Two wealthy Miami businessmen are funding a $261 million hotel and casino project for Black Hawk. The project has tremendous potential and controversy.
They are stealing the last lot of undeveloped major land in Blackhawk, the state’s top gambling town.
The 24-acre parcel is at the main entrance of the town and will be the first gaming property to be seen by metropolitan area travelers upon entering the town.
However, developers must complete the sale of properties, secure excavation permits to blow up the mountain, and remove an estimated 500,000 cubic yards of rock before the casino is built. It could be finished as early as 2007.
The project, called the Colorado Mint Hotel & Casino, suffered from fraud reportedly resulting in millions of dollars in fraud from investors in 2002 and fraud charges against a small number of people.
Sherwood Weiser and Donald Lefton, veterans of Miami hotels and casinos, are the main financial backers.
Steve Bulter, a local manager who spent years looking at plum parcels and closing deals, made a fuss about a year ago at Weiser and Lefton.
Weiser and Lefton built their fortune in 2001 after selling Carnival Resorts & Casino, a hotel and gaming company they co-founded, to Penn National Gaming for $182 million.
They currently operate Continental Hospitality Holdings LLC, which develops and manages hotels and casinos.
Lefton said the deal for the 24 acres of land owned by Stanford University is expected to end in 30 to 60 days. He declined to comment further on the project.
According to documents obtained by The Post, the organization is paying $21 million for the package, which was donated to Stanford by previous owners who were unable to develop the land.
“This is definitely one of the bigger and more desirable sites that remains,” said Steve Higgins, owner of Heritage West, a real estate brokerage and consulting firm that focuses on the Blackhawk and Central City markets.
The development includes a 250-room hotel, 1,350 slot machines, at least 26 table games, 1,500 space parking structures, a full-service spa, and four restaurants.
It is expected to recreate the feeling of a grand Western-style villa with a shake-style cannon, folk stonework, metal roof, and wrought iron.
When it opens today, casinos will be the largest in the state by slot machines. Currently, Capri Island is the largest, with 1,191 units.
The Colorado Mint Casino project in Bulter ran into an obstacle a few years ago. 스포츠토토사이트
Gill claimed that hundreds of millions of dollars in mutual funds could guarantee a loan for the project, Bulter said. Gill was charged with intimidation and fraud in 2002, fled the country after learning of the allegations, and was caught in Spain earlier this year. He is scheduled for questioning.
In 2003, two lawyers in New York who were indicted with Gill were found not guilty after a jury in Colorado ruled that they were cheated by Gill. A financial consultant in San Diego was given six months of probation for pleading guilty to commercial bribery. The other two defendants in the case were placed on probation for pleading guilty to misdemeanors.
Boulter helped build two Black Hawk casinos and continued to push for the Colorado Mint project, although it failed. With the support of Weiser and Lefton, the project is not certain.
According to financial documents, Imperial Commercial Bank of Canada will acquire a $200 million bond for the project. Imperial Commercial Bank of Canada received a building permit from the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
But Sean McCartney, Blackhawk’s director of community planning and development, said he had “not yet received permission to excavate.”
Mountain High, the last new casino in the Black Hawk, was built four years ago. It was known as the Black Hawk Casino by Hyatt at the time.
McCartney said the Mint “would be a good stand-alone project” and “wouldn’t need help with other developments.”