The Best of 2021 Winners Are…

Cripple Creek Area Winners

Safest/Cleanest Casino

Gold – Wildwood

Silver – Century

Bronze – Triple Crown

In a brand new, category this year, prompted by the coronavirus epidemic, the Wildwood casino, dubbed by some as the Wild Bunch, won readily as the safest/cleanest casino in Cripple Creek.  Anyone who has  viewed their promotions showcasing their adherence to safety can see why. Even prior to the reopening of casinos last June, the Wild Bunch were ready with safe protocol. Both Century and the Wildwood gained many kudos in this competition.   All in all, the casinos in Cripple Creek are regarded as some of the safest public areas in Colorado. Hardly any new COVID-19 cases have been attributed to the casinos.


Best Casino Atmosphere


Gold – Triple Crown Casinos


Silver – Wildwood


Bronze – Bronco Billy’s


Honorable Mention – Century


Last year’s champ – Bronco Billy’s


In a big  upset from previous years,  Triple Crown, which boasts a diverse lineup of establishments (with Brass Ass, Midnight Rose and McGills) emerged as the peoples’ choice, when it came to the finest casino atmosphere. Plus, Triple Crown became one of the steadier players, following the coronavirus epidemic, and continues to promote their amenities, as gaming establishments reopened.  And even without the ability to use table games in 2020 part of the COVID restrictions) they shined in giving patrons a good time. The Wildwood, with its new sports betting hub, also fared quite well in the Best Atmosphere contest, as did Bronco Billy’s, which has been able to rekindle the same friendly theme, even with 10 expansions.

Casino Loosest Slots

Gold –  Triple Crown Casinos


Silver – Johnny Nolon’s


Bronze – Bronco Billy’s


Honorable Mention – Wildwood


Last Year’s champ – Triple Crown Casinos


No competition whatsoever, as the Triple Crown Casinos easily gained the illustrious title as King of the Loose in Cripple Creek, or where gamblers can make out with their bets. This year’s victory was attributed to sterling reviews of the player-friendly slots This was the fourth consecutive year Triple Crown has won this competition. Not surprisingly, many of our voters favored the hub of old Johnny Nolon, who wasn’t afraid to cast a few slots, slug a few shots and throw a few punches.


Best Table Games 


Brass Ass – (Triple Crown)


Silver – Wildwood


Bronze – Bronco Billy’s


Honorable Mention – Double Eagle


Last Year’s Champ – Triple Crown


When Amendment 50 was implemented in the summer of 2009, the stakes definitely changed for Colorado gaming with the arrival of new (more Vegas-style games), such as Roulette and Craps and much higher limits. Although Cripple Creek hasn’t fared as well as Black Hawk with these games, the town definitely abounds with much more excitement. Probably no local place characterizes this fun local table action as much as the Brass Ass. This is what folks imaged with these new added games, without getting too pretentious or too Vegas or Black Hawkish. Of course, with COVID, this action was forced to take a temporary breather, but it is now back, and most voters favored the table-friendly Cripple Creek hubs of the past. But many of our voters favored the more laid-back table action at the Double Eagle, featuring a very comfortable area for table games. The great atmosphere at Cripple Creek table game areas still rates as one of the town’s best kept secrets. And this won’t remain a secret for too much longer, with the implementation of a new state amendment, eliminating all bet limits and adding more Vegas-style games, expected to go into effect within the new few months. This will raise the ante for table games and definitely liven up the action.



Best Casino Food Deals


Gold – Joe’s Diner (Wildwood)


Silver – Home Café (Bronco Billy’s_


Bronze – Miner’s Pick (Triple Crown)


Last year’s champ – Miner’s Pick


Like most gaming towns, the Creek is bustling with great casino food deals. Joe’s Diner, located near the entrance of the Wildwood, is a great place to start your day and take a breather for lunch. They offer a very friendly and hospital staff, and yes, great culinary deals.  Not surprisingly, the Home Café, a legendary eatery since gaming started in Oct. 1991, still attracts many followers.   And the Miner’s Pick, below the Brass Ass, took home another top prize for Best Food Deals.


Best Casino Lodging


Gold – Century Casino


Silver – Double Eagle


Bronze – Bronco Billy’s


Honorable Mention – Wildwood Casino


Last year’s champ – Century Casino


For the seventh consecutive year, TMJ Best Of participants favored the luxurious suites and lodging amenities of Century casino. No competition whatsoever for the gold among king/queen stays at the town’s current lineup of approximately 500 rooms.


But this year, there was quite a run for the money for the silver and bronze, with the Double Eagle and Bronco Billy’s.


Future lodging is quite the topic, as the town could gain possibly 500 new rooms within the next few years, with all the big gaming players, Wildwood, Triple Crown, Bronco Billy’s, and Century working towards hotel growth. The  new Wildwood casino hotel should be ready to open by June 2021.


Best Casino Entertainment


Gold – Triple Crown Casinos


Silver – Bronco Billy’s


Bronze – Wildwood Casino


Last Year’s Champ – Brass Ass (Triple Crown Casinos)


Unfortunately, COVID-19 put a damper on live shows and performances for the last  year. However, most of our voters opted for their familiar picks of the past and weren’t afraid to take a trip back to nostalgic to pre-COVID times.  And even without live entertainment, the casinos still offer a festive outing for the last year, with many patrons.


As we approach a more normal atmosphere hopefully this summer, look for the musical good times to return again.


The past shows at the Brass Ass (with some fairly big-name acts) have gained a strong following in the past.  They have the best setup for entertainment and come up with great performers for the Cripple Creek gaming crowd.  Who says gambling and entertainment is not a good mix for the Creek? Sure, Vegas doesn’t have anything to worry about, but the entertainment offerings are quite good for a small gaming town. Other popular casino hotspots, just for entertainment, are Bronco Billy’s and the Wildwood.


Best Casino Restaurant


Gold – Pint & Platter(Triple Crown)


Silver – Lombard’s (Double Eagle)


Bronze – Maggie’s (Colorado Grande)


Last Year’s Champ – The Steakhouse


With COVID, the stakes have slightly changed in the last eight months, with some familiar favorites closed temporarily, such as The Steakhouse.  TMJ voters clearly enjoy the town’s only authentic Irish pub, known for their great burgers and Fish and Chip entrees,  followed by Lombard’s at Double Eagle, which sports something for virtually everyone.  But many say that are anxiously awaiting the reopening of The Steakhouse, a place that established a record volume of culinary Best Of titles in virtually every competition.


Best Casino Players Club


Gold – Bronco Billy’s


Silver – Triple Crown Casinos


Bronze – Century Casinos


Last Year’s Champ – Bronco Billy’s


Chalk up a big victory for Bronco Billy’s,  which is never afraid to tout their player’s club. And with all of their expansions, their player’s club has even been elevated a major notch. It only makes sense that a place with this many enhancements would have the best players club. Snagging the runner-up spot was Triple Crown, closely followed by Century. All in all, Best Of responders praised the players’ clubs of all of the casinos.


Best Casino Bar


Gold – Woody’s (Wildwood)


Silver – Pint & Platter


Bronze- Bronco Billy’s


Last Year’s  Champ – Woody’s


Casino bars are becoming a growing part of the town’s social scene.  And with COVID restrictions relaxing, this trend will escalate again.  So not surprisingly, one of the first places in town, Woody’s, which sports the town’s sole sports betting hub and has the perfect sport bar atmosphere, snagged the spotlight. However, many TMJ respondents favor the Irish digs at the Pint & Platter, where our beloved editor Rick L is known to frequent following council meetings, and the great atmosphere . Both of these latter establishments have been familiar favorites. The Billy’s slot bars are also touted as a great hangout.


Best Casino Manager


Gold – Eric Rose, Century


Silver – Matt Andrighetti


Bronze – David Minter


Last Year’s Champ – Eric Rose

In an overwhelming verdict, Eric Rose, the head skipper for Century Casinos, snagged the gold. Eric often provides a much-needed breath of fresh air to the often-mundane Cripple Creek council meetings, offering the gaming industry perspective. His past talks on lodging, recreational marijuana and special events are pretty much right on the mark. Matt Andrighetti, the general manager of Wildwood, who has experienced the ups and downs of gaming for years, recorded an impressive runner-up finish. And David Minter, the head skipper for Johnny Nolon’s, is also a frequent attendee at council meetings, and isn’t afraid to tell city leaders his favorite line: “show me the money.”




Best Cripple Creek Bar


Gold – Ralf’s Breakroom


Silver – Pint & Platter (Triple Crown)


Bronze – Woody’s (Wildwood)


Last Year’s Champ – Pint & Platter


No competition. Ralf’s, which was unseated last year, regained its reputation as The Bar of Cripple Creek, where rumors run rampant, legends are relived, festive times abound and TMJ stories are born. And both, Pint & Platter and Woody’s fared quite well this competition.


Best Cripple Creek Retail Shop


Gold – Creations Everlasting (Double Eagle)


Silver – Clover Custom Crafts


Bronze – 9494-Gifts With Altitude


Last year’s champ – 9494


Creations Everlasting serves as an absolute gem for tourists, out-of-town visitors, sports buffs and locals, with its wide assortment of NFL merchandise, vintage items, clothing, coffee, and boutique specialties. It shows why non-gaming outlets can succeed in Cripple Creek.   Clover Custom Crafts, located next to the  Evergreen Station, off Teller One, also fared quite well, while 9494 snagged the bronze.


Best Creek Specialty Shop


Gold – Creations Everlasting (Double Eagle)


Silver – The Little Store


Bronze – Cripple Creek Candy


Last Year’s Champ: Creations Everlasting


The myth that gambling and retail don’t mix is being shattered in the Creek gaming community, with more non-gaming businesses emerging every month.


The Creations Everlasting store once again took top laurels in this competition. The shop and boutique offer quite a variety and is located in a prime and convenient location in the Double Eagle casino area. Edie is quite the personable owner also.

Area Champion Results

Area Champion Results Part 2

Area Champion Results Part 3