CRIPPLE CREEK — Colorado casinos raked in a record revenue for 2018.
Between Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek it’s about $842 million.
Colleen Schwanz said, “I think it’s nice to know that we can do that.”
Schwanz has been playing machines at Cripple Creek casinos for many years. On Tuesday, she took a seat inside Wildwood Casino.
“We’re going to come out pretty okay, but not making a fortune or anything.”
When it comes to making a fortune casinos in Cripple Creek aren’t exactly there yet.
Some owners say the town is actually behind their main gambling competitors when it comes to revenue and they say it’s for a number of reasons such as the sometimes challenging drive to Cripple Creek and the lack of hotel rooms.
Schwanz said, “I think when it first became all the casinos it was very busy and it was a lot more people up here. It’s kind of died down I think in what we’ve seen.”
While statewide casino revenue has increased significantly in the last 10 years, Cripple Creek is behind from where it was a decade ago. Workers at Wildwood say in 2008 Cripple Creek gaming brought in $147 million.
In 2018 it was only $136 million.
Joseph Canfora, owner of the Wildwood Casino, said, “Black Hawk, as you know, is a much larger market and they have predominantly changed with a tremendous amount of growth with more rooms, more casino space, more product to serve the Denver market.”
Implementing more product is the direction Cripple Creek casinos are now headed towards.
Canfora said, “That is the reason why we’re adding rooms.”
The Wildwood Casino is adding on a hotel which will include more than 100 rooms. The goal is to have the project done by late fall next year.
In the meantime, the town has faithful guests like Schwanz who keep coming back for a good time.
“We make a day trip and it’s pretty affordable family fun.”
News 5 also asked Canfora about legalizing sports betting which is on the docket for Colorado voters this November. If passed, he says it would bring more patrons to casinos and ultimately more money.