Cripple Creek Colorado. United States 2005.
The City of Cripple Creek is the Statutory City that is the county seat of Teller County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 1189 at the 2010 United States Census. Cripple Creek is a former gold mining camp located 44 miles (71 km) southwest of Colorado Springs near the base of Pikes Peak. The Cripple Creek Historic District, which received National Historic Landmark status in 1961, includes part or all of city and includes surrounding area. The city is now a part of the Colorado Springs, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. With many empty storefronts and picturesque homes, Cripple Creek once drew interest as a ghost town. At one point the population dropped to a few hundred, although Cripple Creek was never entirely deserted. In the 1970s and 1980s travelers on photo safari might find themselves in a beautiful decaying historic town. A few restaurants and bars catered to tourists who could pass weathered empty homes with lace curtains hanging in broken windows.
Colorado voters allowed Cripple Creek to establish legalized gambling in 1991. Cripple Creek is currently more of a gambling and tourist town than a ghost town. Casinos now occupy many historic buildings. Casino gambling has been successful in bringing revenue and vitality back into the area. It also provides funding for the State Historical Fund, administered by the Colorado Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. In 2012, Colorado casinos produced over $104 million in tax revenue for these programs.
Cripple creek colorado
A great piece of the nostalgia of Cripple Creek was destroyed by the casino advocates. The Brass Ass Cafe was famous for settling differences of opinion with hard knuckles, and the huge famous painting of the Brass Ass on the side of the building is long gone. As a teenager living and working in the mines of Victor in the 1930's, the Brass Ass provided me with more than my share of scars and broken knuckles.
Directly across the street from the Brass Ass was the Pine Cone Inn, fabulous for dinner and dancing. 'Twas there that a tipsy patron tried to dictate to the bouncer, who put him away with a single 6" jab, all witnessed by Jake Kearns, the boxing promoter from New York. A contract was signed immediately; and a very short time later Jack Dempsy was the heavy weight boxing champion of the world.
Fast forward: WWII, 1944; Jack Dempsy's huge restaurant, New York City: We had just returned from a convoy trip to the UK just North of Ireland. I insisted to three fellow officers that we could get a free drink at Dempsy's restaurant; I had to prove my point to the doubting Thomas's. Away we went. We had to do some heavy elbowing to eventually shake hands with Jack Dempsy. "Jack my shipmates refuse to believe that I got these broken knuckles in the Brass Ass Cafe". Those were my words; short silence. Handshakes all around. Dempsy's arm went straight up in the air, and a couple of minutes later his Maitre D elbowed his way into our presence. "These four officers are guests of the house for as long as they stay here tonight", and we all lived happily ever after.
the town sure looks nicer since they legalized gaming in Colorado. When I lived in Florissant in the 80's, we called it the "armpit of Colorado" because most of the town was so rundown. things pretty much died off in winter without much tourism. but I still miss the area.
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