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.



Cripple Creek Care Center

Cripple Creek Care Center’s 40th Anniversary Invite

Cripple Creek Care Center Employees with Van

Cripple Creek Care Center Employees with CCCC van

On Saturday, September 9th, the Cripple Creek Care Center will be hosting a community celebration to mark their 40th Anniversary.

Beginning at 11am through about 1:30pm, the Center invites community members to join them for food, music, goody handouts, facility tours, ribbon cutting for our new bus, and acknowledgement of individual and business contributions to the success of this District asset.

This will all take place at the Care Center, located at 700 North ‘A’ Street in Cripple Creek.

This is part of our community’s history…and part of our community’s future.

Come and celebrate what community effort and support can accomplish!


The Cripple Creek Care Center represents the best in community cooperation and involvement.   Though the summers saw tourists passing through, back in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s Cripple Creek and Victor were pretty sleepy and isolated little communities – especially during the winters. The 1970 census recorded a population of 258 for Victor, and 425 for Cripple Creek.

By that time, the medical and hospital services for what was once a booming gold mining district had faded away. What was once St. Nicholas Hospital had become the Hilltop Nursing Home. Even with these limited services, the facility was then too old and out-dated to remain open. It closed in 1972. The community was without any local medical care.

The nearest hospital was almost 50 miles away in Colorado Springs. The route to Colorado Springs was north on Highway 67. Following the old rail route to the District, the highway was even more of a rugged mountain road than it is today. One big challenge was “the tunnel.” Located about half way between Cripple Creek and Divide, the tunnel was one of the last true remnants of the railroad to Cripple Creek. In the 1970’s cars had to pass through it, but could do so only one direction at a time. It tested the patience and courtesy of drivers back then!

Though at this time the population was at its lowest numbers since gold was discovered, local business leaders were determined to provide modern medical services to the area residents and the visitors who were the staple of the summer tourist economy.

Coming together in the truest sense of the word “community,” area residents began planning and fundraising for what many considered an impossible goal.

They started by establishing the operational foundation of the facility. After months of work, on November 10, 1975, the Southwest Teller County Hospital District, a Colorado Title 32 Special District, was officially formed and approved as the governing and management basis for a medical facility.

Three days later, the first Board of Directors organizational meeting was held. The first Board of Directors members for SWTCHD were: Jack Gaffney; Chairman, Muriel Murphy; Secretary & Treasurer, and Wayne Mackin, Theodore H. Mueller, and Gregory Robertson.  The Nursing Home Administrator was Sue Huffman, Doc Denman was the medical director, and Good Samaritan was the management company.

Once the District was formed, planning and fundraising began for the combined medical clinic and nursing home. Nine months later, on August 28, 1976, groundbreaking took place and construction began for the Hilltop Community Health Care Facility.

On June 19, 1977, the dedication ceremony was held and the doors to the A.C. Denman Clinic and the Hilltop Nursing Home were opened.

The nursing home occupied the eastern portion of the building with two main wings/halls offering 60 beds.  The western portion, or clinic area, was separated from the nursing home by double doors and had a three-bed unit for emergency care, an x-ray room, a lab, two exam rooms and two small doctor offices.  The building also had an attached garage and covered ambulance dock.

Now, 40 years later, this facility is still open and serving the District community members. Today, however, it operates under the name “Cripple Creek Care Center” and no longer offers a medical clinic.

Those dreamers and planners who worked so hard more than 40 years ago to bring this to their community would be proud of what it has become today: a 5-star rated 24/7 skilled nursing care facility that serves the needs of the area’s elderly and disabled.

In the past five years, through the governance of the District’s Board of Directors, the Care Center has undergone capital improvements that have completely updated and upgraded the building, landscaping, mechanical infrastructure, residents’ rooms, public and office areas, and service areas such as the kitchen and laundry rooms.

Through the efforts and care of the Administration and staff, the Center maintains a 5-Star rating.

Learn more at

In 2013 the name under which the Special District operated was changed to the Southern Teller County Health Services District. This was done to meet current Colorado Title 32 guidelines, and to better reflect our service area, and the management of the District’s ambulance service.

Through the current Board’s management, the District remains debt free.

Learn more at

From: Cripple Creek Care Center

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.


aspen infestation

Why Aren’t There Leaves on Some of Our Aspen Trees? 

Recently, Newmont CC&V’s environmental department noticed that the aspen trees in several locations around Cripple Creek and Victor, Colorado, were not producing as many leaves as expected for the early summer season. The following photo of Bull Hill, north of Victor, on the northeast side of CC&V’s mining operation, was taken near the end of June. Notice that many of the aspen trees in this grove seem to be barren of leaves.

aspen leave infestation
On closer inspection, CC&V’s environment department found an insect infestation of what are commonly called “tent caterpillars”, and requested an investigation and opinion from the Colorado State Forest Service.

aspen leaves missing

The Colorado State Forest Service’s site visit and investigation on June 30, 2016, sampled six sites around the area and their Insect Observation Report identified “a sizable population of large aspen tortrix (LAT) in five locations… We also observed significant aphid activity in locations associated with the LAT. It is also worth noting significant populations of lady bird beetle (commonly known as lady bugs) larva and adults, as well as significant populations of spiders, this makes sense due to the food source available.”

Gary Horton, Sr.  Environmental Coordinator for CC&V described the situation this way: “The large aspen tortrix, commonly called a “tent caterpillar”, is a defoliator and quickly eats all the leaves off the aspens. It is particularly acute on the north side of Victor Pass and in Grassy Valley right now. The caterpillars should be turning into moths in another week or two and fly off. The good news is that the moths don’t harm the bud of the aspen and they should have leaves back on them later this summer; however, the trees will be lacking in density of leaves and they will be smaller than usual. It’s conjectured that the abnormally high evening temperatures may have contributed to an unusually large outbreak of LAT. We can expect this type of thing to continue up here for another couple years according to our research.”

That’s why some of our aspens don’t have leaves.

Reprinted with permission from:

Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mine