Vegas-Style Casino and Hotel in Historic Mining Town
In 1859, a man named John H. Gregory found gold near the small mining city of Black Hawk, Colorado. After discovering the gold-bearing vein—a sheetlike rock flecked with gold, now known as the Gregory Lode—more than 10,000 prospectors descended on the area in search of a fortune. But Gregory was one of few prospectors to actually strike it rich; most gold-miners left empty-handed soon after arrival.
A makeshift town known as Central City formed in the midst of the gold rush. Once known as “The Richest Square Mile on Earth,” the little town now lures visitors looking to visit its historic buildings and hopefully strike it rich at casinos such as the Reserve Casino Hotel, located right in downtown Central City.
The Reserve Casino’s gaming floor is vast—it has more than 700 slot machines, and there are blackjack, craps, and roulette tables. During a break from the floor you can dine at one of the hotel's numerous in-house restaurants. Market Street is an indoor strip that features three casual eateries, such as Java Express and the Pizza Pub. You can also enjoy fine dining at Ardore Tuscan Steakhouse. The restaurant serves dishes such as house-butchered rib eye and Scottish salmon with an extensive wine list that includes varietals from Celani Family Vineyard, which is owned by one of Reserve Casino Hotel's owners.
Included with two of this deal's options are two drinks at the Lava Room, a stylish club that regularly stages performances from touring music acts and comedians. Or you can head over to the Guitar Bar to see children's stories read by former Pearl Jam roadies.
Central City, Colorado: Mining History and Casinos near Mountains and Arapaho National Forest
Located about 40 miles west of Denver, Central City's downtown is mostly made up of buildings constructed between 1860 and the 1930s, and the downtown is now a federally designated historic district. As you walk along the streets, you can get a sense of the residents' high-rolling attitude after the gold rush. The stone Central City Opera House was built by some of the area's most highly regarded architects and once featured performances by P.T. Barnum's circus and Buffalo Bill. It's since been restored and still features shows. Next door is the Teller House, a massive hotel built in 1872; it has old-fashioned red-bricked façade with arched doorways.
Today, visitors certainly come to the town to gamble, but it's worth it to visit some of the gorgeous mountain scenery nearby. Arapaho National Forest is six miles away. It's made up of 1.5 million acres ideal for hiking, biking, fishing, or mountain climbing.