By Steve Beauregard (Updated August 2017)
With a 536 room hotel, over 1,200 slot machines, and 55,000 square feet of casino space, the Ameristar Casino Resort Spa in Black Hawk is the most “Las Vegas” style casino in Black Hawk. Or all of Colorado for that matter.
That Vegas feel extends to the resort’s dining options, where you’ll find a fairly reasonably-priced buffet called the “Centennial Buffet.” (Colorado is nicknamed the “Centennial State.”)
Much like the Ameristar itself, the Centennial Buffet is Colorado-themed, which is to say there’s lots of stacked rocks, logs, and wrought-iron fixtures, all of which combine to give the restaurant a décor you might describe as “contemporary rustic.”
The Centennial Buffet at the Ameristar Casino in Black Hawk
The restaurant is located on the main ground level, right off of the casino floor.
As with most casinos buffets, lines getting in can get long on Friday and Saturday nights. Here, those two nights (along with Sunday night) are called the “Seafood Celebration,” and your admission entitles you to all-you-can eat crab legs.
There are crab legs offered during the weeknight dinner buffet, unfortunately it will cost you an additional fee, and the amount of crab you get is limited. (More on that below)
Please also note that the Ameristar Black Hawk does not offer a breakfast buffet during the weekday.
Ameristar Centennial Buffet Prices & Hours
Monday – Thursday: 11 AM to 3 PM
Friday: 11 AM to 2 PM
Saturday & Sunday: 9 AM to 2 PM
Monday – Thursday: 4 PM to 9 PM
Friday & Saturday: 3 PM to 10 PM
Sunday: 3 PM to 9 PM
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, the buffet price includes all-you-can eat crab.
This does not occur on weeknights. However you can pay more to have what Ameristar calls a “Crab buy-up” option. On these nights, you can pay an additional $10.95 to receive one pound of crab.
The champagne brunch on weekends is exactly that, as it includes unlimited glasses of champagne and/or mimosas.
Also, as a very generous gesture, the Ameristar gives a 25% discount of the price of all buffets to all active and retired military personnel. (You must show a military i.d.).
First off, anyone ages 13 years on up will pay the adult prices for all buffets. Kids 3 and under will eat free.
Kids between ages 4 and 12 are charged $3 less than adults for the seafood celebration dinners Friday through Sunday but will pay the same as adults for all other buffets.
One other side note for those of you will kids: the Ameristar (along with every other casino in Black Hawk), is VERY strict with anyone under 21 year of age in or around the casino. In fact, anyone 20 years or under cannot even go on the main level of the resort between 9 PM and 7 AM. Other casinos, such as the Mardi Gras across the street, don’t even let kids inside the building at all.
Ameristar Buffet Menu Items
There are nine different food stations. Here’s a small sample of what you’ll typically find:
American: Comfort food: mashed potatoes and gravy, corn on the cob, roast beef, fried chicken, mac n’ cheese.
Seafood – Peel and eat shrimp, mussels, gumbo.
Carving – Prime rib (dinner only I believe), kielbasa sausage.
Italian – Pizza, pasta dishes.
Asian – Pho station, crab wontons, sweet and sour pork, tofu with mushrooms.
Mexican – Tamales, make-your-own taco bar.
Salad Bar – Your typical salad bar offerings, along with soups and pre-made salads.
Bread Station – Bread! And pastries during the weekend brunch.
Dessert bar – Cheesecake with your choice of fruit toppings, crème brulee, carrot
cake, chocolate chip cookies, and self-serve ice cream. A nice touch here is the chocolate fountain and strawberries for dipping.
(Here’s a look at the Ameristar’s crab legs)
Centennial Buffet Phone Number
All in all, the Centennial Buffet seems to be a decent buffet.
In addition, it has a very nice warm and comfortable setting, as opposed to some of the more sterile cattle-call type of buffet environments I’ve visited.
The Ameristar’s main buffet competition in Black Hawk and Central City are ones across the highway found at the Mardi Gras Casino and down the road at the Isle of Capri Hotel & Casino. The Centennial holds its own against these two, even though they appear to be priced a little higher than these two casino buffets.
The other main drawbacks are the long Friday/Saturday night lines, and the crab add-on during weeknight dinners.
Like many of you, I’d rather have the admission price raised and have it include crab. I’m so cheap I won’t pay extra for the crab. Then I’ll sit and eat my meal, l watch people walk by with a pound of crab then get jealous. But maybe that’s more of my psychological problem than the Ameristar’s.
(Photo courtesy of the Ameristar Black Hawk.)