Black Hawk and Central City, Colorado – Casino Jobs

Black Hawk and Central City sit shoulder to shoulder on Colorado State Route 119. Perched on the slopes of Gregory Gulch, high up in the Rocky Mountains, the twin cities are within easy driving distance of legendary ski slopes and prosperous Denver.

The area also has an unexpected penchant for music, supporting its own opera house and a yearly jazz festival.

These cities saw their first real activity during an 1859 gold strike that, at the time, overshadowed activities in Denver. Central City became the urban center for all the action, and between 1859 and 1867, the gulch produced $9 million in gold ore. By the time it was through, the area yielded $125 million in precious metals. Aptly, Gregory Gulch was nicknamed, “the richest square mile on earth.”

From the very beginning, Central City and its slightly smaller sister, Black Hawk, were a little more sophisticated than the average mining town. Some of this is attributed to the diversity of its miners, whose countries of origin included Russia, Wales, France, Germany, and Italy. Whatever the reason, Central City launched its first opera season in 1861 and throughout the decade presented a host of vaudeville and minstrel shows. By the late 1870s, the area’s theater was attracting some of the biggest names in show business, including Sarah Bernhardt, Lillian Russell, and Edwin Booth.

Around the turn of the century, the mining business slowed and the opera house was boarded up. Central City and Black Hawk became ghosts of their former selves. However, in the 1930s, the towns roused themselves and the newly formed Central City Opera Association restored the opera house, reopening it with national star Lillian Gish taking center stage. Central City and Black Hawk survived on tourism from music lovers and sports enthusiasts until 1990, when Colorado legalized gambling. Almost overnight, more than thirty casinos sprang up in the area. Victorian brick buildings were converted to gaming halls, bringing a more diverse, if rowdy, crowd to this once sleepy community.

For the skier, Colorado is the place to be. The Rocky Mountains offer incomparable slopes, and Central City and Black Hawk are nestled in the heart of it all, sitting at an elevation of nearly 8,500 feet. Just 50 miles from Vail, the twin cities are also a short drive from Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Winter Park, Timberline, Loveland Basin, and more. But downhill isn’t the only sport in the area. Cross-country trails and snowmobile tracks also crisscross the region.

In the summertime Colorado offers first-rate whitewater rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding, and hiking. Beginning at Denver and stretching southwest to Durango is the 469-mile Colorado Trail, with hiking opportunities ranging from day hikes to overnighters.

Property taxes in the area are low, but housing is limited. Residents rely heavily on nearby Denver’s amenities. Population 500,000, Denver is the hub of Colorado’s commerce, government, and transportation. Denver offers art museums, a zoo, major-league baseball, and a healthy business district. Even closer to Central City is Golden, Colorado, home of Coors Brewery (the largest single brewery in the world), the Colorado School of Mines, and 8,500 acres of recreational opportunities at Golden Gate Canyon State Park.

Colorado Casinos

Vital Stats

Location: The twin cities of Black Hawk and Central City are located in north central Colorado, 50 miles west of Denver and 35 miles north of Boulder.

Population: Black Hawk, 232; Central City, 329

Average summer temperature: 80° F

Average winter temperature: 10° F

Phone Numbers of Note

Central City Public Relations Office: (303) 582-5251
State of Colorado Job Service Center: (303) 830-3000
Central City Casino Association: (800) 542-2999
Newspapers and/or relocation publications: Weekly Register-Call, (303) 582-5333

Inexpensive accommodations:

  • Harvey’s Wagon Wheel – (800) 924-6646
  • Gold Dust Lodge – (303) 582-5415

Air service: Denver International Airport, (303) 342-2200
Bus service: Greyhound (Denver), (800) 231-2222
Rail service: Amtrak (Denver), (800) 872-7245 or (303) 893-3911
Public transit: Central City Transportation, (303) 642-3139; Central City/Black Hawk Stage Lines, (303) 582-3450

Map of Black Hawk/Central City Area


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