Nothing goes together better than the flashing lights of a Christmas tree and a slot machine, so why not pair them together throughout the year? That’s exactly what the owners of the Christmas Casino and Inn decided to do in the historic frontier town of Cripple Creek, Colorado.
Garlands decorate the casino walls and a nutcracker carousal sits at the center of the slot machines. Several Christmas trees can be found around the property. There is also a tiny hotel upstairs that hosts 12 rooms featuring Christmas character-themes. Inside this casino, the Christmas spirit exists year-round.
It was the dream of many settlers arriving in Cripple Creek to strike it rich from gold deposits during the late 1800s. The Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mine had been the largest producer of gold in Colorado. However, as technology advanced, there was a declining need for manpower. This caused the population of Cripple Creek to slowly decline over the years. Colorful Victorian homes and abandoned old western storefronts became commonplace. At one point, the population was less than 2,000.
However, when Colorado voters allowed Cripple Creek to legalize gambling in 1991, the casinos began to occupy many of the historic buildings along Bennett Ave. That’s where the Christmas Casino and Inn opened in 2018. Money from the casino has greatly contributed to the reconstruction of several of the town’s historic buildings.
Inside the casino is more than a mere collection of gambling devices. It also features a 16 foot tall, authentic, rotating German Christmas Pyramid. It’s believed to be one of only two of its kind in the United States. It features five tiers depicting the Holy Family, Santas and snowmen, and musical angels to name a few. There is also a massive collection of cuckoo clocks located on a wall inside to complement the casino’s nine life-sized nutcrackers.
Know Before You Go
All the casinos in the town seem to be owned by two or three companies and they all seem to work together for accommodations. Heavy tourist traffic occurs during the summer.