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A Cripple Creek casino closes its doors to patrons

A Cripple Creek casino closes its doors to patrons

CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. - The Rush Casino closed its doors on Friday morning, just six months after it opened them.

The casino would not give KRDO NewsChannel 13 any information on why it closed its doors.

The move had many patrons shocked.

"No! The Rush is closed? Now? Today? I love the Rush," said Maria Smiley.

"Our van driver, he told us about it, and that was a shock. I think it was a shock to a lot of people," said Rose Taylor.

Though not everyone was surprised by the casino's closure. Bronco Billy's Casino owner and general manager Marc Murphy has been with the casino since gambling was established in Cripple Creek in 1998.

He said he's seen a lot of casinos come and go in Cripple Creek. He said it's difficult for new casinos to try to break into the market and try to compete with well-established casinos like Bronco Billy's Casino.

He said The Rush wasn't getting the market share it hoped for when it started in August.

"I've seen other casinos comes and go. It's a very hard market to open a casino," said Murphy. "To bring new devices and a new company into town is difficult to compete with the established operations."

He said the casinos pay different fees to the city so this could hurt the city's economy and budget. As far as the gaming industry is concerned, he said this is a good move for casinos here.

"Additional devices come to town in a market that isn't growing, is a deterrent to the industry," said Murphy.

Employees at The Rush were standing outside the building on Friday afternoon waiting to collect their checks. Murphy said his casino already hired one of their employees this morning and expects other casinos will hire The Rush's employees looking for jobs.

KRDO NewsChannel 13 tried to speak with people at Cripple Creek's city government to comment on The Rush's closure and its impact on the city, the economy and the gaming industry. No one with the city's government would comment.

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