Construction on a $250 million Destination Resort
Near Santa Fe, New Mexico
|SANTA FE, NM (March 16, 2004) – Representatives
from The Pueblo of Pojoaque and Hilton Hotels Corporation this afternoon
participated in a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the beginning of
construction on a $250 million destination resort that will feature a 387-room
Hilton full-service resort, a 79-suite Homewood Suites by Hilton®,
an upscale extended stay hotel, a spa, convention facilities, entertainment
venues and a new casino.
Both hotels will be owned by The Pueblo of Pojoaque and operated by Hilton Hotels Corporation under a 20-year management agreement.
Architects for the Hilton, Casino and Conference Complex is Thalden-Boyd, a Native American firm that specializes in the design and architecture of hotels, casinos and related hospitality projects.
"This is a great day for the entire state of New Mexico," Pojoaque tribal governor Jacob Viarrial said. "The new Buffalo Thunder Resort will enhance New Mexico's reputation as a tourist destination area and will provide jobs and other positive economic benefits for the area and the state as a whole."
Viarrial said the Pueblo of Pojoaque is delighted to form a business relationship with the most recognizable lodging name in the world.
"The Hilton name adds prestige and an incredible marketing network that will attract visitors from all over the world to the Buffalo Thunder Resort," he added.
"Hilton Hotels Corporation is truly proud to enter into this unique relationship with The Pueblo of Pojoaque, an organization of fine individuals who have made a commitment to their tribe, as well as the citizens of New Mexico, to develop a dynamic resort destination that will truly showcase everything this great state has to offer," said Dieter Huckestein, president – hotel operations, owned and managed for Hilton Hotels Corporation. "The addition of the Hilton and Homewood Suites by Hilton hotels that comprise the Buffalo Thunder Resort will only reinforce and complement our existing hotel portfolios, and provide our worldwide sales and marketing team with greater potential to bring additional tourism and convention business to show travelers from near and far the incredible sites and wonders that are New Mexico."
The Pueblo of Pojoaque currently employs approximately 900 individuals that is expected to double when the resort is completed and, will have a positive economic impact on the area as a result of the tourists dollars that will be left behind.
"The Buffalo Thunder Resort will be the gateway to northern New Mexico." Governor Viarrial continued. "From here our guests will have access to the art of Santa Fe, the historic Bandalier National Monument in the Los Alamos area, the beautiful Nambe Falls located in our neighboring pueblo, the Santuario de Chimayo and Taos Pueblo."
Fred Peralta, Secretary of the New Mexico Tourism Department, agreed with Governor Viarrial.
"Pojoaque Pueblo's Buffalo Thunder Resort will contribute significantly to New Mexico's growing reputation for first-class resorts", he said. "It will be an important gateway to the north, as well as a welcome new attraction in the area between the popular destinations of Taos and Santa Fe."
The substantial planned infrastructure of the project includes construction of an enviromentally responsible, state of the art wastewater treatment facility that will have 100 percent water recycling capability. In addition, plans call for the "harvesting" and purification of rainwater through the use of settlement basins.
Access to the new resort will be via a new interchange that is part of the Highway 84/285 reconstruction project. The new access road is expected to open in July 15, 2004.
"Buffalo Thunder", the name of the new resort, was chosen because it is a symbol on strength for Native Americans, according to George Rivera, the Lt. Governor of the Pueblo of Pojoaque.
"The white buffalo is seen by Native Americans as a symbol of hope and renewal for humanity and for harmony between all peoples, all races, in our world today," Rivera said.
Rivera, an artist, helped designed the official logo for Buffalo Thunder
and also the artwork that will grace the overpass at Pojoaque and nearby
About The Pueblo of Pojoaque
The Pueblo of Pojoaque, which archeological studies have dated inhabitation to as early as 500 AD, is one of the 19 Indian Pueblos located in northern New Mexico. The name of the pueblo in the native Tewa language is
"Po-suwae-geh", the water drinking or gathering place. Over the centuries the Pueblo of Pojoaque has endured droughts, grasshopper plagues, raids and the Spanish colonization of the 16th and 17th centuries. The Pueblo was abandoned in the 1800s, resettled, and deserted again in the early 1900s. In the mid-1930s several families moved back, including Jose Antonio Tapia, the grandfather of current Governor Jacob Viarrial. With 348 tribal members, the Pueblo of Pojoaque has one of the smallest pueblo populations in the state. The official symbol of the Pueblo of Pojoaque is the butterfly which symbolizes the emergence of the pueblo coming to life in it's present location.
About Hilton Hotels Corporation
Hilton Hotels Corporation is recognized internationally as a preeminent hospitality company. The company develops, owns, manages or franchises more than 2,000 hotels, resorts and vacation ownership properties.
|Also See:||Tribes in New Mexico Turning to Golf Courses as the Next Wave of Native American Business / August 2001|
|Pueblo of Santa Ana and Hyatt to Create New Mexico's First Major Golf and Spa Resort / Feb 1999|