Cripple Creek’s overnight accommodations got a major upgrade when the former Wildwood Casino, (now branded as Golden Nugget Cripple Creek) opened the area’s newest hotel.
It won the gold title as the Best Casino Hotel in The Mountain Jackpot’s annual “Best of” reader’s poll for two consecutive years. The hotel opened to rave reviews from local business and community leaders in the summer of 2021, as it became the first new casino hotel constructed since the mid-1990s. The project was described as the opening act in Cripple Creek’s effort to become more of a destination area.
Visitors appreciate having an upscale option that is conveniently located next to the old Wildwood Casino and all the businesses down the main road – Bennet Ave.
The original Wildwood hotel was a $14 million, 101-room undertaking, offering a variety of room types including standard Kings and Queens, standard (double-bed) rooms and ADA (American Disability Act) compliant facilities. Six luxury suites were also added to bring a high-end stay experience to the area. To help attract more tourism to the area, the hotel offers meeting and conference space.
Now, under a new ownership and a major rebranding effort that has been finalized with new signs and massive enhancements, the casino is officially called Golden Nugget Cripple Creek. This follows a number of meetings before the Cripple Creek City Council and local officials, with the name change not taking effect until recently. Insiders say the name and ownership change, capped by major investment and improvement efforts, will make the property into one of the city’s premiere gaming and entertainment hubs.
In 2022, a sales deal was finalized, setting the stage for Wildwood’s emergence as part of the Golden Nugget casino brand, under the ownership of a company owned by Texas billionaire and restaurant tycoon Tilman Fertitta. Golden Nugget casinos are part of the Fertitta Entertainment lineup.
The new owners are spending millions to renovate the casino, and have opened a Saltgrass Steak House, (which replaces Joe’s Diner). Other improvements include moving the coffee shop closer to the main entrance and replacing carpet and adding more slot machines, according to Colorado media reports.
The approval process, though, wasn’t easy.
Sign changes, aimed at enhancing this rebranding effort, were approved by the Cripple Creek City Council. But this required a tedious, detailed process with much scrutiny by local leaders. Probably the biggest rebranding adjustment involved the name change of its upscale hotel to that of the Golden Nugget. Despite some initial skepticism, the rebranding has been well-received.
The hotel which will offer continual improvements, is part of expanded offerings that already included a top-rate Las Vegas-style casino, the Gold King Mountain Inn and Gas N’ Roll. If you find yourself gambling at Golden Nugget Cripple Creek, you’ll be playing at The Highest Casino in the World, which offers more than 500 slot machines, 12 table games and several restaurants. Wildwood’s original hotel, Gold King Mountain Inn, continues to offer family-friendly accommodations with oversized rooms, and the only hotel in the area with an indoor pool and fitness center.
With all the other gambling options in town, Golden Nugget Cripple Creek has taken the reins of a casino property with a strong local heritage and one that has won its share of local accolades. It is proud to have taken the gold for the prestigious “Most Money Won” in the 2023 TMJ reader’s poll. Moreover, the Golden Nugget Cripple Creek took the top ratings in a number of prestigious categories, according to readers of TMJ and thousands of “Best Of” participants. The casino also has the largest Table Games progressive currently over $150,000. And, customers can enjoy the largest single-floor gaming area in town, with wide aisles and high ceilings.
With several restaurants, Golden Nugget Cripple Creek offers something for everyone. In 2022, the casino opened the new 9593 Coffee which proudly serves Starbucks, along with small bites so customers can get back to their slot play. Another aspect of the renovations call for the coffee shop to be moved closer to the main entrance.
Woody’s Sports Bar has quickly become the local hub for watching, and wagering on, major sporting events. Woody’s customers can kick back and enjoy all the action on 23 TVs, with many games having themed prizes. The new Saltgrass Steak House, which opened in July, has received raving reviews, and is one of only four Saltgrass outlets in Colorado. It included a private dining room for groups of up to 25 people, and is known for its hearty and enticing supply of seafood chicken, steak, pork chops, burgers, sandwiches and salads.
And the casino will soon sport Bar 46, named after the original opening of the iconic Golden Nugget Las Vegas. Bar 46 will offer more video poker, additional seating and the best pours in town 24/7.
Conveniently located at the entrance to historic Cripple Creek, Golden Nugget Cripple Creek is easy to reach and offers the only climate-controlled parking in the area making it comfortable for visitors year-round.
The casino and hotel continues to fulfill needs within the city, and the community is excited to see what is next for this ever-evolving company.