Colorado nightlife
rocks, more or less

Nov 27, 2006 2:54 AM

Instead of staying home on Friday night and watching NBC’s Las Vegas, I went in search of nocturnal nuttiness in Central City and Black Hawk. Thankfully, I figured out how to program the VCR to capture the 48 minutes of the nominal drama as Vegas really isn’t. In fact, the only thing the show portrays with any semblance of accuracy is the inflated size of bosom observable in The Meadows.

In last night’s episode, Sam the casino host chases after three indebted customers with a hired strong-arm to recoup a total of $380,000. To facilitate her travels, the casino lends her the company jet for two days to confront her dead-beat clients ”¦ although she is only going to Los Angeles and Denver.

Of course, the muscle pummels the debtors "old school" style.

While in Central City/Black Hawk I took stock of the night scene. In laid back Central City, nothing out of the ordinary appeared to transpire until I got what seemed to be a glimpse of little people along Main Street.

While my first assumption was that I had somehow ended up in the Land of Oz (the Technicolor one, not the one with shanks), the locus-like swarms of mini-folk were in fact children.

The little sugar-boogers were retreating en-masse via a street level elevator to the basement video arcade at the Easy Street Casino. Like a Chucky-Cheese without the yellowish cheese-like stuff topped cardboard or those freaky animatronics hippie band members, the rat Keller of Easy Street was jammed with child rats (I mean”¦ lovely, well behaved children).

From the minute that I walked through the area on the way to the escape stairs leading to the two floors of casino action, it looked like the kids and their knackered parents were having a good time.

Once in my more natural surroundings of a casino, I ventured upstairs to the one open blackjack table, won enough to pay for my gas to return to Denver from Central City, and then bid adieu to one of the finest and most genuinely hospitable table staff in Colorado.

As a side, there is a restaurant adjacent to the pit called Millie’s, and it is an excellent alternative to some of the more expensive and/or crowded buffet restaurants in the area on a weekend evening. The victuals offered are simple, good old-fashioned comfort foods — nothing fancy, but savory.

With ill-gotten gains in pocket, I moseyed one block farther down Main Street for my favorite libation (i.e., root beer) at the Dostal Alley Saloon & Gaming Emporium. I’ve mentioned this operation and their magic elixir in previous columns, but it is worthwhile to note that I learned in the summer, they will not only brew their seasonal beers and the stalwart root beer, but also crank out home-made style ice cream.

To quote MAD TV, a root beer float is coming at a "whole ”˜notha’ level."

After dropping the transmission into neutral for the descent to Black Hawk, I pulled into Ameristar’s valet. Taking the escalator down to the main gaming floor, I spied the first foray of live entertainment. At Bar 8042 (an allusion to the height of Black Hawk above sea level), a pop cover band played the classic rock standards. (Where would we be without Chicago and Styx?)

The casino floor was hopping and the background live music just enhanced the ambiance. Not to be left behind, Ameristar’s main competitor, the Isle of Capri also had a live band playing on a stage above the casino floor. Unfortunately, these two locales were the extent of offering a Friday night special of entertainment.

As far as contests and promotions in action, I only witnessed one. Golden Mardi Gras’ GM Jef, in a show of dedicated method acting — at least in terms of (no) hair style sans the soul patch, emceed a game of "Take it or Leave it." What a deal (or no deal)!

The heaviest gambling action observed during the evening was at The Lodge. The dozen or so poker tables had lines of people longer than at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland waiting to play. As pronounced before, the poker craze is certainly not over in Colorado.

Even though it may force me to miss another live broadcast of Las Vegas next week (the episode where one of the gals gains four ounces and mystery ensues from where the weight came), I will head down to the third branch of the mining town gaming triumvirate, Cripple Creek, and give a report on, to quote Raj, Rerun, and Dwayne, "What’s Happening."

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