Wildwood Casino on Tuesday will become the third Cripple Creek gaming giant to unveil plans for a hotel, all to attract more visitors to the historic mining town.
American Gaming Group plans to start work in mid-May on the $14 million, 104-room Wildwood Hotel next to the casino it opened in 2008 on the gaming district’s north end. The four-story hotel is to open by late August 2020. The City Council will consider a series of rezonings and related development approvals at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The three new hotels would nearly double total rooms, to more than 400, before the 30th anniversary of Colorado’s legalized gambling in late 2021. Bronco Billy’s Casino and Triple Crown Casinos earlier announced plans for 150-room hotels next to their complexes in the heart of the gambling district.
“Everyone in Cripple Creek knows the town needs more hotel rooms. It’s been an ongoing issue that’s kept the town from achieving its full potential,” Wildwood co-owner Joe Canfora said in a news release. “There is a need for quality rooms in this market, and we will be the first to deliver.”
The project is financed through STORE (Single Tenant Operational Real Estate) Capital Inc., a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based real estate investment trust, which Canfora said will allow the hotel to be the first under construction and the first to open of the three. The Triple Crown is slated to open in the second half of 2020, and Bronco Billy’s hotel is set to open in late 2020 or early 2021.
The Wildwood Hotel will replace a parking lot on the casino’s north side. The lot will be moved to the west and connected to the gaming hall with a heated, covered entry. The hotel will have 10 “high-roller” suites, including four that can be converted into hospitality suites, a 1,000-square-foot multipurpose space and a rooftop area for events with up to 100 people. Room rates are expected to average $100 a night, Canfora said.
“The recipe for success in Cripple Creek includes many ingredients, including meeting space, a small convention center to help fill these rooms, employee housing, attracting (tour) bus groups and marketing Cripple Creek as a tourist destination,” he said. “Once everybody adds (hotel) product, I see nothing but positive for Cripple Creek. I see Cripple Creek prospering more with fewer valleys” in business.
American Gaming began planning for the hotel early last year after restructuring its ownership, buying out smaller partners and adding 125 slot machines to the Wildwood Casino, Canfora said.
The casino’s current hotel, the 67-room Gold King Inn, will be renamed the Wildwood Inn and continue to provide rooms and overnight accommodations for bus tours. The 22-year-old hotel recently got extensive renovations, including a remodeled lobby and updated rooms.
The casino is the largest single gaming property in Cripple Creek, though Bronco Billy’s and Triple Crown are larger when their multi-casino properties are combined. Wildwood operates 506 slot machines and 14 tables for poker, blackjack, craps and roulette, which it says is the most of any of the city’s 12 casinos.