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Colorado's Gaming Guide!
Back Hawk, Colorado 
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, west 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...    
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
     Exit 243 From I-70 to Central City Approach into Central City 
Central City turnoff from I-70 Approach into Central City 
Central City Parkway Sign   
Central City Parkway
  Black Hawk 
See more photos (below)
Also read Gaming Updates about the casinos.


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

Z-Stop Gas Station  Z-Stop Gas Station  
     Click link for more info...

Z-Stop: Leaving Black Hawk, drive down (toward Denver) on C-119 for about 6 miles (about ten minutes.)


Two routes from Denver to the Gaming
Towns of Black Hawk and Central City, Colorado

  The first route is: 6th Avenue West to I-70 West, then through Central City Parkway

  1. Take 6th Avenue West to divided 4-lane I-70 West, then another 8+ miles on 4-lane Central City Parkway (about 38 miles, 45-50 - minutes.)

*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.]

Step by step Directions (Distances are approximate)

1. From West 6th Ave. and Kalamath St.

  • 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.


2. Sixth Avenue West to Colorado 119 to Black Hawk,
about 36 miles (50-55 minutes.)

*Read about the detour to reach the
6th and Kalamath Street departure point (above.)

Step by step Directions from 6th & Kalamath (Distances are approximate)

  • 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

Step by step Directions from DIA (Denver International Airport) to Central City/Black Hawk

  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 Central City

Please let us know if any of this information is incorrect.


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.


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 Brewery and Restaurant - 18 mi. west of Denver REOPENED

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

Here are some things you'll see.
 Buffalo Bill's Grave sign  Chief Hosa Sign
Buffalo Bill's Grave Sign Chief Hosa Sign
 "Sleeper" Clam House Genesee Bison Herd 
"Sleeper" Clam House  Genesee Bison Herd 
Genesee Park Sign  Genesee Bison Herd Windmill 
Genesee Park Sign  Genesee Bison Herd Windmill 
 Eldora Ski Area Sign El Rancho Brewing Co. in Evergreen, Colorado 
Eldora Ski Area Sign  El Rancho roadhouse
 Ski Country Antiques Kermitts Roadhouse 
Ski Country Antiques  Kermitts Roadhouse 
Exit 243 To Central City   
Hidden Valley/Central City  Gambler's Edge RV Park - 0PEN 
Central City Parkway   Approach into Central City
Central City Parkway  Entering Central City 
Central City Parkway - Exit 
CityData.Com - All about Central city
Find any Colorado casino or (most) any casino in the World, at CASINO!
Gaming News

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

  • 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 experience 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 accommodated 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.

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 greenIn 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


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


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: 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!

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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.

Doctors and Lawyers
Doctors / Health Centers in Black Hawk, Colorado
Mountain Family Health Center
Attorneys / Lawyers in Gilpin County
Attorneys / Lawyers in Gilpin County
All information is subject to change without notice. 
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6th Avenue West to I-70 West through
Central City Parkway