Colorado Casino Notebook: BlackHawk Horseshoe Set for Summer Debut

Written By Ken Pomponio on 06/28/2022

Black Hawk’s Isle Casino Hotel looks to be entering its final month.

Come August, the Caesars Entertainment-owned property should officially be going by Horseshoe Black Hawk.

“We feel pretty good about late July,”  Isle director of marketing Kurt Grimes recently told PlayColorado. “You never know in this day and age with the supply chain and all that, in terms of our signage, but we feel fairly confident in late July.”

It’s a full-scale rebrand for the Isle Casino, which originally opened in December 1998.

The lsle is following the rebrand footsteps of several Caesars sister properties, including Missouri’s Horseshoe Saint Louis and Indiana’s Horseshoe Indianapolis Racing and Casino.

That means “refreshed looks” and “Horseshoe touches” for the Isle’s 42,400-square-foot casino and 240-room hotel.

“It’s just been digital and internal signage so far,” Grimes said of the transition, which began this spring. “Nothing major has taken place.”

Grimes added that the makeover — which includes new chandeliers and light fixtures — is expected to continue into the fall. But the casino and hotel will remain fully open.

The Isle’s poker room will be renamed the World Series of Poker Room in the Horseshoe tradition.

Meanwhile, the property’s current Farmer’s Pick Cafe will be transformed into Brew Brothers, giving the national brewpub chain a Colorado locale.

Grimes said that process isn’t slated to begin until Q4 this fall.

Overall, Grimes said there’s excitement and anticipation in the air. New-look Horseshoe staff uniforms will be coming soon as well.

“We’ve had several town halls talking about what we’re doing and why, and our team was very engaged,” Grimes said. “Now it’s time to get our guests excited about it. I think everyone’s excited for it to happen.”

Wildwood getting new online sportsbook partner

Change also is coming down south at Cripple Creek’s Wildwood Casino.

BetWildwood, the retail establishment’s nearly two-year-old online sportsbook app, is in its final days of existence. 

The app stopped accepting wagers on June 14. On June 30, it will permanently cease operations.

The Wildwood recently was purchased by Fertitta Entertainment and is joining the corporation’s Golden Nugget brand. The deal is expected to close some time this summer.

Somewhat surprisingly, though, the Wildwood general manager Matt Andrighetti tells PlayColorado that the gaming establishment’s new sportsbook partner will not be Golden Nugget-affiliated.

Instead, it will be pairing with “another sportsbook operator who should be making an announcement soon,” Andrighetti said.

The GM couldn’t reveal more details but did say it’s a “well-known sportsbook currently operating in the United States but not in Colorado.”

It will join a crowded field as the Centennial State currently boasts a U.S.-most 26 online sportsbook apps.

Andrighetti said the sportsbook is awaiting licensing approval from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission. He said the aim is to have it up and accepting bets before the NFL and college football seasons kick off late this summer.

“We’re obviously hoping to get it done before football starts up — that’s our goal,” Andrighetti explained. “The main hold up right now is just getting them on the docket with the commission to get their gaming license approved. We’re just waiting for regulatory approval with the provider. Then the announcements will come out and then we’ll have it up and running. I can’t give you a date right now, but we’re pushing as hard as we can to have it up and running before football.”

Grand Z’s Uncle Kracker concert sells out

The Colorado casino summer calendar isn’t exactly overflowing with live entertainment and concert events.

But the Grand Z Casino, located at 321 Gregory Street in Central City, is hosting a July 16 concert featuring Uncle Kracker. And the event, which will take place outside at 8 p.m., recently has sold out.

Bonn E Maiy will serve as the special guest/opening act. 

Then Uncle Kracker, whose real name is Matthew Shafer, will take the stage, performing his top-10 Billboard hits “Follow Me” and “Drift Away.” 

The former member of Kid Rock’s backing group also has new music out, including the single “Floatin.”

Concert general admission tickets sold for $25 and $30. VIP packages also were available for $75.

Photo by Isle Casino Illustration
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Ken Pomponio

Ken is a fourth-generation Coloradan and career sports journalist with more than 30 years covering the gamut from the preps to the pros. A lifelong Front Range resident and son of 1960s Denver Broncos season-ticket holders, he is a long-time sports betting enthusiast whose insight and passion shine through in his coverage at PlayColorado.

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