Taos is an art and historical town rich in its own 800 years
of history. From the Pueblo, with the main buildings dating back
to 1200, the festivals, gatherings and pow-wows have always brought people
to the area. St Francis de Asisi Church in Ranchos, the main Taos Plaza
are draws to thousands of people each year who come to learn about who
we are. It is a world-renowned art colony that for the past 80 years has
attracted artists, writers and musicians to the beauty of the area. The
rich cultural heritage that makes us what we are is one of the main reasons
that people visit Taos.
Taos is not without its socio-economic problems, some of which are tied to being a single industry community - namely tourism. Taos is changing in many ways, some of which include an increase in cottage industries which support many people in this community, along with construction. Many shops and galleries are dependent on tourism for the continued economic health of the community, and there are a large number of businesses that support the local community.
When a community has a casino open many small businesses fail as the nature of the tourist changes from the art buyer, family visitor to gamblers whose sole interest is gambling. People who would come to town as tourists are replaced by people who come to town to gamble. People who come to gamble do not have money to go shopping, and as soon as they have exhausted their money at the casino, they head back home.
In towns across the country that have had gambling interests open in town, there has always been a degradation in the socio-economic quality of the town. Businesses fail, the need for more monies for government at all levels as well as the strain on the local infrastructure, the loss of tax base, have destroyed the former health and sustainability of that community. It creates a financial drain that costs many times more than any perceived benefits.
"Taos is recognized rationally as a quality tourist destination center. We
enjoy this distinction due to the excellent quality of our art, the quaint
architecture of our community, the ambience of the surrounding mountains,
and the rich cultural beauty of our historic places."
Office of the Mayor
Mayor Fred Peralta
The following are studies statistics about the effects that gambling has had on communities around the country. Don't let this happen to Taos!
And there are NO beneficial economic impacts for a community!!!
And if you thought about the negative economic impacts, our youth hecome very vulnerable to the gambling addiction.
Stop the Casino Project
From the WeckTech site:
Taos Pueblo Enterprises (TPE) has proposed to purchase the Kachina Lodge near the center of the Town of Taos, New Mexico, for the purpose of annexing the property and converting part of the lodge into a casino. Taos Pueblo currently operates the Taos Mountain Casino on Pueblo lands outside of town. Allegations have been raised that the real purpose of this project is to demolish the Kachina as part of a plan to establish a four-story luxury casino/resort complex in a part of town surrounded by residential areas, museums, art galleries, bed-and-breakfast establishments, and other local businesses. Serious questions have also been raised regarding the flow of money through TPE, and concern expressed by Pueblo residents over the fact that only $1,000 of the potential millions of existing casino revenues have been earmarked for education.
In a letter, Taos Pueblo Governor Ruben Romero wrote, "We simply cannot pay the full $168,850.88 due to the State because we do not have the money. After paying you the enclosed $4,516.31, our bank balance is zero."
The Pueblo cited its geographic location, increased costs associated with operating the casino and a tribal land payment as reasons for the partial payment. Are we the citizens of Taos going to cover these costs?
These hidden costs are all passed onto the local governments who it turn need to collect from the residents who have already sustained severe financial problems due to the rise in unemployment, businesses folding, increased crime as well as the devaluation of property.
One very important fact is that TCE will not be gambling on this
venture. Its entire purpose is to make money, without regard to the
social, economic, political, legal, or moral consequences of this venture.
Mr. Rob Baracker, Director
Albuquerque Area Office
Bureau of Indian Affairs
P.O. Box 26567
Albuquerque, NM 87125-6567
Branch of Real Estate Services
615 First St. NW
You can phone or fax them, too:
E-mails can be sent to:
Also: E-mail Mrs. Ellen Engstedt, the Regional Director of the BIA.
The FONSI is available for review at
1) Albuquerque Area Office;
2) Bureau of Indian Affairs, Northern Pueblos Agency,
Old Kennedy School, San Juan Pueblo, NM
(P.O. Box 4269, Fairview Station, Espanola, NM 87533)
3) Taos Pueblo Realty Office, Taos Pueblo, NM;
4) The Town of Taos Public Library, Reference Desk,
402 Camino de la Placita, Taos, NM
(Legal No. 5039; Pub. July 29, 1999)
Also, print this out and give to as many people in town as you can think of, including the following:
Governor Gary Johnson
Mayor Fred Peralta
Mayor and Managers Office 751-2006
District Attorney John Paternoster: 758-8683
Judge Peggy Nelson: 758-4547
Police Chief Neil Curran
Crime Prevention (Police) 758-2216
County Manager: 751-8500
Taos Mental Health Clinic
Crime Stoppers Commission: 758-8188
Rape Crisis Center: 758-9888
Healthier Communities (Taos County): 751-1542
E-mail this to as many people as you know!
Contact John McLoughlin for more information about the casino on Taos.
Thanks, John, for the information about the Taos Casino Enterprises, the legal information and the assessment.
The entity that provided the environmental assessment
currently available for review at the library is:
Leedshill - Herkenhoff
500 Copper NW, Suite 500
Albuquerque, NM 87102
There is a plethora of information available in print and on the Internet regarding gambling. This could be considered an indication of the enormous impact that gambling has had across our country. Even the most ardent supporter of legalized gambling will be affected by the sheer volume of evidence and testimony that is presented here. The following are some starting points.
Gambling in Oregon - The Governor's Position
The National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling
The National Council on Problem Gambling
What is the public's opinion about America's newest pastime - legalized gambling?
Gambling addicts risk money, jobs, families...
Senator Simon's Report: The Explosive Growth of Gambling in the United States
Resources in Print
Tools you can use to respond