Whenever we visit a new state, we try to tie our visit to checking out some of the local spots. We also tend to tie our visits with a casino -- as they usually offer cheaper rooms and something to do if the weather isn't great.
After the Colorado Marathon I managed to clean up and we made the roughly hour drive from Fort Collins to Black Hawk. I had heard in the past that Black Hawk was the place to go for gambling, but I really had no idea what to expect.
So after circling the outskirts of Denver I took Highway 6 from Golden to Highway 119, which delivered me to my destination for the night: the Ameristar Hotel and Casino. The trip up the single lane road involved a lot of twisting and turning. The canyon road reminded me a lot of the marathon I had just run, except there was a lot less snow and a lot more traffic. There were numerous spots to jump out and go for a hike as well. Being that I was kind of in no mood to hike, I only stopped once to grab a few pictures:
We were treated to a free upgrade due to having to wait a while for our room. Basically an upgraded view room which had some delicious views of the city and mountainside:
|View from our Room
|View from our Room
The following day we did get a chance to explore Black Hawk itself. We had opted to walk to the Majestic Hotel for their dinner buffet. It was about a 10 minute walk and I am glad we made the journey. We got a nice opportunity to explore the other casinos on the "Strip" and check out some of the lights and so forth:
|Our room was at the top of that building
|Our room was at the top
The atmosphere felt like Vegas but was definitely more subdued. For a Monday night the casinos were pretty tame. Each casino though was updated and we never found a casino that we didn't find something we didn't want to play.
About a mile from Black Hawk is Central City. I didn't realize what was there until we decided to go exploring on Monday morning. Central City reminded me of an old mining town that was slowly being converted over to casinos. Of course there was a smattering of pot stores, but overall the town seemed focused on small, ma and pa type casinos.
We spent a good 30 minutes exploring the side streets and poking our noses into the casinos. We'd usually throw in a few bucks and we actually got a lot for our money. Sometimes we profited by a few bucks and sometimes we made broke even. It seemed like the machines were more generous, at least in terms of offering entertainment.
After exploring Central City we decided to go on a mini road trip. I hate to spend all my time in a casino and I wanted to see some of the local scenery. We were sort of in the middle of nowhere and looking at a map we decided we'd check out the drive to Nederland.
Nederland is definitely a hole in the wall kind of town. It had a few restaurants, a grocery store as well as a small community. It looked like there were some expensive houses and so forth in the area.
Upon arriving into town we did stumble upon a moose or an elk crossing the main road (being escorted by a police officer). It was our first sighting of wildlife in the area.
The 30 minute drive was pretty and it was fun to explore the tiny hamlet.
|See the moose / elk?
|Train car now a restaurant
|A brook that runs through Nederland