The drive up was easy, the drive down was a bit dicey for a minute, due to the snow that hit this little mountain town last night around midnight, so I’ve heard. I actually was there but I was in the room by midnight watching the tube and eating a Brooklyn Panini ($5.95) consisting of meatballs with marinara and a slice of cheese on Panini bread, brushed with butter, and toasted in that special panini-press. Included for the $5.95 are chips and soda. I normally don’t do a lot of these but I guess it’s called Panini bread.
I received a brochure with two free-money coupons and a coupon for a free room from the Fortune Valley Hotel Casino in Central City, Colorado two weeks ago. I made a reservation for Wednesday the 30th of November. One cash coupon was for November, the other for December. So I cashed one in Wednesday night, the other the following day, Thursday the 1st of December.
This wasn’t my favorite hotel in the Central City/Black Hawk area – in fact it was one of my least favorite of the larger hotel/casinos on the mountain.
Fortune Valley has undergone a makeover.
The first clue was the slick technicolor, coupon-brochure that I got in the mail. It was first-rate, first-class. The images were crisp with vibrant colors, attractive people, lots of blue – the color – and guitars. The guitars representing the (brand) new theme of the hotel – Rock & Roll! Resplendent with dozens of guitars: hanging, in cases with other rock memorabilia and positioned here and there. Having owned an easy dozen guitars over the years, of course, guitars attract me. 60s and 70s rock posters of Jimi Hendrix, The Stones et-al, an exact replica of Peter Fonda’s “Captain America” bike from one of my favorite movies, Easy Rider, as well as other motorcycles and other hip eye-candy all work – to some degree – to create a warm(er) ambiance. Definitely an improvement over the last incarnation. Mirrors on the ceiling would raise the – somewhat stifling – low ceiling, raising the virtual headroom. Listening management? Ceiling mirrors would double the warmth/lighting factor of the casino (check out The Peppermill in Reno). If mirroring the entire ceiling would be cost-prohibitive maybe patches of mirrored ceiling would help.
My remaining problem with the casino is with the video/slot machines. It’s not easy finding a straight $.01/.05/.10/.25 Video Poker or Keno or Black Jack etc. machine. Most of the machines are of the new breed: Cartoon Video Machines. It’s not easy maintaining a serious Vegas Vibe with childish cartoon figures everywhere. But maybe that’s just me. How about more freek’n artistic machine-graphics? How about adult images? Not as in porn, but as in grown-up.
Aside from the gaming issues, my comments will address the basics. The hotel/gaming areas have a new energy. The look of that energy is warm, colorful and qualitative. The rock memorabilia, guitars, new blue lights, carpet and whatever else I might not have noticed contribute to a thumbs up for the makeover. I’ll return, but probably not to gamble. I’ll play my nickle 10-5 Video-Poker Bonus game at Ameristar, and I’ll play $.05 Multi-Card Keno at Ameristar and $.01 Multi-Card Keno at The Gilpin Hotel. I’ll return for the vibe, and try the other food outlets. In addition to the little shop where I got the Panini they have a small (one-trip, I think) buffet and a pizza area as well as what looks like a first-rate restaurant, Ardore”s “A Tuscan Steakhouse and Wine Experience” with what appears to be a vast wine store. Also the Guitar Bar seems to be a good place to hang out. There was a beauty sitting at the bar last night around 8:00 P.M. I didn’t but I’ll have to taste the video-poker machines on the bar top.
The hotel room (thanks Fortune Valley) was more welcoming than I remember from my last trip to FV. I remember that last room (from three years ago) as somewhat garish with garden green wall-paper and miscellaneous things that were off-putting. This trip, the room was nicely appointed with a basic black, grey and off-white theme with one wall and a huge matching pillow in yellow. There was a flat-screen on the wall, a small fridge, a desk and a very nice, new bathroom with a hair dryer. A little coffee machine was ready at the entrance.