BLACK HAWK, CO-Black Hawk, the undisputed king of casinos in Colorado, just landed the largest gaming palace ever in the state. The $150-million Black Hawk Casino by Hyatt opened Dec. 20.

The developer of the complex is Woodmont Resort Corp. Hyatt Gaming Management Inc., a unit of Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp., is the operator.

A live entertainment area called the Wild Fire Lounge anchors the 55,000-sf complex. Four 70-foot fireplaces circle the lounge.

The project will employ about 700 people. It also features Gilpin County’s first Starbucks.

Two restaurants are already open. A Wolfgang Puck restaurant will open in early 2002.

Windsor Woodmont plans to start construction of a 24-story, 350-room Hyatt hotel adjacent to the casino in about a year.

Black Hawk generates the lion’s share of the three Colorado mountain towns where voters approved limited stakes gambling in a statewide ballot about 10 years ago.

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