One night only, Vegas-style gambling comes to the Rifle’s Ute Theater |

One night only, Vegas-style gambling comes to the Rifle’s Ute Theater

The New Ute Theatre Society is hosting its second annual Casino Night benefit Saturday in Rifle

People enjoy playing blackjack during last year's Casino Night at the Ute Theater in Rifle. The event is back this year to help raise money for NUTS.

A taste of “Sin City” is coming to western Garfield County, as the New Ute Theatre Society brings back Casino Night this Saturday in Rifle.

“It was a huge success last year. We had nothing but wonderful feedback,” N.U.T.S. board member Tanya Giard said.

Patrons to the second annual event will give a taste of real gambling, with no guilt, as the proceeds will go for a good cause.

“They are professional dealers with professional Vegas tables,” Giard said. “They are legit tables, chips and all.”

Once again, the society has gone all out and hired Casino Party USA, a casino company from Denver, providing the dealers and tables.

The doors open 6 p.m., and gambling starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Ute Theater, with tickets costing $30.

Each ticket holder will receive $200 in playing chips, and if players run out they have the opportunity to buy back in with a booklet for $20.

Giard said the origin of the event began from a need to raise money for the non-profit, which supports the efforts of the city of Rifle in creating a performing arts and gathering space.

“We needed an annual fund raiser. We have sustainable memberships and that gets us so far. So, we wanted something we could see more growth in, and provide a fun night for the community,” Giard said.

The event was a big hit last year, and Giard said they ran out of seats and tables.

This year, there will be two craps tables, one roulette, two Texas Holdem, and 10 blackjack tables, which Giard said was the most popular last year.

“We are hoping we will fill it to the max again, but this year we provided more tables,” Giard said, adding there will be a dealer for each table and a pit boss.

Elvis made an appearance during last year’s Casino Night. The event is the main fundraiser for The New Ute Theatre Society, or NUTS.

“These dealers will help you if you don’t know how to play,” Giard said.

Proceeds from the evening will help fund events and programing during the coming year at the Ute Theater.

“Our main focus has become helping other non-profits to rent the Ute,” Giard said.

Those events include the Hoot at the Ute, which helps benefit the Rifle Animal Shelter and is scheduled for Feb. 15. The N.U.T.S. board picks up the rental fee for the venue.

N.U.T.S. also partners with the Symphony of the Valley three times a year, and with Missoula Children’s Theater for a camp every year.

“This year will be our third annual children’s theater camp. It’s a week-long camp,” Giard said.

With the help from money raised at events like Casino Night, N.U.T.S. is able to help keep the registration cost down for children to attend the camp.

Giard said that, this summer, they are bringing Johnny Appleseed to the stage of the Ute Theater during the camp in July.

At Saturday’s event they will be playing old school Vegas music during the event to set the mood.

The tables will be open until 10 p.m., and door prizes will be given away at the close of the night.

Giard said prizes include Sunlight, Hot Springs and Brenden Theatre passes, concert tickets to upcoming shows, Ute Theater swag and more.

New this year, Valley Taxi will be providing two cars that people can use to get home after Saturday’s event. Regular taxi fares will apply.

“You can come out and play and go home with something, or you can just come out and support,” Giard said.

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