talking loudly as they dip into cups of French onion soup.
A few minutes later, two guys in fishing hats and cargo pants roll in and order Bud Lights.
The history of Crook's is considerably more colorful than its current incarnation.
The heavy, dark-wood bar that anchors the place was originally part of a Missouri saloon, where Jesse James once bellied up to it.
James Crook brought the bar in when he took over this spot in 1900, renaming the former Skylight Saloon after himself.
He operated Crook's Palace for the next three decades, keeping it open through Prohibition by selling cigars and soda.
When gambling was legalized in Black Hawk, Crook's Palace became a casino, putting up an addition filled with machines and letting the whir best casinos in central city slots obliterate the convivial barroom ambience.
But there was still a stool dedicated to miner Dow Blake, a regular at the bar and the great-uncle of future mayor David Spellman.
As bigger casinos opened up, though, the crowds left Crook's.
And in the late 1990s, the now cash-flush town bought the structure, restoring the space, cleaning up the storied bar, polishing the hardwood floors and adding a pool best casinos in central city />And in 2006, Black Hawk put the place up for lease as a turnkey property, offering it to any restaurateur who would preserve the general feeling of the space β€” and keep gambling out.
In 2008, it was snapped up by Mike and Matt Casarez, who reopened Crook's in its current incarnation.
They run a serious operation: no outlaws, no barroom scuffles, and Dow Blake's stool has disappeared.
The biggest danger: spiking cholesterol.
The food's about three times better than it needs to be: Strike it rich.
Central City has certainly seen more than its share of adventures over the past 151 years, from booms and busts to fires and fistfights, and while change comes in fits and spurts, history remains.
In fact, one of the goals of Central City's most recent boom β€” casino gaming β€” was to preserve the history of its first one.
But things don't always work out as planned.
About a mile outside of the main business district, the new Prospectors Run housing development, where several of the upstart candidates for city council live, looms above the brick ruins of the Mack Brewery.
Built in the late 1800s by businessman Jacob Mack, the brewery was one of six that provided beer to miners in Central City, Black Hawk and other nearby towns.
While Central City had planned to restore the brewery building, declining casino revenues mean that won't happen anytime soon, if at all.
But another vestige of the brewery remains intact.
Growing like weeds on the hills and rock-retaining walls around town are wild hops that Buddy Schmalz believes were originally planted upwards of 130 years ago.
Buddy's brother-in-law, David Spellman, is the mayor of Black Hawk now.
In 1991, the Schmalz family opened a small casino in the space where they'd run a T-shirt and rock casino england new best in for many years.
Six years later, Buddy added a pizza parlor and brewery, dedicating one of his first beers β€” a sweet, slightly bitter amber ale β€” to Central City's brewing history, naming it Jacob Mack and using wild hops to brew it.
Today, Dostal Alley continues to attract locals who prefer the family-owned atmosphere and the smaller number of slot machines.
Although Buddy, who himself served as mayor for six years and is now a Gilpin County commissioner, does most of the brewing himself, he's hired Dave Thomas, who worked down the hill at Coors for more than thirty years, as his right-hand man.
Together, Buddy and Dave brew four regular beers and a couple of seasonals in their seven-barrel system, including a Belgian-style wit beer flavored with orange peel and coriander and a smoked porter.
In 2008, Dostal Alley's Shaft House Stout won a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival.
But it's the Jacob Mack that stands out, partly because the brewers have no idea what kind of hops they are using or how those hops will change the beer each year.
This past August, Buddy and Dave hit on a particularly good patch of vines.
The plants are now mostly dormant for the winter, but when he crushes a huge hop cone in his hand, it releases its distinctive, beery aroma.
He believes the plants are of the Cluster variety, because that's primarily what brewers used in this country until about thirty years ago.
He plans to send a cutting to a friend who works in genetics at Oklahoma State University to find out for sure.
Buddy once considered trying to protect the hops vines around town, giving them some sort of historic designation.
But politics being what they are in a small town, some people suggested that that might be a conflict of interest β€” considering that the mayor was also Central City's only brewer.
In the end, the vines didn't need the help.
History β€” beer history, anyway β€” has preserved itself.
That's why they call it wildlife.
Mae and Jim Valdez, a couple from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, who are in town for a convention, chat with an older Mexican woman across from them.
Today they had to choose between casinos and the art museum.
They went with Black Hawk, but Mae has some regrets about not making it to the Hamilton Building.
I thought, 'Well, maybe I'd better stick closer to the hotel.
The woman, Jenelle Callahan, is one of Bonnie's regulars.
She's a dishwasher up in Black Hawk, and for the past three years, five days a week, she's been commuting to work by bus from her home near Broadway and Alameda.
I can sleep, I can talk, I meet people.
Can't do nothing but sit back and relax.
It's relaxing going up here.
During that time, she's seen plenty of repeat faces like Jenelle's.
I find that amazing.
She'd rather talk about the positive parts of the job β€” about how, if you get in a jam in the canyon, "flagging down a bus is as good as flagging down a police officer"; your cell phone won't work there, but bus drivers have radios.
Or about how the canyon road came to be, built up from the infrastructure of the narrow-gauge railroad that originally ran along Clear Creek.
Or about how, even if this is a wildlife area, she still thinks it's unsafe not to have lights along the road.
She's so informed on the particulars of driving a bus along this route, it's hard to be sure if the 160 turns she mentioned are documented somewhere or if she just counted them herself.
Somewhere along those turns, the conversations die off and the radio falls silent.
A few people sleep; some look out the window.
Outside, the canyon slips past, illuminated in the strange, washed-out light of a mottled, watercolor sky that hasn't been able to decide all day whether or not it wants to be overcast, the sun straining through a paper-thin cloud with all the intensity of a brand-new dime.
The light is fading when the bus pulls up to its last stop in Central City.
For Bonnie, the trip back down the hill will be her last run of the day, but for the last stragglers getting off the bus β€” the working stiffs and the gamblers alike β€” the day is just beginning.
The "Medical Marijuana" signs on the front door make it clear there's no casino inside 125 Main Street in Central City.
But still, would-be gamblers keep coming into Gaia's Gift.
Before it became a dispensary in March, one of three in town, the building was home to the Central City Visitors Center.
Before that, it was home to Mayor Willie's Casino, one of many casinos that have come and gone since gambling was introduced here.
And even though it has since been stripped down to its stone walls, remnants of that incarnation remain β€” including the ornate wood-and-brass cashier's booth that has found new life as the dispensary's office.
The people who come in looking for blinking lights and buzzing machines instead find a lounge decorated with thrift-store couches.
The only buzzing comes from the Nevil's Haze and THC-infused Rice Krispie treats.
Every now and then, Gaia's Gift is visited by a drunk fresh off a losing table who wants to buy some weed.
Since you need a medical marijuana card to buy pot here, just as you do at any dispensary in the state, those drunks usually leave disappointed.
Other visitors treat the dispensary like another tourist attraction.
Sean enjoys giving the educational talks, he says.
That role comes with the territory in a small town.
A town that got its start with the state's first gold rush, then gambled on gaming two decades ago, and now could make its pot.
Dealer Hank has the hands of a magician and the spiel of a carnival barker.
No sullen grunts, no tip-hustling fake show of sympathy for those tough breaks, just a steady patter about Little Debbie snack cakes and crazy eights and don't spend it all slots uk online best one place β€” unless, of course, the place happens to be the Fortune Valley Casino.
Other blackjack dealers ask if you want to place an insurance bet when their upcard is an ace.
Hank offers a commercial: "Insurance brought to you by Geico.
One phone call could save you 15 percent or more.
This is Central City, bub, home of the small-timer.
You can wager from three dollars to a hundred dollars at Hank's table, but almost all of the bets are solidly in the three-dollar range.
An occasional plunger, heedless of tomorrow, might sink five bucks into a hand.
More often, though, Hank has to remind players drifting over from a much busier two-dollar-minimum table that they have to cough up an extra chip to get in his game.
Down the hill in Black Hawk, three-dollar tables are as scarce as vegan restaurants.
Yet most players seem to stick close to the five- or ten-dollar minimum the house allows.
There are no high rollers in Colorado's mountain casinos β€” no "whales," certainly, by Vegas standards, unless you count the large mammals waddling through the buffet lines.
Adding more table games last year and raising the limit to a hundred bucks hasn't had quite the impact the gaming industry expected.
Roulette, the classic sucker game of French farces, has been a flop everywhere.
Craps attracts a few knowledgeable players but requires some grasp of basic math β€” and thus is a dying art.
And on a weeknight, read more hottest blackjack tables tend to be the cheapest ones.
The bulk of the money still comes from the zombified slot players.
Still, it's not hard to find someone like Bruce, a square-jawed bruiser in a T-shirt playing the hundred-dollar limit on most hands at a blackjack table at the Mardi Gras Casino.
He barks encouragement at the cards as they fly out of the shoe, best casinos in central city if he can alter their denomination by sheer will.
He's up, he's down; regardless of the stakes, it's still a grind.
Some casinos have attempted to market the new limit to serious players by offering single-deck tables instead of capricious, uncountable four- or six-deck shoes.
Alas, the tender-hearted casino operators don't seem terribly interested in the trade-off between fairer odds and more traffic; they continue to undercut the attractions of a higher limit.
Many of the Black Hawk joints now pay only 6-5 on blackjack instead of 3-2.
They've also junked the rule that says dealers must stand on a soft 17, triggering gripes from players who believe the rule favored them.
The dealer seems baffled: Either way, she was still beat.
He points to the rules on the felt.
The action might be low, but it comes with free entertainment, courtesy of Hank.
In a high-stakes world, a low-stakes game has its pleasures.
After you've been knocked continue reading by the whims of chance, burned one too many times by a too-hot-to-handle cardslinger drawing five cards to 21 while you're standing pat on 20, it can be sheer luxury to shovel out only two or three white chips a hand while your luck is in traction.
You might not win.
But you can lose a little more slowly.
She walks up to the blackjack table, tapping the current dealer on the shoulder, waiting for him to finish his existing deal.
Then she takes his place.
This is the moment she often dislikes most about her job, since this is when regulars who've been playing at the table sometimes call her a "closer," "cleaner" or "house dealer," and shove off to some other dealer.
It's not her fault; she can't help that the cards seem to work in her favor.
No, she's had a mind for the numbers and probabilities in the 312 cards now flowing through her hands since she was six years old and beat her older relatives at every game they played together.
These days, she's still a player with enough of a rep that other casinos will comp her a room on weeknights β€” although she's always too busy at the tables to use it.
When the casinos began looking for dealers to fill their new 24-hour schedules last year, she signed up.
With maximums increased, she figured there'd be a lot more chips on the tables β€” and some of those chips would be going to her as tips.
Between dispersing cards to the handful of players in front of her, she runs her long nails lightly over the soft felt of the table.
Up above, security cameras track the movement, watching for signs that she could be up to no good.
She's not allowed to transfer chips from one hand to the other, to scratch her ear without first flashing her palms, to even sneeze into her fist.
Most of the tables around her are empty β€” pretty standard for a weeknight graveyard shift.
article source, she could get lucky; a lot of the pros come in on weeknights like this to avoid the tourists and amateurs who show up on weekends visit web page botch the flow of the game by struggling over whether they should hit on a 14 against the dealer's five.
Word is there's a pro athlete at the casino tonight: one of the local superstars who's a regular here.
She'd prefer he not come to her table, though.
Like most big-time athletes, he's known for being stingy with tips.
One time, after winning a couple thousand at craps, he threw the dealer a lousy nine bucks.
It's far better to have a table full of casino waitresses and other dealers, since they know better than anybody that she pays her bills with what goes into the metal tip box at her side.
She hopes those boxes are full before she clocks out at dawn, that she gets to that sweet spot where her players are on such a roll she can feel the energy visit web page off the table.
Better that than having to tell a player his account is overdrawn, being the one to deal a hand that means somebody's not going to pay his cable-TV bill that month.
In general, though, she's been surprised by how much she enjoys the job.
She can see herself sticking with it, maybe eventually moving on to other casino towns in other states.
It may not be as exciting as her days as a freewheeling poker player, but the secret to her success has always been being able to quit.
You can't overcome the odds.
After her first few deals, they start to leave.
By the time she's dealt herself five hands β€” and not busted on a single one β€” her table is empty.
As usual, probabilities don't seem to be working with her.
So she stands there quietly, waiting for a new stranger to shuffle up and ask for some cards.
Mark sits at the tallest, most garish video poker game in the otherwise empty cluster of machines.
To his right are a Styrofoam cup filled with coffee β€” he doesn't drink booze when he gambles β€” and a takeout container filled with burritos that he got for free and is saving for tomorrow's lunch.
To his left is a pretty, middle-aged brunette in a purple button-down shirt worn by the employees of Fortune Valley.
His voice is loud and grating, startling in the nearly empty casino.
The only other sounds are the whirs and whizzes of the cartoonish slot machines, the pop songs being played over the sound system, and the hum of a vacuum cleaner.
So often that the 51-year-old knows many of the Fortune Valley staffers by name, including this particular employee, whom he nicknamed "Snooki" because he thinks she looks like the big-haired, big-mouthed Jersey Shore star, though he's never actually seen the show.
Mark is a slim man with weathered skin and a gray mustache who tonight is wearing a white T-shirt tucked into high-waisted black track pants.
He prefers to gamble on weeknights because there are "fewer idiots" at the casinos, he says.
He usually arrives in Central City at about 8:30 p.
He always drives β€” "Do I look like a goddamn bus rider to you?
That was in November 2004.
By then, gambling had been legal for thirteen years.
But after experiencing a boom in the early days, Central City was about to go best free online slot game />Almost everyone who wanted to gamble would drive up the canyon to Colorado Highway 119 and then stop off at the big casinos in Black Hawk instead of going the extra mile to the smaller spots in Central City.
Rather than fold, town leaders made a risky bet.
They decided to build an eight-mile highway that would connect I-70 directly to Central City, circumventing Black Hawk.
The Central City Parkway was to be paid off by the local businesses and casinos, which by that point had dwindled to five.
The biggest, with 745 slots and 118 hotel rooms, was Fortune Valley.
It needed a way to control its own destiny," says Joe Behm, director of marketing for Fortune Valley.
When the road opened, Behm and others predicted it would attract 6,000 to 8,000 daily trips β€” which, in turn, would bring more money and several new casinos to Central City.
Six years later, the Central City Parkway has yet to fulfill all of those dreams.
The town's growth "has been slower than anticipated," Behm admits.
A few casinos have opened and then closed β€” but a couple more, including the sizable Century Casino, opened and stayed open.
Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment, which operates several big casinos in the Midwest, bought a 1.
But it's not clear when, or if, that time will come.
Meanwhile, many of the 2,000 to 3,000 drivers who come over the Central City Parkway every day pass straight through town and head down the hill to glitzier Black Hawk.
Mark is sometimes among them.
He splits his time between Fortune Valley and the swanky Ameristar, choosing his destination based on which casino's video-poker machines are treating him better.
The son of a wealthy oil-and-gas businessman, Mark claims he makes more gambling than he does working, which he admits he doesn't do much of.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission.
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Support Our Journalism But he's losing tonight.
The rest of the dozen or so remaining slot jockeys are quiet, their eyes glued to their screens, their feet propped up on the ledges of their machines.
A lone cocktail waitress in a short black skirt circles with a full tray of drinks.
Maintenance men amble up and down the stairs, looking bored.
That's more than he likes to lose in a single night, but he knows he'll have a chance to win it back.
Or at least break even.
He cashes out, grabs his room-temperature burritos and makes for the door.
Thanks to the Parkway, it's less than thirty miles back to Denver.
And less than five hours to dawn.
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I wasn't really sure what to expect.
There are only three locations in Colorado where state-sponsored gambling is legal: Black Hawk and Central City are near Denver.
Cripple Creek is near Colorado Springs.
To get to Central City, you drive through Black Hawk, and anyway, it is a much more developed gambling market than Central City.
I was suprised at the amount and scale of the gaming offerins they have, and the town is nice, too.
It is set high up in a mountain valley in the Rockies, west of Denver just off Interstate 70.
There are probably more casinos in a square mile than anywhere in the world maybe Macau has moreso if you like to casino hop, this is your place.
I stopped in Vail on the way east on I-70 and got my first taste of what lay in store.
The place was PACKED.
However, I-70 was absolutely jammed between Vail and Best casino no deposit bonus codes />The worst traffic Source have ever encountered in my life.
It was a Sunday afternoon, so I assume everybody was coming back home from the weekend.
There was a beautiful rainbow in the Rockies, so it was hard to get angry about the traffic.
I pulled off I-70 onto the Central City Parkway, which is a mountain road that goes straight to Central City, bypassing Black Hawk.
It is a nice four-lane highway with very steep grades and curves.
I coasted down a steep hill into Central City itself.
There isn't much of a town there.
I parked in a surface lot and walked around a bit.
It is an old mining town, and the casinos are placed in the storefronts and repurposed old buildings.
Most of the casinos are on multiple levels, and it is easy to get lost, with different entrances.
The first casino I went into was the Century.
It seemed to big one of the bigger ones in CC.
They had a few table games upstairs, but they looked kind of dead, so I didn't play.
I walked across the street to the Bonanza.
I think it was an old saloon or something.
I lost, but they mixed a mean and generous white russian.
You can step outside for a smoking break on the patio.
I checked out a few more casinos in CC, but they seemed to be mostly slots.
Down the road was Fortune Valley, a larger place but one that didn't have anything that attracted me to it.
What is this, Manhattan?
Finally, I checked out the final casino in CC, Johnny Zee's.
This is my new favorite casino.
Unfortunately the penetration is piss-poor, but what a good game!
While I was playing, they came around twice with a hors d'oueveres tray.
One was some kind of olive tapanade, the other was cheesesteaks.
What a great idea!
They had me hooked at this point.
The action was good and the crews were friendly.
Unfortunately, the dice were not cooperating.
I highly recommend Johnny Zee's.
I got back in my car in the pouring rain and drove down the hill to Black Hawk, determined to get a comped room for the night.
I refuse to pay for casino rooms on principle except when I do.
Fortunately, my prayers were answered at the Isle of Capri, and its sister property, Lady Luck.
They had a promotion where if you earned 500 points in one day, you got a hotel room for the night.
The rooms at the Isle are nice, about on the level with a Holiday Inn Express, with nice beds, iron, safe, and large bathroom.
The Isle and the Lady Luck are one of only four casinos with hotels in Black Hawk.
The other ones are at The Lodge, and at the Ameristar, which has a HUGE hotel but pretty fancy.
I walked around a bit, used my food comp from Lady Luck for a Bison Burger, and played Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em at the Riv.
The Riveria Black Hawk is one of the nicer, and bigger, casinos in BH and is nothing like the Riviera is Las Vegas.
They are also the first casino you hit driving in from Denver, but they still didn't seem that crowded.
The next casino up the road is the Lady Luck, and attached to it, the Isle of Capri.
They are corporate cousins.
The Isle, like most Isle of Capri properties, is kind of downscale and grind-jointy.
Not like any of the casino in Black Hawk aren't.
Walking uphill, you reach a trio of Golden Gaming casinos: Golden Gulch, Golden Gates and Golden Mardi Gras.
They best casinos in central city use the same players club, and are all fairly small.
Gates has a very large poker room, and a "sexy dealers" pit.
The dealers didn't look very sexy from what I saw, however.
The Gulch is what looks to be a house filled with slots.
They are all coin droppers.
They give out free popcorn.
Up next are two very large properties.
The Lodge and Ameristar.
Ameristar is the obvious 800-pound gorilla in Black Hawk.
Their property is brand-new, huge, with a 500-room hotel that towers over everything in the city.
There was a very nice buffet, so I made a note to come buy the next day and earn a comp for it.
The buffet was very good, but mostly stood out for its Asian section, where they would prepare for you a bowl of Best casinos in central city noodle soup.
It was probably the best Pho I've had in my life, with fresh cilantro, mint, jalapenos, and hot sacue for garnish.
I should have gotten two bowls.
The Lodge is right smack-dab in the middle of Black Hawk and seems to be the busiest in town.
It is very convenient to get to, with a large parking garage.
The gaming offerings were mediocre, best casinos in central city poorer blackjack rules and video poker than the other places in town.
They did have a large poker room, and a nice fish pond right by the table games pit.
I did remarkable, best new england casino consider play at the Lodge, but I liked the decor.
Between the Lodge and "central" Black Hawk is a small dead space sites canada poker best you kind of have to walk past.
The casinos following are smaller, more "local" joints compared to the coporate titans further downhill.
They actually are storefront casinos, taking up the old storefronts in Black Hawk.
The first casino is the Canyon Club.
This is an unremarkable casino with slots and table games.
I wandered by the craps game and they had half-tabled it and one guy was playing the don'ts.
The shooter was impressed.
He obliged me by rolling a seven.
Next door to the Canyon Club is the Gilpin, another storefront casino that is in an old hotel.
I didn't play since the crew looked bored and there wasn't much action.
Next up is Fitzgeralds.
Unfortunately, I misplaced the coupon book after about 3 minutes.
I was too ashamed to ask for another one.
Black Hawk casinos get shittier the further uphill you go.
The last casinos I came to were a real trip.
They were Bull Whackers, Bull Durham, Wild Card, Black Hawk Station, and the Sasquatch casino.
Actually Bull Whackers was pretty nice, with a beautiful Victorian interior, but only slots.
The others were some of the craziest casinos I've been in.
They were all coin-dropper slots, no table games, in what looked to be dilapated houses.
You walked up narrow staircases to the attic, which was also crammed with slots, and also had a soda fountain.
The Sasquatch casino took the cake.
They floor was astroturf, with a huge furry figure of a Sasquatch in the center.
The slots looked like they had just been tossed anywhere in the room.
I did have some good luck at Black Hawk Station.
The slot was one of the "Hundred or Nothing" slots.
Otherwise you get nothing.
My type of slot!
Well, three spins in, you guessed it, the sevens lined up and the dollar tokens came clanking into the tray.
I was one of the lucky ones that day; the slot attendant showed me her log and only two or three out of maybe fifty won best casinos in central city day.
It was certainly an appreciated win, since I never play slots.
I would recommend visiting.
The product is good, and the physical setting is absoltely gorgeous.
It would be fun to get away in the mountains after a day or two of gambling.
The only thing I would suggest for improvement is more, and more affordable, hotel rooms.
Most of the clientele seemed to by day trippers from Denver.
The amount of freebies you can pile up, especially if you are a newcomer, is astounding.
I especially like the free hot dog and cookies I got from one casino for signing up.
Yum : "Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe.
I'll have to give Johnny Zee's a shot.
I've only been in some of the larger casinos.
Since I really can't stand playing slots, I don't go to the mom and pop shops.
I would go a lot more often if the rooms were decently priced.
I live about 60 miles away and it would be nice not read article home at 2am.
I once stayed at the Isle of Capri in a suite.
It was really nice and it had a huge jetted tub in the room.
The view from the window was excellent too.
Interesting that odds bet is https://ipodxs.com/best/the-best-gambling-sites.html considered to be a separate bet.
Or considering narrow icy roads, accident avoidance rooms is perhaps better.
If not a comped room then some sort of crash pad type place would work wonders.
I know some RVers trek from casino to casino visiting various historical sites along the way.
Space in an RV park might not be too likely in a cramped mountain town though.
Alas, this gambling experience has proven to be atypical.
Can't wait for your Cripple Creek report, home of the.
Quote: gambler Teddys, what were the odds for the majority of the craps tables?
Johnny Zee's might have been 20x.
I live just west of the Eisenhower Tunnel.
I would have told you that whatever else you do, stay the hell off I-70 on Sunday afternoons.
Otherwise, glad you enjoyed the experience.
As of a couple months ago Johnny Z's was 10x and the Lodge was 345x on craps, although the "odds scene" here is kind of fluid.
I still play at the Lodge because they rate odds on craps and I get decent promos from them.
Hotel rooms are very easy to get comped on weeknights and very difficult to get comped on weekends.
The spread here is greater than it is in Vegas.
There really is no destination traffic and I'm not sure this will ever change.
There aren't a lot of places to put convention centers, giant pools or other facilities.
Of the three hotels I've stayed at there, Isle was easily the least nice.
Not terrible, and worth staying at for free, but the Lady Luck and Lodge rooms are noticibly newer and better furnished.
Johnny Z's uses the Fortune Valley hotel.
Fortune Valley, by the way, had a recent remodel and now has a much more modern, source look inside.
Interesting that odds bet is not considered to be a separate bet.
The issue best casinos in central city everyone requires the odds bet to result in an exact integer payout.
This is true everywhere I've played here, so I presume some sort of state law requires it or states the casino must always round up on payouts.
I am planning on spending a Friday night and a Wednesday night in Black Hawk next month.
I appreciate any suggestions on where to stay, eat, etc.
Any place that I have to check out?
Interesting to hear that the Lodge rates your odds bet.
Anywhere else do that?
How hard is it to get a comped room when playing just table games?
Any advice or thoughts from Colorado people is most welcome.

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Casinos are putting money into improvements for downtown Cripple Creek, hoping for better times ahead.
The plan calls for the partial closure of Second Street and adjacent alleys to consolidate a 6-acre site in the heart of the Bennett Avenue Historic District.
The 200-room hotel would have resort-scale amenities, and would be best casinos in central city to draw overnight visitors, not just weekday gamblers.
In an earlier interview, he noted that the gaming spend in Colorado Springs is substantially below that of comparable cities with easy access to casino gambling.
When Colorado voters legalized limited-stakes casino in gambling in the mountain towns of Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek in 1991, the three towns experienced a decade-long economic renaissance.
In Cripple Creek, the sleepy storefronts along Bennett Avenue were quickly converted to casino use.
By the early 2000s many of the small operators had disappeared, yet the maturing market seemed reasonably healthy and dynamic.
The recession changed everything.
But while Cripple Creek declined, Black Hawk prospered.
But Cripple Creek is a real city, a place with history, tradition and spirited, disputatious residents.
That sense of place was evident before the afternoon council meeting, as citizens waited in line for the doors to open.
We know each other.
He was there as a consultant to Full House, blending right in with the unpretentious, casually dressed crowd.
The doors opened, and more than 100 people jammed the cramped, airless meeting room.
During the next five hours, dozens would speak for and against the proposal, but the ayes far outweighed the nays.
He understands best casinos in central city city.
People here really appreciate and expect that one-on-one attention.
Small business owners wanted more potential customers, and were impressed by the numbers: 300,000 square feet of new construction, a more walkable and accessible downtown and the prospect of broad-based community revitalization.
Council agreed, voting unanimously to approve the project subject to some minor modifications proposed by city staff.
That best casinos in central city is also good news for Colorado Springs.
We should think of a revived Cripple Creek as another regional attraction, another fun thing for visitors and residents alike.
The cog railway on Pikes Peak may have vanished for good, but in two years we can visit the new Cripple Creek.
It is Gordy, not Gary.
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We'll take the money, but too many and locals can't enjoy the amenities in their own backyard.
It gets far too crowded in the summer.
I didn't move here for this.