When completed, the project will add roughly 500
hotel rooms to the Black Hawk destination.
The expansion includes a 23-story hotel tower with
two levels of casino gaming and several new
restaurants and bars.
In 1997, PCL
launched its first project in Black Hawk with the remodel of the Gilpin Hotel
and Casino. A year later, PCL returned to the town, successfully completing the
Lodge Hotel and Casino, a 290,000-square-foot development that included two
floors of gaming machines, three restaurants, and one floor of 50 hotel rooms. In
2001, PCL constructed the tallest building in the town, the Black Hawk Casino
by Hyatt (now Ameristar), which was also at the time the largest casino in
Colorado. The project included 62,000 square feet of gaming space, 10,000 square
feet of retail, 50,000 square feet of back-of-house space, and an 800-car
precast, design-build parking garage.
To keep up
with the town’s growth, PCL is expanding the Monarch Casino Black Hawk into a
full-scale casino, hotel, and spa, which will feature a 23-story hotel tower
that includes two levels of casino gaming, and several new restaurants and
bars. The hotel will add substantially to the number of Black Hawk’s existing hotel
rooms, and will be capped off by a luxury amenity deck with a world-class spa,
pools, and additional recreation space. While PCL is managing the construction
of the expansion, the existing, newly remodeled casino is in full operation and
open to the public.
mountain project comes with its unique challenges, and the Monarch Expansion
project is no exception. The site is surrounded by Clear Creek’s streambed
directly to the north, the occupied Monarch Casino to the west, the casino’s
new and fully operational parking garage to the east, and Main Street to the
south. Because of the limited boundaries, the PCL team is required to treat it in
some ways like a big city build. PCL’s project team and the City of Black Hawk are
working cohesively to limit impacts on the neighboring businesses. To mitigate
challenges associated with these tight quarters, the project team is using an
online scheduling system that ensures trade contractors arrive within specific
time windows to maximize efficiency.
also poses environmental challenges. Granite bedrock made drilling the 181
piers at an average depth of 28 feet very difficult. A two-man crew worked daily
to weld new teeth into the drill bits to ensure the foundation work continued
without issues. This resulted in moving forward the completion date for
drilling the piers by almost a week.
location at the lower end of Black Hawk means a constant flow of water runs beneath
the site, which impacted dewatering efforts and drilling of the caissons. The
elevation challenge combined with frequent Colorado spring storms forced the
water table to rise several feet early in the project schedule. The team worked
with the owner and several dewatering companies to come up with a viable and cost-effective
solution that completely dewatered the site and allowed crews to continue
moving forward with the foundation work.
Information Modeling (BIM) is one way PCL is combating the challenges of this
project. The team coordinates with concrete, building enclosure, mechanical,
electrical, plumbing, and fire protection trades to create a collaborative
environment that enables all partners to prefabricate their materials. This
method allows issues to be solved during the modeling phase rather than later,
in the building phase, and ultimately maximizes efficiency to save time during
RISING TO THE TOP
The Monarch Casino Black Hawk hotel, casino, and
spa expansion will add roughly 500 hotel rooms to the Black Hawk destination,
increasing the current total of 1,000 rooms by approximately 50 percent. This influx of lodging comes at a time when
casino revenue in Black Hawk is on the rise. The Monarch hotel and casino will enable
the City to hold more visitors and offer more amenities, and will add to the
already expansive casino scene—continuing Black Hawk’s transition from a
day-trip destination to a full-amenity resort town.