TAOS, N.M. (KRQE) – Taos Pueblo is sharing its plan to build a Taos Pueblo Heritage Center and it’s a sprawling development. Taos Pueblo presented its proposal to Taos Town Council in a virtual meeting Tuesday night.
The project site is the old Lineberry Estate that Taos Pueblo reacquired two years ago. It is more than 14 acres and sits about a half-mile north of the Taos Plaza.
“This location is ideal because it’s right at the fork where, if you go straight you know, you’re up into the Taos Pueblos. So, it really serves as the gateway to the Taos Pueblo,” Deepesh Kholwadwala, CEO of Sun Capital Hotels who lead the presentation to the town council, said.
The Taos Pueblo Heritage Center would include a Marriott hotel, events center, plaza, and spaces for people to learn about the tribe’s art, culture, and history. According to Tuesday night’s presentation, Taos Pueblo has a 20-year license to own and operate two Marriott hotels at the property.
In addition to the preservation and education of the tribe’s culture, Taos Pueblo also said the entire campus will help with economic stability. They also said it will benefit the entire Taos area.
“Our vision was meant to complement what is already in place in the Town of Taos and to enhance the Taos Valley as a destination place and for visitors to come and enjoy what we have here in the Taos Valley,” Gary Lujan, Taos Pueblo Warchief, said.
“This heritage center will no doubt increase overnight visitors because of the hotel and because of the heritage center. And that bleeds off into the rest of the community because other businesses benefit from there because they will spend money elsewhere dining and shopping,” Kholwadwala said.
There is no word yet on how much the project will cost but Taos Pueblo is working on securing a federal grant to help make it happen. Since the project is on their property, the Taos Pueblo doesn’t need to present to town council but they tell KRQE they want to be transparent and have the town’s support on the project. Taos Pueblo also asked the town council for a letter of support for its grant application.
According to Tuesday’s night presentation, Taos Pueblo plans to start developing the property by next year.
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