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Pueblo of Tesuque announces plan for casino at site next to famed Santa Fe Opera

Thursday, December 21, 2017
A building at the Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico. Photo: Geo Clark
The Pueblo of Tesuque plans to shut down its gaming facility and build a new one at a site next to the famed Santa Fe Opera in northern New Mexico.

According to news reports, the tribe will break ground in January 2018. The first phase of the project is expected to be complete by the end of the year and will feature 750 slot machines and table games, along with food and beverage options.

The Camel Rock Casino, which has been in operation since in 1995, will close prior to the opening of the new facility, whose name hasn't been reported.

“The Pueblo of Tesuque envisions our new casino will be timeless, inviting, and unlike any other casino in New Mexico,” the tribe said in a press release quoted by The Santa Fe New Mexican. “This development will bring fresh energy to our gaming operations with a unique look and modern amenities, all within close proximity to the Santa Fe community.”

The new casino brings the tribe even closer to Santa Fe, the state capital. Camel Rock is about 11 miles north of the city's downtown -- the Opera site is a little over 7 miles away.

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Despite the proximity to Santa Fe, Camel Rock does not perform as well as the nearby Buffalo Thunder Resort, a much larger facility owned by the Pueblo of Pojoaque. The Opera site, which housed a popular flea market up until earlier this year, gives both tribes more buffer space along the same stretch of highway.

The announcement comes after The Santa Fe New Mexican reported the closure of a small casino owned by the Pueblo of Nambé. The Nambé Falls Casino was in between Camel Rock and Buffalo Thunder.

The Santa Fe Opera, whose many fans include Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court, is well known for its productions and views of the natural surroundings. The outdoor venue typically hosts events only during the summer months.

Read More on the Story:
Tesuque Pueblo plans casino next to Santa Fe Opera (The Santa Fe New Mexican December 20, 2017)
Casino to be built next to Santa Fe Opera (The Albuquerque Journal December 20, 2017)
Pueblo to build new casino next to Santa Fe Opera (KOB December 20, 2017)
Why this pueblo plans to build new casino near Santa Fe Opera (Albuquerque Business First December 20, 2017)