The house always wins, until it doesn’t. The casino business is a tricky one, tied to many macroeconomic factors that gaming establishments have no control over. Colorado is no different, and there have been numerous casino closures since gambling was legalized by voters in 1991.
The Riviera occupied the building that is currently the Monarch Casino at 444 Main St. in Black Hawk. The Monarch bought The Riviera in 2011 for a reported $76 million, and has spent approximately $200 million renovating the structure, which now has a multi-level parking deck and will soon house a 23-story hotel tower with 500 guest rooms.
Fitzgeralds casino was located at 101 Main St. In 2012, New York-based Saratoga Harness Racing Association purchased the property for $28 million. Today the casino operates under the Saratoga Casino name.
The Canyon Casino closed as recently as late April 2017. It was located at 131 Main St., next to the Gilpin Hotel Casino and up the street from The Lodge. The distinctive brick building remains unoccupied.
Opened in 1992, Black Hawk Station was a true original and a locals’ favorite, located at 196 Clear Creek St. Until its closure, it was one of the Black Hawk casinos owned by Ed and Shirley Smith, who today own the Sasquatch Casino and Wild Card Saloon.
Otto’s Casino at the Black Forest Inn, opened in 1958 by a recent German immigrant named Wilhelm (Bill) Lorenz, was the premiere spot for goulash and sauerbraten in Colorado for decades. Just a German restaurant at the time, Otto’s eventually expanded to include a biergarten and a casino. The casino closed in 2000, and Lorenz moved the restaurant to Nederland until his retirement in 2017.
The Richman Casino is gone but certainly not forgotten. Its location today is the home of the Ameristar Casino, the largest casino in Colorado. It was bought by Hyatt in 2001 and briefly rebranded as Black Hawk Casino by Hyatt before re-branding as Ameristar later that year. The street bears the erstwhile casino’s name to this day.
Colorado Central Station was located at 401 Main St. in Black Hawk, just up the street from The Lady Luck Casino Black Hawk. Opened in 1994, the casino in its time was the largest and most successful in Colorado.
The Silver Hawk Casino was a sister property to Bullwhackers and Bullpen. The building dates back to the 19th century and it was located at 100 Chase St.