Don’t Trade Away Cripple Creek’s History

Dear Editor:

This Wednesday, the Cripple Creek City Council will consider issuing a Certificate of Special Merit to the Bronco Billy’s Redevelopment Plan.  Their decision will significantly impact the future of this quaint mountain town –  will it honor the historic preservation guidelines that have long dictated how businesses build and expand OR will it bring new meaning to the “wild west” where developers run the table with no checks and balances?

The plan calls for the demolition of two historic buildings, the takeover of 2nd Street for singular use by the hotel (setting a precedent that public streets and the value of land can be given to private companies), the use of mirrored glass and concrete in the construction of the hotel and the elimination of height restrictions.

All the above appears to be in direct conflict with the city’s master plan and historic preservation building codes.

For decades, Cripple Creek residents and businesses have been committed to preserving the town’s historical character. While I welcome strategies to bring new visitors to Cripple Creek, this proposed Vegas-style casino goes too far in eroding historic preservation requirements that have been put in place to protect this community.

For more than 25 years, our business and others have played by the rules, following historic preservation guidelines to respect the community’s vision.

I understand that the projected numbers provided by Full House Resorts, Inc. are attractive to City Council, but we should not gamble the town’s future on a short-term windfall. We should support growth and economic development in Cripple Creek only if it’s smart, scaled projects that make sense for the market.

By working together, we can balance historic preservation with economic growth. We can get more hotel rooms. We can grow revenues. We can create jobs. We can attract more visitors to Cripple Creek.

But it shouldn’t come at the cost of trading in Cripple Creek’s most valuable commodity – our history.

I’m proud to stand with residents and local business owners in protecting the historical character of Cripple Creek. City Council should not support a Certificate of Special Merit, the vacation of 2nd Street or this plan as proposed.

Larry Hill  

CEO, Triple Crown Casinos