Bronco Billy’s New Hotel Project Approved

“Build it and they will come.” -Dan Lee, Full House Resorts CEO, owner of Bronco Billy’s Casino.

Artists rendering of the proposed Bronco Billy's hotel

Rendering of new Bronco Billy’s hotel

Let’s hope he’s right. 

Since I rarely find the need to use a hotel room in the town in which I live, I guess I’m surprised that we’re lacking that many rooms; it really doesn’t seem that this city is all that busy, except during promoted events. 

In case you haven’t heard, the proposal is to build a six-story hotel (199 rooms, a parking garage and other amenities) between Bennett Avenue and Carr Avenue and part of that hotel will span Second Street requiring a vacation from the city. (Meaning the city will give up that portion of the city street so that the hotel can be built on it; not that someone would be taking a vacation.)

The Cripple Creek City council meeting began as usual Wednesday evening (April 18, 2018) at 5:30 p.m. What was unusual about this meeting was that it was standing room only, as the council heard from applicant Full House Resorts, Inc. owners of Bronco Billy’s regarding a new hotel and parking garage proposal.

The primary argument against the project is that it appears to violate a number of Historic Preservation requirements. This project requested a Certificate of Special Merit under the guidelines of Project of Special Merit per the City of Cripple Creek’s HISTORIC PRESERVATION ORDINANCE
ORDINANCE NO. 1991-2. I have provided the excerpt of that portion of the ordinance below:

(a) Where alteration or new construction is proposed which cannot comply with the requirements of any other provision of this Ordinance, but provides significant compensating benefit to the City, the Council may authorize issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness as a Project of Special Merit at the request of any Applicant for a Certificate of Appropriateness, including the City itself. A Project of Special Merit shall meet all the requirements of this Ordinance not specifically waived by the Council.
(b) A project shall not be designated as a Project of Special Merit unless the Council determines that:
     (1)The project will provide significant public and civic benefits, including, without limitation, social and other benefits which are significant to the community, and particularly desirable at the location proposed. Such benefits must substantially outweigh the loss of the affected portion of the Historic and Business districts, historic landscape district or landmark;
     (2)The project is of exceptional design, utilizing the highest quality of exterior materials in a manner compatible with the surrounding area, including, without limitation, any remaining landmark, district or any portion thereof;
     (3)If demolition of a landmark or contributing structure is required, reasonable efforts have been made to relocate the structure.
(c)A project shall not be designated as a Project of Special Merit unless the following procedures have been complied with:
     (1)Commission has made a recommendation, after notice and public hearing; and
     (2)A majority of Council members approve such action after public hearing conducted not more than sixty (60) days after the         Commission has made its recommendations.
     (d)Notice of hearings before the Commission and Council shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the City not less than seven (7) days prior to final action, and notice shall also be sent to all persons who would receive notice in the case of an application for a Certificate of Economic Hardship to demolish a structure on the Property.
     (e)The Council may attach such condition as it deems appropriate, including, without limitation:
(1) Prior to issuance of the demolition permit, that a new replacement building be proposed, that its plans be approved by the Commission, the Planning Commission and Council, and that the developer demonstrate binding financial commitments, including, but not limited to, the providing of performance guarantees or of a bond to ensure that the specified development is completed.
     (f) Failure to comply with any conditions thereof shall be a violation of the Ordinance, and the owner, owners, developer or developers shall be subject to the same penalties as provided in Section 12.

About four and a half hours later, the city council approved the project unanimously, excluding Councilwoman Melissa Trenary, who was asked to recuse herself, as she is employed by an opposing casino.

I’ll admit I’m not especially crazy about part of the design. The glass part of it is my main concern, as it was for most of those opposed to it. It just doesn’t seem to fit with the historic charm of Cripple Creek. It seems out of place. Imagine if you will, John Wayne riding into town in a Tesla. However, in my humble opinion, the rest of the design is beautiful.

You can watch the entire Public Hearing here to better understand the proposal and it’s opposition.

Also, here is a pre-hearing article from The Gazette: Competitors fight Cripple Creek casino’s ambitious hotel plans  about the concerns.

And here is the Gazette’s report after the vote: Cripple Creek approves $70 million expansion, hotel for Bronco Billy’s Casino

The approval of the Bronco Billy’s new hotel appears to open the door to other “projects of special merit.” It will be interesting to see other proposals as time goes on.

After all of this back and forth, here’s hoping the project actually gets built.

What are your thoughts about the new Bronco Billy’s hotel?

Renaissance in Ice, Pearl’s Follies, Teddy Roosevelt & More!

Join us in celebrating Cripple Creek’s 11th annual Ice Festival!
This year’s theme is “Renaissance in Ice,” and feel free to dress the part.

The Ice Festival runs for two weekends beginning this weekend. And although there won’t be organized events during the week, the ice carving and completed ice sculptures will be available for viewing, sliding and photo ops. For more information, visit the City of Cripple Creek’s Events page.

The Ice has arrived!

For those of you who live and/or work in Cripple Creek, here are road closure details from the City of Cripple Creek:

Ice Fest will be taking place from Friday, February 9th-Sunday, February 11th and Friday, February 16th-Sunday, February 18th.  This year the theme is “Renaissance in Ice”. We have 5 carving teams and we are encouraging everyone to dress in their Renaissance best!

Road closures will begin at 6:00am on Tuesday, February 6th to accommodate ice delivery and carving.

Here is the schedule of road closures…..

1st and Bennett to 3rd and Bennett:  February 6th – March 1st
2nd from Myers/Masonic to Carr:  February 6th – February 20th
1st and Bennett to 5th and Bennett, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th from Myers/Masonic to Carr: February 9th-11th and 16th-18th

There will be access to the Aspen Mine Center throughout the event.
There will be access to the Bronco Billy’s parking lot between the two weekends and after February 19th.
Carving will begin the evening of Tuesday, February 6th or the morning of Wednesday, February 7th.
Vendors will begin set up on Friday, February 9th.
There will be food, drinks, live bands and shopping! Please come join us for the festivities.


How about spending some time with “Teddy Roosevelt?”

Teddy Roosevelt speaks on the Antiquities Act. The event includes a bully reception. Vice-presidential nominee Teddy Roosevelt visited Victor in September of 1900. The Rough Rider was run out of town by an angry mob but returned later to accept apologies and to speak at Victor’s Gold Coin Club.


President’s Day special – Preservation of Our Natural Wonders – Don Moon will portray Roosevelt at the Gold Coin Club.
When: Saturday, Feb. 17. Noon reception, 1 p.m. presentation.
Where: Gold Coin Club, Diamond Ave., Victor, Colorado.
Tickets: On sale now – $20 per person fundraiser for the museum; includes a bully reception and presentation. Advance reservations highly recommended – maximum of 50 tickets will be sold. More info & reservations


Learn about Cripple Creek!

All of the Cripple Creek museums will be open both weekends of Ice Fest.  The District and Old Homestead House will be open 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. both Saturdays and Sundays.

The Heritage Center will be open 7 days a week from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

The Jail Museum will be open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  The Jail Museum will be offering FREE ADMISSION on February 10, 11, 17 and 18.


Pearl’s Follies

Mark your calendar for Pearl’s Follies on March 3rd.  The 20th Annual Pearl’s Follies is a fun-filled event to raise money for the Old Homestead House Museum. Named for Madame Pearl DeVere, the event provides an evening of entertainment, food, and silent auction. Come out for some fun and support a worthy cause-Historic Preservation at its finest!  Click here for details.



city park project

WANTED: Your Feedback

Steve Kitzman, Director of Marketing for the City of Cripple Creek would appreciate feedback from local residents on a new park project in the city of Cripple Creek.

Architectural students from the University of Colorado – Denver will have renderings of proposed park designs for your review. Please stop by the vacant lot this weekend (June 24th & 25th) and check them out. Offer your suggestions and identify the items you like.

Where: the empty lot right next door to City Hall. (Actually, it will not be completely vacant this weekend due to Donkey Derby Days.  See photo.)

Please share with family and friends and encourage them to participate. This is for us/our community.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Congratulations 2017 Graduates!

Congratulations to the Cripple Creek-Victor
2017 High School Graduates!


Click on images to enlarge and read details.

Thank you to CC-V teacher and class sponsor Scott Black for the pictures and information.


Pioneer Take & Bake Pizza

Pioneer Take & Bake Pizza & Fresh Subs

Pioneer Take & Bake Pizza and Fresh Subs
Business Spotlight


Pioneer Take & Bake Pizza and Fresh Subs

Hungry? Want something quick and easy? How about a delicious pizza or sub from Pioneer Take & Bake Pizza and Fresh Subs?

Owners Lori and Kurt Hale are long time residents of Teller County and after decades working in casinos decided to venture out on their own.

When asked about their new venture Lori explained:

Kurt and Lori Hale of Pioneer Take & Bake Pizza and Fresh Subs

Kurt and Lori Hale of Pioneer Take & Bake Pizza and Fresh Subs

“Kurt owned a couple different restaurants in Gig Harbor, WA. in the past, and has the motivation to be an entrepreneur. Two years ago we looked into purchasing a concession trailer and decided against it, because it would be a challenge to maintain in this environment.

We noticed that the “Coffee Barn” had closed for business and contacted the owners. Everything else just fell into place!”

When I asked why pizza, she simply stated: “Everybody Loves Pizza!”

 “I would like to express my thanks to the community for how supportive they have been! We’re off to a good start!” -Lori

Pioneer Take & Bake Pizza and Fresh Subs has the only drive-thru in Cripple Creek. They welcome credit/debit and EBT customers.

Their pizzas are available in two sizes 14” and 16”. Chose from lots of popular fresh toppings. The pizzas are hot from the oven, because they come out of your oven when you’re ready for them. (425 degrees for 12-18 minutes.) Pick one up on the way home and have dinner in a few minutes-just the way you like it. How about a great sub? See their menu below. (Click on the image and it will enlarge.)

Pioneer Take & Bake Pizza and Fresh subs menu

Pioneer Take & Bake Pizza and Fresh subs menu

They are open 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Mon through Sat. They are Closed on Sunday.

Pioneer Take & Bake Pizza and Fresh Subs is located at:
427 West Carr, Cripple Creek, CO.

Call ahead with your order, 719-686-6740 or just drive up and they’ll put your pizza and/or sub together quickly while you wait.

Like them on Facebook.


A Note from Anita: We have enjoyed a few pizzas from Pioneer Take & Bake Pizza-delicious every time! (Tell them Cripple Creek Today sent you.)

Students Learn Through “Hidden Figures”


Popcorn, drinks and a movie.

Popcorn, drinks and a movie.


By:Nevaeh Farr

On February 15, 2017, our English 7 and 5th grade classes got an opportunity to go on a field trip to the Gold Hill Theatre in Woodland Park, and see Hidden Figures.  Our classes have been working together and reading about female and African American inventors and heroes.  When we got to the school that morning, everyone was so excited and we wanted to just get on the bus immediately! We went to our morning classes and had lunch before we got on the bus. When we got on the bus we tried our best to not puke from an overload of excitement! We all enjoyed talking with our friends and listening to the music on the way there. When we arrived, we all got our popcorn and drinks, and we very much appreciated it.  The movie was amazing!  It was inspirational and gave us all motivation to treat others with respect and to always try to do our best. After the movie we were upset about the racial segregation that the women in the movie experienced.  We agreed that we need to move forward with equality. The movie theater’s manager came in and gave us some additional information about the movie, and asked us a few questions.  Then, all tired and excited, we got back on the bus and returned to school.  The following day, we wrote an essay about what makes a hero.  There was definitely plenty of information from the movie to use for our writing!

Cresson 5th grade class at the Hidden Figures movie.

Cresson 5th grade class at the Hidden Figures movie.

I asked Abbi Gregory, 5th Grade Teacher at Cresson Elementary why she, and 7th grade teacher Vickie Cooper wanted to take their students to see Hidden Figures.  She told me that they bring their classes together to read, present and write together.

“We were inspired by Black History month and our inspiration got us thinking outside of the box.  We decided that we would go through the book Jackie’s Nine, which is a character skill building book based on the nine character skill that Jackie Robinson abided by.  We also wanted the students to learn about more black heroes and inventors as well as female heroes and inventors, so we went through a book called Heroes, which is a book about heroes or inventors, most of which students had never heard of.    As we were planning for those activities, we thought of Hidden Figures, which has both black and female inventors and heroes.  We boldly asked the theater if they would be willing to host us by watching the movie.

After we watched the movie, the manager of the theater lead a discussion about prejudice with the students.  There were great discussions about the movie, prejudice, enlightenment.

Charlotte Hemingway-Davis, GM, leads discussion after the movie.

Charlotte Hemingway-Davis, GM, leads discussion after the movie.

As a follow up, the 7th grade class will do a book study on the book Hidden Figures.  And once a week, both of our classes get together and learn the character building skills from the book Jackie’s Nine.  It is a wonderful time of leaning and collaborating.

The skills are:

Determination, Courage, Citizenship, Persistence, Integrity, Excellence, Commitment, Justice, and Teamwork.  It is our hope that we can inspire our students to dream big dreams as well as pick up and live out these character traits.
Publisher’s Note: If you haven’t seen “Hidden Figures,” I would highly recommend it. You don’t know what you don’t know, and movies like this help to reveal what’s been hidden to many of us for so long.