Apr 20,2017Dana Laratta
Last fall we published a post on the Gamblog about a road closure making it harder to reach us via U.S. Highway 6 through Clear Creek Canyon, to State Highway 119, through Black Hawk. Little did we know this one closure would mark extended closures on the single local route between our two towns, randomly and at different times, diverting traffic through a multitude of detours, for months!
Coming soon, a full closure of State Highway 119 is planned for May 1st through May 5th, 2017, completely closing "the canyon" for repaving it's single-lane surface through an extended duration of its twisty run. If your habit is to take "the canyon," you've already been subject to numerous single-lane construction zones and flaggers this year. Be aware the upcoming closure for the first week of May will be a complete one, requiring an alternate route.
|Ahem. Meanwhile, I-70 and the Central City Parkway have been |
clear of construction work for some time.
This construction, part of Black Hawk's Gregory Street Improvement Project, began in October, but is part of a longer project including renovations of various sewer and natural gas utilities, with a dream of deploying more storefronts in a new dedicated tourist-destination area. The Denver Post published an article on the development in October of last year, detailing Black Hawk's long-term plans for developing the area into a trendy tourism spot complete with breweries and family-focused outlets:
|For now, a mess up in North Black Hawk, with plans for the future. |
Photo Credit: Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post
Of course, we here at Century Casino Central City would be more than happy to see Black Hawk develop a few different types of businesses, as our city enjoys. Any more appeal added to the overall area is only sure to benefit everyone: a rising tide raises all ships, as they say.
|For now, it's just the same long-time empty Black Hawk storefronts, |
but with a lot of construction and detours in front of them.
Certainly in towns like ours that hope to entice tourists, day-trippers, and even daily workers and locals to have more reasons to stop by... it helps to present a variety of things to enjoy! It's a good future for Black Hawk to look towards. All the extended construction, though, has had the unfortunate effect of making a visitor's journey through the area now... rather unpredictable.
|It is also ironic that one of Black Hawk's enduring non-casino businesses |
got bought and demolished by the city in the process.
Central City, in the meantime, offers a friendly, walkable town complete with casinos nestled among other storefronts. Famous for its gambling destinations these days (including Denver's Best Casino, as selected by Denver voters for the past six years running), Central City has, like Black Hawk, historically been a "Gold Rush" town, packed with adventurers chasing their fortune ever since its founding by miners in 1859 after the discovery of the Gregory vein of gold.
|The Opera House was originally opened in 1878, and restored in 1932. |
Photo Credit: 5280 Magazine
Central City is also known for artistic attractions such as the world-famous Central City Opera, the Scarlet Venue, or the Reliving the Past Photography Studio. You can also find fascinating tours of local lore and history such as the Hidee Gold Mine tour or any of the other mine tours and attractions available from the Gilpin Historical Society including the Gilpin History Museum.
|Central City's corner store, Annie's Emporium, is open for business |
and not just a part of history, like Black Hawk's!
Main Street Central City has some empty storefronts that once housed other casinos, and that's something the city is striving to address. But on any given day Main Street thrives with a variety of active businesses like The Mountain Menagerie, breweries and dispensaries, antique and collectible stores and other shops. Plus, every year the city outdoes itself with local events on Main Street--such as Lou Bunch Day or the Hot Rod Hill Climb--organized for a city with over six times the population of Black Hawk! If you've got a home on wheels, you can set yourself up at the nearby KOA campgrounds, now with a handy entrance right off the Central City Parkway!
|The Denver West KOA campsite overlooks and offers a spectacular view |
of the whole area once known as "Mountain City."
It's fascinating for businesses in Central City to watch Black Hawk plan a small tourist-focused extension between these two towns. These two towns have a long history of rivalry over gold rights, water rights, gamblers, and now, tourism visitors. We haven't personally shared in all that history, so we wish Black Hawk luck and success with the good idea of their future family-focused plans. In fact, for years now we have welcomed kids and families on our lower level, where all of our food outlets are located, and accessible with a separate entrance.
|Scarlet's has transformed from an empty casino to a concert venue |
seeming to host the music "the kids" like. ;)
However, if gambling is your interest, and Central City and Century Casino are your destination, all these plans on behalf of Black Hawk just translate into a lot of trouble for you. If you take "the canyon," we recommend you consider changing your route from the single-lane road of State Highway 119 over to Interstate 70 to Exit 243. The same-easy-to-remember exit will take you to the Central City Parkway no matter which way you're driving on I-70. There you will enjoy four lanes of new road on top of the world--one of the most scenic drives you'll find in the state.
|Clear, wide open Colorado sky. Clear, wide open Colorado road.|
Even if you still prefer taking Clear Creek Canyon, you can take U.S. Highway 6, and continue following it to I-70 to take the Central City Parkway, with only a few minutes actually spent on I-70 before you will take Exit 243. Please remember though, May 1st through 5th will see a complete closure of State Highway 119 through Clear Creek Canyon, making I-70 to Exit 243 the clear choice for how to find some gambling action if you're coming up the first week of May!
|Any other week, if you prefer 119, the Parkway will still help |
you avoid the construction between towns.
Central City already has much to offer that Black Hawk is planning to build-from-scratch! While we wait to see how all that turns out, why not try a new route via I-70 to Exit 243 to Denver's Best Casino Century Casino while construction continues? Maybe the route, and the destination, will become your new favorites!