Central City, Colorado is less than one mile from Black Hawk so there is absolutely no excuse not to visit Central City. Not to mention the Central City Parkway is probably the best route to get to both towns. Besides, Central City has something different to offer gamblers than Black Hawk. It's actually a slower pace and much more relaxed, it has more of its historical feel still intact. You'll find friendly staff manning the casinos in Central City, too.
The casinos in the heart of downtown Central City are beautiful, and as we mentioned Central City did a good job of making sure that the casinos did not destroy the historic buildings. Central City as well as the rest of the gambling establishments in Colorado have had the stakes raised to $100 per hand (up from $5 limited stakes). It should be an exciting to see if Central City gets a "second boom" - for those who remember, Central City was the bigger gambling city in Colorado when casinos were legalized. It took a few years for Black Hawk to catch up.
The two biggest casinos in Central City are going to be Fortune Valley Hotel & Casino and the Century Hotel & Casino. Both are excellent as are their smaller counterparts in town. We highly suggest getting a local brewed beer at the Dostal Alley and checking out the rest of the downtown casinos while you are there. Johnny Z's casino has opened in the old Central Palace Casino building.
The Central City Parkway also makes it easier to get to Central City than Black Hawk these days. Just take I-70 West leaving the Denver area into the mountains. Close to Idaho Springs you'll take the exit to Central City Parkway. Just follow the Parkway signs for a quick and scenic drive to Central City's backdoor. You will still want to check the weather and road conditions.
Central City was once known as "the Richest Square Mile on Earth" which refers to its rich gold mining days, just like it's sister city. You'll find Central City home to many historic graveyards, the Masonic Lodge, world famous Central City Opera House, The Gilpin County Museum and Teller House Hotel (and casino at certai points) - The Teller House is famous for "The Face on the Ballroom Floor" which is about Baby Doe a prominent figure in Central City's glory days. Many of the buildings are said to be haunted. I believe it. (I confess - I worked in many of these buildings, and the Teller House creeped me out more than any). Central City's past is rich in color and charachter and it's fun to think of how it must have been back then, brothels, gun fights, gold mining, saloons...
Central City has festivals that celebrate this, too! Lou Bunch day is a riot and worth checking out just for the annual "bed races" - be prepared to eat lots of great food and beverages. The buildings are much the same as they were after the great fire (seems like most big towns had a "great fire" and Central City is no different. You might alway want to check out our page on Gilpin County History (provided to us by the Gilpin County Museum) and also the individual history of Central City.
Top Central City Casino Hotels:
To get a listing here you have to have a casino + hotel. Currently there are only four - so we're listing them all :) .
Fortune Valley Hotel & Casino is a large luxury hotel & casino in Central City if you can find a hotel in Black Hawk. This casino is awesome in its own right. Just a short shuttle ride to Blackhawk. rates
Century Casino & Hotel - Central City's newest (and much needed) casino hotel. Previously there was only one choice in town and often on busy nights, FV was sold out anyway. The casino is great, too. Free parking in the covered garage while you enjoy your visit. check rates
Isle of Capri Hotel & Casino - is in Black Hawk but as mentioned this is only a short ride to Central City in the city bus system. The Isle is on the far side of Black Hawk, but is attached to Lady Luck and very close to the Riviera and Golden Gulch. check rates
Lady Luck Tower & Casino is the newest casino in Black Hawk. Previously it was known as Colorado Central Station. The Isle of Capri purchased this property (which is why the two casinos are attached by pedestrian bridge). You get the luxury of two casinos in your hotel. It's also closeby to the Riv and Golden Gulch casinos. check current rates
Ameristar Casino Hotel - Again - this casino hotel isn't located in Central City - but its the biggest casino hotel in Colorado and you can SEE it from Central City. Anyway - if all hotel options are out in Central City, you can check down here for a room. check for best rates
Travelers Tip:Central City and Black Hawk are only separated by a short shuttle ride. If the hotels in Central City are full, contact hotels in Black Hawk. The towns have various trams that go by every so often and will take you to either town for a tip or a nominal fee. In a jam, either city should work and be accessable. Also both towns have nice inn's and bed and breakfasts to check on..
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