The Road to Ruin

But Central City is betting on the outcome--literally. The town is going for broke. If the road isn't built, officials argue, the town will be broke, anyway. This way, they have a chance of hitting a jackpot. This way, they have a chance of surviving. If they build it, someone will have to come.

And sure enough, right on schedule, Black Hawk dealt itself in. Even as Central City was pushing through the formation of the GID, councilmembers learned that Black Hawk already had a contract on the exact piece of land at Hidden Valley that Central City needs in order to build the road. (Black Hawk claims it wants to build a pumphouse there.) After consulting with lawyers--the only group certain to get rich off of all these deals--Central City moved to have the land condemned, and it committed to the road project. Black Hawk--which keeps pouncing on Central City with all the glee of a suddenly overgrown baby brother trouncing a sibling--has countered with its own legal maneuverings. A town that decorated its own city hall as a "progressive" slot machine for gambling's fifth birthday isn't about to get taken for a sucker.

A November election was supposed to pave the way for Central City's new road--for Central City's salvation. Now, however, numerous legal actions, as well as those citizens' petitions, could throw up roadblocks and postpone the project. The $34 million project that suddenly seems the only way to save a city with new infrastructure assets and not much else--except a proud, and peculiar, history of hanging on.

The joker is ripping through the pack.
They say that gambling is addictive. They just forget to say who become addicts.

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