Tribes outline plans

Sep 5, 2005 3:15 AM

Two American Indian tribes, hoping to build a casino in Pueblo, last week told city council members that the project would create around a thousand jobs for the community.

Representatives from the Cheyenne-Arapahoe tribes (of Oklahoma) said they would give the city and county 5 percent of their annual gross revenues, netting around $10 million a year.

The tribes also outlined the aesthetics of their plans. The proposed casino would include restaurants, shops, a spa and a theater.

"The casino part is simple, a quiet economic engine," said tribe spokesman Steve Hillard. "People who want to go there obviously can find it. But no one’s assaulted and it’s much more similar to a family destination."

The tribes planned to discuss the proposal with Pueblo County commissioners at a meeting later in the week.

Colorado currently has two tribal casinos, the Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio and Ute Mountain Casino in Towaoc, both operated by the Ute Tribe of Colorado.

Although Native American casinos in Colorado aren’t bound to the rules set up by the Colorado Division of Gaming, both Ute casinos comply voluntarily with the exception that they stay open 24 hours a day (statewide casinos must close at 2 a.m.).

Nevertheless, tribal casinos offer the same games as casinos in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek. They include live blackjack, 3-Card Poker, five card stud, bingo, keno and a variety of slot machines — reel, video, poker and keno.