Wildwood Casino In Colorado Officially Joins Golden Nugget

Written By Darren Cooper on 12/13/2022
Tilman Fertitta's purchase of Wildwood casino finalized

The deal for Wildwood Casino in Cripple Creek became final last week.

Fertitta Entertainment, led by restaurant and casino mogul Tilman Fertitta, officially bought the property at the base of Pike’s Peak. The Colorado casino will be rebranded as Golden Nugget Casino to match Fertitta’s other properties.

Wildwood has been open since 2008. At 9,593 feet in elevation, it has billed itself as the world’s highest casino. Now it can call itself the highest Golden Nugget casino in the world. Wildwood Casino hosts a 101-room hotel and over 500 slot machines.

The Golden Nugget operates online casinos in five states where it is legal, but Colorado online gambling isn’t legal yet.

Fertitta Entertainment new owner of Colorado casino

The American Gaming Group previously owned Wildwood since 2008. It cost more than $14 million to build the hotel.

There is some question as to how much Fertitta Entertainment paid for Wildwood. Fertitta Entertainment was looking to go public at one time, so they filed information with the Securities and Exchange Commission disclosing their assets and liabilities.

In those filings, it listed a purchase price for the Wildwood of $43 million, but Fertitta representatives said last week that that figure was inaccurate. They did not disclose the final cost.

All current employees should remain under the rebrand. And all customers will see their loyalty rewards programs rolled into the Golden Nugget’s program.

Gerry Del Prete, chief operating officer of gaming for Fertitta Entertainment, said in a news release:

“Located just 45 miles from Colorado Springs, Cripple Creek has grown significantly over the years attracting visitors from across the country. We are thrilled to join this community and look forward to enhancing the property and bringing our brands to this new destination city.”

Wildwood is one of 40 operating casinos in Colorado and is one of the largest casinos in the state. Cripple Creek is a town of just more than 1,000 residents.

About Fertitta Entertainment and Tilman Fertitta

Fertitta Entertainment owns Golden Nugget casinos in:

  • Las Vegas and Laughlin, NV
  • Atlantic City, NJ
  • Biloxi, MS
  • Lake Charles, LA

Fertitta’s top asset is Landry’s restaurant chain. It includes multiple popular restaurant chains such as Joe’s Crab Shack, the Saltgrass Steak House and Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Fertitta is a Texas resident who owns the NBA’s Houston Rockets. Fertitta bought the Rockets for a then-record price of $2.2 billion in 2017.

The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission approved the November 2021 sale agreement for Wildwood Casino.


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Darren Cooper

Darren Cooper was born and raised in Southern Louisiana, just a short pirogue ride away from New Orleans. He started his journalism career at the New Orleans Times-Picayune and has been a writer and columnist in New Jersey since 1998. He's won 14 statewide press awards and earned his first Associated Press Sports Editors Top 10 award in 2022.

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