Tesuque Casino Opens Next to Santa Fe Opera House
The Tesuque Casino last week opened next to the Santa Fe Opera House in New Mexico. The casino has 800 slots and ten gaming tables on a 72,000 square foot building that is the closest Indian casino to the state capital.
Originally the operators and supporters of the opera, which has a season of open air performances each year, were worried about having a casino operating within its shadow. As former opera general director Charles MacKay told KOB 4 last year, “I think we are concerned. Very much concerned and it’s simply the factor of the unknown.”
To help allay those fears the casino operators involved the opera in every stage of the planning. Pueblo of Tesuque Development Corporation John Kubiak told KOB 4 “We intend to be very good neighbors with the opera and have a very good relationship.”
One thing the tribe did was to intentionally orient the casino as far as possible from the opera house. This put a large parking lot between the two structures. Low intensity lights were used in the parking lot to fight light pollution.
The casino employs about 275 workers and New Mexico’s Governor Rick Vigil told the Santa Fe Reporter that he hoped to see the economic activity spread wide. “We’re looking at opportunities for everybody—citizens within the valley, job creation,” he said.
The casino replaces the old Camel Rock Casino, which is about half its size. Plans are to build a hotel with a groundbreaking sometime next year.