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Cripple Creek Casinos (Cripple Creek, Colorado)

Cripple Creek

On a never-ending quest to find and report on casinos throughout the world, my travels included a one night stop in the old gold mining town of Cripple Creek, Colorado. The city was established in the 1800's as a mining district and has since pulled out over $472 million in gold from the ground. In the mid 1890's a brothel was set ablaze by a woman having a fight with her husband and caused the wooden buildings to catch fire, destroying the city. Other fires were set at different locations to complete the destruction of the city; when these arsonists were found, they were promptly hanged.

Today, Cripple Creek is fully restored to its infamous days (along with a couple of newer buildings), the city boasts about 500 residents and has two active mines. At one time in the 1890's the town had 50,000 residents and it was the Wild West, complete with Saloons, Brothels and even a Playhouse for theater. Today it truly is an old cowboy town. When it was rebuilt in the late 1890's, it was almost completely rebuilt as it was, and except for some modern conveniences it looks like it has never progressed.

The city has 18 gambling parlors, most on E. Bennet Street. They are quaint, and stepping into any of these will bring you to an era you have only read about in history books.

The City itself is located in Central Colorado Rocky Mountains, at the southern edge of Pike National Forest (Pike's Peak Area), and is 9,475 feet above sea level.

The names of the casinos are well thought out, there are the Gold Rush Hotel & Casino, The Brass Ass, Midnight Rose, Black Diamond, the Colorado Grand, The Wild Horse, Imperial, Bronco Billy's and Double Creek, among others.

There are many things for tourists to do and its a good place to bring the kids, not only will they learn some history, but they might actually enjoy the Donkey Races, Street Gunfights, or a trip to the mining areas on original Short Line Trains. That is, if you can tear yourself away from the gambling.

I stopped first in Bronco Billy's. Billing itself as Cripple Creek's 'Lucky" Casino there are over 600 slot machines ranging from 1 penny to $5. Every hour they announce, at the top of the hour "Double Jackpots" to some lucky winners. There is 1 Poker table and 3 Blackjack tables. Colorado law sets the limit on all gambling at $5 per. So it is a good place to come in, sit down and have a friendly afternoon or evening, without the risk of losing too much. The dealers and servers were friendly and had old world western charm. If you are hungry, daily specials start at just .49 cents and go all the way up to $6.95 for a great T-bone dinner at the Home Cafe, or if you are really lucky, you might want to make reservations at The Steakhouse, which is billed as the having the best food in Cripple Creek. Bronco Bill'y was doing so well the owners opened an expanded area called Buffalo Billy's and added 200 slots, 3 Blackjack and 1 Poker table.

For the name alone I had to go to the Brass Ass Casino. Inside there were almost 200 slot machines ranging in price from a nickel to $5. Cowboy decor abounds, there are free hot dogs, popcorn and non alcoholic drinks while you are pumping those colorado nickels into the slots.

The Virgin Mule was the next stop. A family owned rest stop, can hardly be called a casino. It has 54 slot machines, yeah I counted them. There is a snack bar serving hot dogs, hamburgers and tamales. The attraction here seems to be a 100 year old bank vault located inside this small venue.

My next to last stop of the night was at Midnight Rose Casino. By far one of the cities largest casinos it has 2 floors of gambling. Live poker, 7 card stud, Texas and Omaha Hold 'Em can be played at their 8 tables. there are over 350 slots, some in house progressives as all other casinos offer. The Midnight Rose comes complete with an elegant hotel with Victorian style rooms. There are themed suites with jacuzzis and fireplaces and of course, a great steakhouse on the property.

Johnny Nolon's Casinos was the ending of my trip to Cripple Creek. With over 230 slot machines, video poker, in house progressives it is a slots only casino. I found the slots to be loose at almost every machine I tried. Although they did not have high payouts, the Blazin' 7's were fun to play and winning was more frequent than on other machines. I had similar luck on Double Diamond , but did not hit the progressive. After all of the casinos visited, my net was a gain of $143.

I recommend Cripple Creek to anyone that is entertaining the idea of visiting the Denver or Colorado Springs area, especially if you have to tote the tots along, it is great family fun.

Reviewed by Larry Rutherford, editor at proactive online casino website, Casino Gambling Web.

Cripple Creek Casinos
256 E. Bennett Ave
Cripple Creek, Colorado 80813
(800) 635-LUCK (5825)

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