~ by Rick Langenberg ~
Call it the luck of the Irish or an early spring celebration; or just another historic touch for the Cripple Creek mining district and gaming hub. On St. Patrick’s Day, Bronco Billy’s casino, one of the town’s signature gaming establishments since 1991, unveiled its new Million Dollar Wall display, containing, yes, $1,000,000 bucks showcased in $10,000-bill allotments. The celebration was capped by Irish jigs, Celtic music and congratulatory speeches.
“Rolling this out on St. Patrick’s Day, seemed appropriate,” said Billy’s General Manager Marc Murphy, who celebrated the occasion by donning an authentic Irish suit and hat that would have probably won a top award at any St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “I have no shame,” quipped Murphy, who has held the management reins at Billy’s since they opened. “Bronco Billy’s casino wanted to provide this remarkable opportunity for people to see an actual $1 million dollars in cash,” he explained. Just imagine,” continued Murphy, “it would take 30 of these walls to show how much we paid in jackpots to our players in 2016.” More importantly, Murphy cited the ambitious display as a way to kick off the spring season and provide the town with an added attraction. “This gives people another reason to come to Cripple Creek,” said the Bronco Billy’s general manager. “This is a real work of art.”
The 12’ wall boasts an impressive steel base created to look like a $1 million dollar, money printing plate. It was designed and built on property by Bronco Billy’s lead maintenance supervisor Nic Gwaltney and his crew.Gwaltney estimated that more than 2,000 man hours over a number of months were invested into the project, which had to be done in a secure fashion. “It was a team effort,” said Gwaltney, who had his share of photos taken during the Million Dollar Wall induction ceremony.
The intricate display was crafted with metal and steel plates and could serve as a historic relic of Cripple Creek gambling in future years. The display, with money featured on both sides, offers a three-dimensional look and features some creative design touches. It is expected to be on display indefinitely and is currently located in front of the Bronco Billy’s Players Club booth.
Bronco Billy’s has taken every measure available to keep the money secure. The money, enclosed in bullet proof glass, has 24-hour camera surveillance and is bolted to the floor. If that isn’t enough of a deterrent, the case weighs nearly one-half ton. According to Murphy, this is the first display of its kind in any of the Colorado gaming towns. A big $1 million dollar display is also showcased at the Binion’s casino in Las Vegas. “That is the only one I am aware of,” related Murphy, who stressed that the Billy’s money wall is designed more as a visitor attraction.
To commemorate the event, Bronco Billy’s Casino invited everyone over 21 years old to attend their CASH-BASH with St. Patty’s Day restaurant specials, green beer, and cash drawings totaling over $5,000 guaranteed and oh yeah, to see the $1 million wall. “Take your picture with it, rub it for luck, count it if you’d like. Just don’t wait to see it,” noted Bronco Billy’s Marketing Director Wendy Field. The marketing director said more promotions would occur in connection with the wall display this year.
Last week’s unveiling of the money wall wasn’t lacking in people and patrons trying to take photos of themselves and each other in front of the columns of cash. That trend is expected to continue throughout the spring and summer. During last week’s Wall dedication ceremony, Murphy praised the Cripple Creek Police Department for the assistance with the security required for facilitating the display, the Billy’s staff, several area businesses, including the Glass Broker company of Woodland Park, and the casino’s new owners, Full House Resorts, which endorsed the plans for the wall display.
Full House Resorts owns, develops and operates gaming facilities throughout the country. The company’s properties include Rising Star Casino Resort in Rising Sun, Indiana; Silver Slipper Casino and Hotel in Hancock County, Mississippi; Stockman’s Casino in Fallon, Nevada, and Bronco Billy’s, which it acquired in 2015/2016. The company also operates the Grand Lodge Casino at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino in Incline Village, Nevada on the north shore of Lake Tahoe under a lease agreement with the Hyatt organization. For more information, please visit www.fullhouseresorts.com.
For more information about the wall display and related promotions, visit www.broncobillyscasino.com.