Casino Cuts, a local nail and hair salon is closing

After 22 years in business, Casino Cuts, a local nail and hair salon is closing. When I heard the news my first self-centered thought was “gosh, who’s going to do my hair!?” My next thoughts were a jumble of great memories from being an 11-year customer that I’d like to share.

If you never experienced the fun of going to Casino Cuts, I’d say you missed out. I always felt it should have been called “Steel Magnolias, at Altitude”. Through the years so many of our local folks passed in and out of those doors. It was THE place to go for local news, funny stories, bad jokes and a chance to connect with the local community. On any given day you’d see a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker or someone from church. There were the weekly ladies who came to get their do’s done just that certain way. There were the every other week ladies getting their nails done. The once-a-month ladies who came in for pedicures and the latest news.

So many times I can remember sitting there getting my hair done and laughing at the stories being told. No holds barred-we talked about everything! Kathy and Michelle who own Casino Cuts, knew everyone. They knew their little quirks, the exact hair color they favored, who their children were, who they were married to. They welcomed everyone, never said bad things about anyone, and took care of so many. My daughter spent her high school years going to Casino Cuts for special dances and proms. I have photos of Kathy carefully putting her hair up and Michelle doing her nails.

One memory stands out significantly for me. My husband died, on my birthday, in 2005. I had an appointment for my hair a few days later, which I had planned to cancel. However, my sister-in-law insisted I go. I was mostly dazed and numb, but I do remember Kathy gently doing my hair and softly talking to me the whole time. Michelle did my nails and I got a pedicure too. It’s like they were trying to somehow soothe the grief and the loss I was feeling. When it was all done. Kathy, Michelle and others in the salon gathered around me in a circle, hugged me and said “Happy Birthday”. They wouldn’t let me pay for anything because they wanted me to have some kind of gift for a birthday that would never be the same. I remember feeling incredibly loved and blessed, even at that sad time.

They are also the ones who howled with laughter when I came in a day after my daughter and I were in a pretty bad rollover accident in our truck. Why? Because I came in to show them how well my nails had held up after the accident-I was a true testimony to the quality of their work! Not one nail broken! There is so much more that Kathy and Michelle have done in the years they have been in Cripple Creek.

They’ve been involved in the local Elks and so many other community events and activities. They’ve made home visits to take care of aging customers who couldn’t come to the salon anymore. They’ve celebrated births, shared the loss of loved ones and watched our children grow. They gently encouraged me to find happiness again and convinced me (somehow) that I absolutely had to go see “Thunder from Down Under” when they came to town. When I met someone special, they gave their blessing and said he was a “keeper”. He became their friend as well and they welcomed him with open arms. And who else but Kathy would come in on a Saturday morning to fix my hair, as a gift, when I remarried in 2012? They were both there to share and celebrate the happiness on my wedding day.

I know I speak for so many when I say we will miss Kathy and Michelle and Casino Cuts. Some might say “it was just a business”. I would have to disagree. It was, and always will be something much greater. You will be missed.

Brenda Riley