Rearview mirror: Looking into the future

By Bob Sweeney

By Bob Sweeney

Great comments pouring in from our recent 25th anniversary collectors’ edition, 1 of 2. Look for additional anniversary stories in the coming months. We have readers who have saved every Colorado Gambler we have published over the past 25 years.

Our collection of Colorado history is among the very best ever assembled and published. Thousands of stories have been written and researched from letters, books, files and libraries. We have at least five successful book authors that have written for this publication over the past 25 years.

We start another chapter in Colorado history with our three gaming communities and whatever the future may hold for all of us.

Gazing into a crystal ball that looks more like a computer screen, we might predict a steady climb in gaming revenues. We read that our metro population will double in the next few decades.

Belvedere theatre File photo

Belvedere theatre
File photo

Traffic is already a nightmare at certain times of the day and we can surmise what it will be like when it doubles.  Bad for all of us, and we must make plans to travel early in the morning or late at night.

Mass transportation has been addressed by RTD and our metro rail system has been almost completed. One can almost ride the RTD everywhere including DIA (when it works).

I feel sorry for the folks who live in Idaho Springs and have to endure all of the westbound traffic in late
afternoon, weekends, holidays and the upcoming ski-season traffic. There should be an express lane for residents of local areas only, not tourists.

The crystal ball tells me that eventually we will have some bullet trains that would run from Fort Collins to Pueblo.  Another similar train that would run all the way to Grand Junction passing through Vail and Glenwood Springs.   The train would be built over the top of the existing highway network, but would have to use the existing tunnels under the mountains. Challenging expensive, but if China, Taiwan and Japan can have the 200 mile an hour trains, so can Colorado.

Charles Weitfle stereoscopic photo of the Snowy Range on the Colorado Central Railroad. File photo

Charles Weitfle stereoscopic photo of the Snowy Range on the Colorado Central Railroad.
File photo

There are many abandoned railroad beds in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek. I read recently that a rail line might begin from Vail up to Leadville and down to Salida.

Anyone ever think about a return of a railroad up to Central City on the old Colorado Central Railroad from Golden to this area, bringing thousands of folks to town?

We’re increasing our Gambler circulation this winter even further west into the mountain towns off the I-70 corridor.

The crystal ball also indicates more entertainment venues like the Belvedere theatre restoration in Central City.  More and more mini-conventions coming to our gaming towns with the additional hotel facilities now existing and under construction.

Las Vegas and Reno are great convention destinations and we do have the facilities to host smaller conventions. We need to work more with profit and nonprofit organizations to bring folks to town for overnight stays.

One of the great success stories of the past 25 years that has reached a high point is the food service being provided by our casinos. The availability and quality of buffets and dining has reached Las Vegas quality and the meals are just superb.

A great tribute to the chefs, kitchen and wait staffs, and the food and beverage managers who turn out such wonderful gourmet meals.

The way to a man and women heart is through their tummies. Certainly the only way these fabulous restaurants can exist is revenue from the gaming revenues and card-reward play.

We all can laugh about the free room and the meals when we take a turn at the slots, craps or blackjack tables.  Sometimes that free meal costs quite a bit, but it’s all in the process of having fun. Entertainment includes enjoying an evening or day in the mountains with lady luck, a fickle lady that comes and goes.

We wish to thank the entire industry, our readers and loyal advertisers for making this publication possible for 25 years. This includes our own publishing staff who gather the news, ads and graphic arts, and our delivery man, who lugs the papers to casinos on a regular basis rain or shine.

The printers who do such a splendid job putting out a quality product and to our bus drivers and transportation companies that have been real heroes in all type of weather for safe and reliable transportation.

It is a team effort of more than 10,000 people that fuel this business that contributes more than $100 million in tax revenues to the State of Colorado every year, asking little in return except to keep the highways open and snowplowed.

Lastly, the cities and two county governments have been most cooperative and seem to bend over backwards to make everything work in a positive manner.

Going forward as a team, we can keep jobs improving and encourage more employees to move back to our mountain towns.

May you have many blackjacks in the years ahead.

Robert and Sharon Sweeney, publishers 

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