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A More Direct Approach 


Not enough water to flush the hotel toilets. Ugly. All that and more. If it really is in tribal interests to develop a casino-adjacent hotel near Trinidad, the nasty ramifications could be modified ("Questions Swirl Ahead of Trinidad Hotel Hearing," Aug. 1). But it's apparently not the tribe so much as the investors.

My inquiries into the financial backing for development leads me to believe it's private equity investors. They are not identified because they are behind the private equity veil. An educated guess, using similar developments, is that they represent Las Vegas-style gambling money.

Like the old Humboldt era of investors using junk bonds as an excuse to clear cut ancient forests, hidden private equity investors don't care about the water, or the view, or incorporating alternative energy into a development.

There are ways to persuade investors that they can make a better return on investment by reworking their development plans.

It could be accomplished through the disincentive of making it very expensive to wade through public policy opposition and lawsuits. In my daydream of opposition, I imagine instead of loggers facing tree sitters, busloads of gamblers encounter hotel opponents occupying poker tables, locked to slot machines or entangled in the bingo cage. Investors could be shown that a redesign would avoid canceling bingo, be gentler on the land, attract more gamblers and be more profitable to their narrow interests.

J. A. Savage, Trinidad

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