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Providing Casino, Hotel and Gaming information for the Colorado mountain-gambling-towns of Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek, as well as Native American Casinos in Colorado.
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Central City and Black Hawk, Colorado
The Central City / Black Hawk area is a 45 minute drive, northwest of Denver, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.  For decades Central City was a popular mountain destination for Denverites when the Central City Opera was in season!  When Gaming was introduced in Colorado, the focus changed.  Gaming was strong in Central City, and then the adjoining town of Black Hawk "took over," mostly because of  it's *geographic location on the main access road, one passes through Black Hawk to get to Central City.  The first casinos in the area were Mom and Pop Victorian storefronts.  The Major Players made a move in the 90s and continue to build into and up the mountain side.  Full gaming, upscale restaurants and shows are now offered.  Is it a change for better or...

Something was lost and something was gained.  The sleepy charm of the quaint mountain villages is gone.  Many locals are displeased with this turn of events.  On the other hand, loads of transplants to Colorado are thrilled with the reality of casinos in their backyard.  Central City might, by default, regain what was lost and return to being an "Opera town," with a new twist:  a Wolfgang Puck type serving food down the street.  For some of the locals who stayed on, the sound of a dog barking at midnight, being replaced with the horn honking sound of a BMW or a limousine heading down the mountain is, I'm sure, disappointing.   For some of the gamblers, restaurant patrons or other customers who might be going to a show, a great escape from Denver, for a few hours, is greatly welcomed, if not needed.  BC

* A few years back Central City retaliated by installing a road, Central City Parkway, that cut a swath through the hills of Clear Creek County, direct from I-70 into Central City.

"You win some, you loose some and the rest get rained out."  J.A.
 
William Frederick Cody, "Buffalo Bill"  "The year 1859, found Bill rushing to the gold fields of Colorado along with thousands of other prospectors. Searching for gold for two months near Black Hawk, Colorado, he met with little success."  Read more - Bio of Buffalo Bill
 
"Mountain City was the first name given to the ragged string of camp-like settlements, but as the boom subsided and the hard work of extracting the gold began, the remaining population began to coalesce into more organized town sites.  Up the gulch to the west was Nevada, also know[sic] as Nevadaville or Bald Mountain.  Below it lay Central City, and further down, where the gulch flowed into the North Branch of Clear Creek, was established Black Hawk Point.  Most accounts insist the name came form an early "stamp" mill brought in from Illinois and named for the famous Indian chief Read more of the History of Black Hawk
  "At 12:01 a.m. Thursday, July 2, 2009, Colorado casinos raise[d] gaming stakes a notch, adding: Roulette and Craps, raising wager limits from $5 to $100, and extending hours to a full-blown 24/7. Prior to the passing of amendment 50, the casinos closed at 2 a.m. and the only (table) games in town were: poker, blackjack and let it ride."  read more...    
COLORADO CASINOS LIST
COLORADO CASINOS HOTEL LIST
COLORADO CASINO BUFFETS
Gasoline Filling Station near Black Hawk, Colorado
Driving Directions from Denver to Black Hawk and Central City, Colorado
Gaming News / Updates - The Colorado Casinos
Free Shuttle Bus between Central City and Black Hawk
Doctors and Lawyers/Attorneys in the Black Hawk, Central City area
Central City Sign  
Central City turnoff from I-70  
 
Central City Parkway  
Approach into Central City   
Approach into Central City Black Hawk
 
See more photos (below)
Also read Gaming Updates about the casinos.

GET GASSED IN THE MOUNTAINS
 
Johnny Zs Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado runs a gas-filling-station just a few minutes from Black Hawk
Z-Stop Gas Station (formerly Bullwhackers Gas)
1351 Highway 119, Golden, CO 
(303) 279-0213 ‎
Leaving Black Hawk, drive down (toward Denver) on C-119 for about 6 miles (about ten minutes.)
Z-Stop Gas Station  - Click link for more info...     routes


   
Two routes from Denver to the Gaming
Towns of Black Hawk and Central City, Colorado
 
6th Avenue West to I-70 West through
Central City Parkway
is about 38 miles (45-50 minutes.)


Take 6th Avenue West to divided 4-lane I-70 West,
then another 8+ miles on 4-lane CC Parkway
*Because of summer road-construction, there may be a bit of a detour to reach the 6th and Kalamath St. departure point
(which is a central point of Denver.)

[ If there are no construction detours, continue from
West 6th Ave. and Kalamath St.]
DIRECTIONS (Distances are approximate)
West 6th Ave. and Kalamath St. to Central City:
  • Continue onto US-6 W / 6th Ave to the I-70 W on-ramp (8.3 mi)
  • Take the exit onto I-70 W toward Grand Jct (17.9 mi)
  • Take exit 243 toward Hidden Valley/Central City (0.2 mi)
  • Follow Central City Pkwy to W 1st High St in Central City (8.5 mi / 14 min)
  • Welcome to Central City
  • Black Hawk is just on the other side of Central City
This drive cuts through the mountains on Interstate I-70, cuts a path through the Evergreen Forests of the Colorado Rockies
 
[Our GPS test suggests that this route is fastest - the GPS was set for Fastest Time.]  Travel time based on average traffic.

ALTERNATE ROUTE
Sixth Avenue West to Colorado 119 to Black Hawk
is about 36 miles (50-55 minutes.)
*Read about the detour to reach the
6th and Kalamath Street departure point (above.)
DIRECTIONS from 6th & Kalamath
  • Take W 6th Avenue Fwy W (9.5 mi)
  • Merge onto I-70 W toward Grand Junction (16.7 mi)
  • Merge onto US Highway 6/US-6 E via EXIT 244 toward Golden (3.1 mi)
  • Turn left onto CO-119/Highway 119 (7.3 mi)
  • Turn left onto Main St. If you reach Silver Gulch Rd you've gone a little too far (0.3 mi)
    Information from Mapquest
Driving Distance and Directions from DIA (Denver International Airport) to Central City/Black Hawk.
  • I-70 W 60.89 miles
  • 1 hour 5 mins
    Based on average traffic
  1. Start out going south on Peña Blvd. (10.5 mi.)
  2. Merge onto I-70 W via the exit on the left (41.7 mi.)
  3. Take EXIT 243 toward Hidden Valley/Central City (0.3 mi.)
  4. Turn right onto Central City Pkwy. (8.0 mi)
    If you reach I-70 W you've gone about 0.1 miles too far
  5. Central City Pkwy becomes Nevada St. (0.3 mi)
  6. Turn slight right onto Spring St. (0.08 mi)
  7. Welcome to CENTRAL CITY, CO.
  8. If you reach Lawrence St you've gone a little too far
  9. Black Hawk is on the other side of Cental City
 
 Please let us know if any of this information is incorrect.
      OLD NEWS from:  Update - March 10, 2005 - I just tried out the new route to Central City, which is about a thirty minute drive West on I-70 to the Central City turn off, then about another eight miles on the new four lane (no-median-strip) highway which takes you directly into Central City...Black Hawk is just on the other side of Central City...  
It is certainly a faster drive and the somewhat unnerving (especially when there's snow,) snaking curves, parallel to the creek are bypassed.  The new highway is on fairly flat land - all the way.  All said, I think the new route is more inviting and will make, at least , some people more inclined to visit Central City and Black Hawk.  In the days and nights of warmer weather, the old route will still be available for a longer, more romantic drive.  
  "Remember to load the machines"
"The less you bet the more you loose when you win!"
 
      
   
Some interesting things to see on "the ride up."  
On the Ride Up I-70 from Denver through Central City Parkway:   
Drive out 6th Avenue West to the I-70 West turnoff (8.3 mi)
15 minutes on I-70 and you're in the mountains.
Exit 259 - Mother Cabrini Shrine - follow signs
Exit 256 - Buffalo Bill's Grave
Exit 256 - Watch for The *Clam Shell House on the mountain to your left
Exit 254 - Genesee Buffalo Herd Overlook
Exit 253 - Chief Hosa - Lodge and Campground
Exit 252 - El Rancho Restaurant - 18 mi. west of Denver CLOSED 2013
Exit 248 - Ski Country Antiques - Click for directions
Exit 244 - Kermitts Roadhouse in Idaho Springs
Exit 243 - Central City Parkway
Denver West / Central City KOA RV Park, on the right just before Central City
Central City / Black Hawk Casinos
 
Buffalo Bill's Grave sign Chief Hosa sign
"Sleeper" Clam House Genesee Bison Herd
Genesee Park sign Genesee Bison Herd
   
Eldora ski area sign El Rancho roadhouse restaurant - CLOSED 2013
Ski Country Antiques Kermitts Roadhouse
Hidden Valley/Central City Gambler's Edge RV Park - 0PEN
Central City Parkway Entering Central City
 
Central City Parkway - Exit    
Click thumbnail for larger image
 
The Gambler's Edge RV Park is OPEN for business, doing business under a new name:
Denver West / Central City KOA RV Park
     
CityData.Com - All about Central city
 
Find any Colorado casino or (most) any casino in the World, at CASINO CITY.com!
news
Gaming News
 
 UPDATES FROM THE COLORADO MOUNTAIN TOWNS
2016
Gaming in Black Hawk and Central City is a bit different in 2016! Some folks are reporting some pretty decent wins at the Lodge and - yes - even at The Ameristar.
One party hit a nice $2500 slot. The buffets as usual are tasty with lots of Crab Legs to go around.
The Riviera, as you probably know, has closed just like its parent company in Las Vegas.
The Riv's former building now houses The Monarch Casino, a hotel is on the way.
Both Monarch Casino Black Hawk and Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, NV are owned and operated by Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc. Atlantis is a Four Diamond property in the heart of Reno, NV with a world-class resort, liberal gaming, an award-winning spa and eight exceptional restaurants. For more information on Atlantis, visit atlantiscasino.com.
2015
  • 7/11/2015 - We drove up to the casinos this date and had a wonderful time.  My daughter and son-in-law had comps at the Lodge Casino, so we did the buffet. It was especially good. The expienience almost started out badly when one hostess wanted us to sit at a table farthest from the buffet.  My daughter asked if we could wait for another table since one of us used a cane.  Shooting hate-darts from her eyes, the woman - very rudely - refused saying that they were slammed, so we sat; I spotted a more friendly woman as well as another table - up front - and asked if we could move.  She cheerfully accomodated us and we moved. Everyone remarked that the (All-You-Can-Eat) Crab Lags were uncommonly fresh, sweet and tasty. Besides the excellent Crab Legs, and the Peal & Eat Shrimp, I was impressed with the Italian/Pasta Station. (Parboiled) Fettuccine, Ravioli and Spaghetti are re-heated in boiling water, then tossed in a saute pan with a choice of sauces, meats/vegetables. I chose the Fettuccine with the meat-sauce, it was decent. The Lodge Buffet seems to be our favorite buffet in the mountain-towns. The room is cozy (as cozy as a buffet-room can be,) there are windows; the buffet is laid out horseshoe-style with salads and desserts in the center. Buffet price on Saturday night was (Friday & Saturday 4:00 pm – 11:00 pm) $21.49 +tax Here's a link to our page for the Lodge Casino Buffet.

  • 7/11/2015 - Gaming as usual at The lodge was not too bad.  I was down about half-way in when I Started to recoup earlier losses, then finally was back in the black, in the last hour. I broke about even on The Lodge's ¢.25/$3.00 minimum Roulette machine.  Played my favorite ¢.01 Hexbreaker slot. There's a Bally's Michael Jackson King of Pop Immersion Video slot which I played that's really cool. The seat moves and shakes like you're sitting at a rock concert and two speakers at the top of the seat blares the rock-icon's tunes. It's quite an expienience. We had some free-cash at The Ameristar so we played that out then left; we really don't bother playing at The Ameristar any more since it's so difficult to win, and the machines (card readers) don't show your points so it's difficult to know where you stand.   

  • 6/21/15 - Nice buffet at Ameristar:  GRILLFEST DINNER BUFFET - $19.95 [*Price includes $5 mychoice discount] Add 1 pound of crab legs for $8.95.  Everything was excellent except some green beans which were not fully cooked and likewise for a sweet-potato salad.  The salad-bar is Las Vegas stocked with all the trimmings, desserts are special, the Italian station works, as well as the other stations.  Black Hawk as well as Central City was really jumping for Father's Day.  The mountain towns were as packed as I've ever seen them.

  • 6/21/15 - Slot/Gambling, as usual, was tight at The Ameristar.  Most traditional machines have been replaced with 1¢ (?) video slots.  In order to load these machines you need to play $3 or $4 a pop.  Pure B.S.  The card readers still don't display a running point total so you're always in the dark.  I recommend The Lodge Casino (or anywhere else) for slots, at least you'll know your slot-point total.  There are a few Double Bonus machines on the floor but old-school slots are being phased out.  WC

  • 6/21/15 - The Lodge Casino was also fairly tight; I did alright at the (25¢/$3.00 minimum) Electric Roulette table.  Hexbreaker was stiff!  WC  

  • 2/4/15 - The Ameristar has IGTs Batman Slots, very cool.  IGT scores again.

  • 2/4/15 - We had a comfortable room at  The Lodge Casino. Their White Buffalo Grille is excellent.

Starbucks
 
July, 2014

[1] July 2, 2014 The Ameristar Hotel Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado is playing hard-ball with the slot/video machines.  The slot-card reader screens are not displaying slot-card point totals, so it's impossible to monitor your points without leaving the machine and taking a trip to a kiosk.  It's impossible to know how many points you've accumulated or, more importantly, how many more plays are required to receive another point.  This may be a deal-breaker for me.  I'm going to seriously reduce my playtime at this casino if not stopping altogether and going elsewhere.  If you can't monitor your points you can't know when you you need just a few more plays to finish a point or quit.  Bad choice Ameristar.  The Reserve, The Lodge and other casinos are not doing this, their machines still provide a running point balance on the slot-card screen.  Ameristar quit giving out incentive cash as of - at least - June, 2014.  On the other hand, there's a good $5 minimum $.25¢, multi-seat (10-12 seats) roulette-machine -  at Ameristar, near the Starbucks on the main level. 

There are some decent $.01 Video Poker machines (very few) at The Reserve Hotel Casino They're either 10/8 or 9/6, I don't remember, but either way the play is decent.  Also The Reserve has $.01 Muti-Card Keno now - as of June 15, 2014.  BEWARE! This casino will scrub your slot-card points after a certain period of inactivity.  At the time they dumped my points, it was 90 days.  Unbelievable!  If they did this in Las Vegas they would be on everybody's s--- list, very disappointed in this.

The Lodge Hotel Casino had King Crab Legs on the buffet line June 16, 2014 as well as Marinated Herring (cream-sauce) in addition to everything else at the buffet (click the link for more information,) very nice.  The Lodge has a multi-seat (10-12 seats) $.25¢, $3.00 minimum roulette-machine that is beatable!  Also I was stoked to find a $.01¢ Hexbreaker Slot at The Lodge.  The slots seems to be fairly loose here, several in our party left in the green.  In fact, I'm going out on a limb saying the the Mountain Casinos seem to be fairly loose this summer. [ Play JUST-FOR-FUN-NO-CASH-BETTING, Double Double Bonus Poker and/or Deuces Wild Poker online at The Lodge's Website, click the link.

  • Sign up for a slot-card at the Saratoga Casino Black Hawk, formerly Fitzgerald's Black Hawk and receive $10.00 or $15.00 in machine or table play; get a free buffet after logging a certain number of points on your card, more specials - June, 2014.   More information is coming...

[1] July 2 - I mailed Ameristar last week and they responded saying that the situation with the card readers was temporary and that the machines would soon be back to normal.   WC

CHECKED AGAIN 2/4/2015 - PROBLEM STILL EXSISTS...

That's about it for now, more information is coming...

OLDER NEWS

November 26, 2013 - There's a killer 100-line, 3D, IGT slot called BILLY GOAT BUCKS at The Ameristar in Colorado (and around the country) that will provide a very nice payoff if you can catch the wave.  IF you hit IT, you can ride for a half-hour on multiple, free bonus-games that will reward more and more free bones games for the player.  Layered glass at the main screen provides a realistic 3D effect which is really cool. Billy Goat Bucks Information

September 1, 2010 - This is a short bit about a very cool looking slot I found in Colorado.
I saw an incredible looking gambling machine the other day at one of the casino's in Black Hawk Colorado.  It is called The Time Machine and it's patterned after the movie, The Time Machine.  The slot seat looks a bit like the Time Machine chair in the movie.  I didn't get a chance to play it but it looked like it shook and made some good sound during the bonus round.  The graphics were on the high end, very elegant photo realism if I recall correctly. I'll check it out and report back here.  When I did a search for the machine found this interesting site with a revue of The Time Machine:
http://www.slotsgeek.com/slots/cryptologic/time-machine/.  This is an online gambling site which supposedly has free (play for fun - no money) gambling links.  I tried three or four of the links, with no luck - couldn't get on. Some of the other interesting machines I've seen lately are Margarita Rose [more to come...]   I played this slot at Ameristar Black Hawk. I also played one of my favs' Multi Strike Poker at Ameristar and The Riviera Black Hawk.

UPDATE 9/4/10 - Went back to the mountains and played The Time Machine at The Riviera and Fortune Valley. [Both of these casinos have changed names/owners - May, 2015] I should have known, the slot is crafted by WMS. It's a WMS total immersion slot machine. The great sound comes from BOSE sound equipment in the machine. There is a nice kick with one of the bonuses: when the player hits a certain symbol(s) some type of roller thumps the back of the chair, in other words: the chair shakes as the roller applies a quick thrust to the middle of your back. This occurs, of course, in sync with a loud musical / drum note.
 
Alas, I didn't hit the full bonus during the short time I played so I don't know what happens with the machine. I'm guessing that it shakes and rocks and rolls to the music from the BOSE speakers.  I'll keep trying but it can get pricy with a full load and maybe that's what you have to do to hit the bonus
.

Even OLDer NEWS!

3 of the hottest new slot machines at the 2008 Gaming Expo are from AC Coin & Slot! Check out Smoken Hot's sizzling lucrative Bonus Round, 
Double Diamond's Bank Roll Round, and Slingo's unique edge!

November, 2009 at Black Hawk, Colorado's casinos.
Colorado casinos November, 2009 - I played some interesting penny slots in the mountain casinos this month. The machines were Bally's but they played more like high-end WMS slots. There are 5 or 6 console machines of the same basic style wheeling around a round carousel. The machines are called Hot Shot Progressive. The one I preferred at Ameristar Casino was a 5 reel console game with sharp graphics and CD quality sound called Bonus Times. The GIG (Game In Game) bonus is the hook. When you hit the bonus you get free spins that can be very decent. When you hit 3 or more bonus symbols you get the same number of free spins as the number of bonus symbols - 5 bonus symbols is the max. The bonuses are: Bonus Times, Wild Times, Two Times, Three Times and Hot Times. Another bonus is that chick voices in the background shout game phrases as the bonus rounds come up, such as "Bonus Times" etc. The machine was very comfortable and you almost sit "in it" instead of at it. The sound quality is way above average and the programming is interesting. A strong bass line with a drum starts at the beginning of every hand. The machines were pretty tight though in Black Hawk so I don't really know if you can make money at it. All in all, it's a good ride. The game is
good enough to play even if you don't cash in. Maximum lines you can play is 20; the Maximum wager is 5 coins per line. This is a progressive machine with high-end payoffs.

 
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