Town in New Mexico Urgently Seeks Pueblo to Construct Casino Complex


Posted on: February 12, 2024, 10:10h. 

Last updated on: February 12, 2024, 10:13h.

City commissioners in Raton, New Mexico, home to approximately 6,000 people, have given the go-ahead to transfer about 130 acres of vacant land to a sovereign indigenous community.

Raton had been used by Native Americans for centuries because of a pass in town that cuts through the rugged Rocky Mountains. (Image: Wikipedia)

The Pueblo of Picuris, with a population of around 300, is now in a position to construct and operate a casino complex in Raton after the land is transferred to them.

Picuris 101

Picuris, one of the state’s smallest indigenous pueblos, has a rich history. Spanish expeditions missed it entirely due to its remote location on the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. However, the community, despite historical challenges, has thrived for over 750 years.

The San Lorenzo de Picuris Spanish mission, in the Pueblo of Picuris, stands where the Picuris people have lived for at least 750 years. (Image: Wikipedia)

Deflating Balloon City

Raton, known for hosting the International Balloon Rally, has experienced a declining population over the years. However, hopes are high that the casino development and resettlement would reverse this trend, boosting the local economy and schools.

The proposal is currently non-binding, but the process is moving forward. A meeting between pueblo leaders and Raton officials is scheduled for later this month.



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