|By Wayne Heilman, The Gazette (Colorado
Springs, Colo.)McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 20, 2012--New owners reopened the Gold Rush Hotel & Casino in Cripple Creek on Friday and hope to win approval Thursday to open a nearby second location to house the casino's poker operations by the end of the year.
Partners CC LLC reopened the casino at 209 E. Bennett Ave., which had been closed for nearly two years. The casino reopened with 273 slot machines, three blackjack tables and one poker table and plans to add six more poker tables by Friday, said Joanna Walters, chief operating officer of the Gold Rush and one of three partners of Partners CC. The reopened complex employs nearly 100 and also includes 14 hotel rooms and a full-service restaurant called The Reserve at The Rush.
"Absolutely we see a great opportunity, especially with the Gold Rush having such a fantastic location and the building having such a warm feeling," Walters said. "We have assembled a top-notch, fantastic team. The Gold Rush has traditionally done well in Cripple Creek and we hope to follow in that legacy."
Partners CC, which includes Walters, Lance Dehning of Longmont and Mike Huey of Lafayette, spent $1.5 million remodeling the hotel and casino, buying equipment for the hotel, casino and restaurant and other startup expenses, Walters said. The partners, who all have backgrounds in real estate investing, plan to move and expand the casino's poker operations to The Rush Poker Room in the former Cottage Inn building at 261 E. Bennett Ave. The move would allow them to add another 72 slot machines as well as roulette and craps tables to the Gold Rush.
The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission is scheduled Thursday to consider a license for The Lucid Group LLC, a company organized by Walters, to open The Rush Poker Room with 30 employees by year's end. Walters plans to seek approval later to transfer the license to Partners CC.
The Gold Rush Casino & Hotel closed in October 2010 due to a lease dispute between the previous owners of the hotel and casino and the building's owner. Jim Druck, the former general manager of the Gold Rush, opened Big Jim's Gambling Hall and Saloon in July 2011 in the former Imperial Casino Hotel at 279 E. Bennett Ave. with many former employees of the Gold Rush.
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