Bill Cousins: Casino a bad idea

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In response to the letter from Messrs. Spillane and Hoffman (“Douglas wrong,” June 13) I would make the following points:

The article by Rob Douglas (“Casino raises questions”) on June 8 was very timely. Many residents like myself may have missed or forgotten the input of the March 22 newspaper article or even tossed the thought out of the window that it will never happen in Steamboat. Douglas makes the valid point: “Will gambling be added to the family-friendly image of Steamboat?” I think not.

Apart from the development viability and business economic aspects, there are other matters of concern. The whole question of the social and moral issues involved in allowing a casino to operate needs to be addressed. Studies have shown that casinos attract the drug and alcohol culture with its accompanying violent and antisocial behavior.

You only have to look at places like Reno, Nev., and Central City to see what happens to a city that embraces gambling as its major source of revenue. On a recent trip to the Black Hills, I experienced Deadwood, where this once-quaint cowboy town has seen Main Street proliferate with casino-based bars, restaurants and hotels to become a nonstop, 24-hours-per-day gambling mecca. The town center area is now destroyed and has become “Dead.” If a casino is permitted at Yampa Valley Regional Airport, this could well be the foot in the door for other casino operators coming to Steamboat with detrimental effects on our community life.

The implications of the developers partnering with an American Indian tribe is another matter for concern. Again there seem to be several important community-related matters to be resolved, including legal, fiscal, taxation and social implications, among others. To me, it is like opening a can of worms.

I welcome a comprehensive review of this project with public meetings to air all these issues. Also, final approval will be necessary from the Colorado governor, and as Hoffman said, “The developers are not going to ask the governor to support a project that our community doesn’t support.” Let’s hope it never reaches the governor’s desk.

Bill Cousins

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Brian Kotowski 1 year, 10 months ago

I don’t gamble. I’ve never been to Blackhawk. I recently completed an 18-month TDY in Vegas, and found it to be the most gaudy and plastic artifice it’s been my misfortune to encounter. A breathtaking monument to stunningly bad taste.

That said, I’m not buying the caterwauling that a casino near YVRA will transform the Yampa Valley into YampaVegas.

Opponents pay tribute to “studies” warning of the “violence” and “antisocial behavior” sure to ruin our pristine Eden and corrupt our unsoiled innocence – without ever citing the “studies” in question.

I trust all the relevant data will come to light in the public vetting sure to precede a final decision - and it may be it'll convince me to oppose the initiative. Or support it. I await the information.

The opposition so far seems awfully knee-jerk, to me.

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jerry carlton 1 year, 10 months ago

Put it on a county wide ballot and let the voters decide. Steamboat Pilot Put it up as Question of week. Seems a lot more important than whether or not fireworks show goes on.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 10 months ago

jlc, It looks like Governor Hickenlooper has to approve as well as the federal government. But if they get those approvals then there is nothing anyone in Hayden or Routt County can do about it.

But approving off reservation Indian gambling appears to be exceptionally difficult and there is no particular reason to worry until the developers submit their proposals. And then the public and other Colorado casinos can speak against it.

One way to see how far this proposal is from happening is that there is no opposition from Black Hawk or Cripple Creek. They are certainly not in favor of an Indian casino, but they are not worried either since they know this proposal is to do the hardest thing in legalized gambling - an Indian casino off of reservation land.

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Sandra Sharp 1 year, 10 months ago

I have fond memories of my dad, a man of the utmost of integrity, taking me to Reno and Vegas to teach me how to play cards. Not only did my father teach me how to win, he taught me how to have fun and how to manage my money. We also went to hundreds of shows throughout the years, buffet after buffet, toured Hoover Damn, went boating in Lake Mead and hiked the Red Rocks. What tied all of this together were the casinos. During my dad’s last few years, as his Alzheimer’s became more significant, my brother and I could still take him to the casinos to play the slots. Then he would smile and laugh. Now, when I walk through a casino and I hear all the laughter I smile, and I am comforted with memoires of the most wonderful of dads.

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rhys jones 1 year, 10 months ago

Just as MMJ was supposed to be the downfall of our community, this time the alarmists' cries are tantamount to "The sky is falling!!" Try as we might, you can't protect people from themselves, some people might lose some money before they wise up and learn to control themselves, and a few hands of Stud or Hold 'Em is just good clean fun. Hayden is not Vegas, grease pit that that is; it has a viable economy already -- unlike Deadwood and Central City, which were virtual ghost towns nine months of the year, before gambling came along -- and the Indian tribes we virtually decimated have used it to their advantage too. Deal 'em out, and let the cards fall where they may.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 10 months ago

Rhys, Casino proposal would make more sense if it was suggested that it would be on the statewide election ballot to expand the locations of legalized gambling. At least that way the local towns and counties could control it according to local concerns.

But an Indian casino is exempt from local control.

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rhys jones 1 year, 10 months ago

Scott -- Yes, but I haven't seen one Indian casino yet which serves alcohol -- already a step in the right direction. The nearby RV campgrounds didn't look like problems either. I think people are beating their tom-toms for little or nothing.

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Fred Duckels 1 year, 10 months ago

rhys, Referring to Hayden as a grease pit certainly calls your wisdom into question, where are you from?

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Sara Isley 1 year, 10 months ago

I have spent a year working at a "rurally" located casino in Indiana. It was located less than thirty minutes away from downtown Indianapolis, where you will remember the Super Bowl was just held. They have declared bankrupcy and rebranded twice in the past few years in an effort to make money, and they still lose it by the barrelfull every single quarter.

I don't care about the gambling one way or another, but the only bet I'd place about this casino is that there is not enough money in Yampa Valley to keep it profitable for long, and then the valley will be left with yet another suck of either taxpayer funds to keep the facilities in decent shape, or a mouldering old building full of gambling addicts and disappointed investors.

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rhys jones 1 year, 10 months ago

Fred -- If you carefully reread my submission, you will see that I was referring to Vegas as a grease pit, not our beloved Hayden. Measure twice, cut once.

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Fred Duckels 1 year, 10 months ago

I don't think that the grease trap label is clear, it could mean either town, and I took it as Hayden. If I were you I would watch my speed next time thru.

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rhys jones 1 year, 10 months ago

There is ignorant and there is stupid. You qualify as the latter, Fred. You can't leave well enough alone, can you? Fine, here's a dose of your own medicine. From what I see in the local Record, that whole town is spoiling for a fight. What, heat getting to you? You should visit Houston, where the muggy heat has every redneck cruisin' for a bruisin'. I am only too happy to comply.

I suspect it was the reading comprehension requirements which precluded you from becoming an attorney. Nobody else had trouble understanding what I wrote. In my own case, it was the Logical Relationships portion of the LSAT which tripped me up -- I had the misfortune of drawing that section twice, out of the three possibilities. I didn't figure out until halfway through the second one that the answers could be ascertained from the wording of the possibilities, no time-consuming truth tables necessary. By then it was too late. I took that as an omen that law was not for me, so I pursued my first love, television, which ironically brought me to Steamboat. I'm just not a fast enough thinker on my feet, as can be attested by Judge Garrecht, who knows that had I been quick enough, or had the resources to retain a real attorney, I would not be in the pedestrian position I am today. I will correct those circumstances soon enough. In the meantime I stick to computers, where I can redo it as many times as it takes to get it right.

With regard to your final assertion about speed, again you miss the mark. It was "Unsafe Lane Usage" which caught the officer's attention last time around, as my truck was missing due to a faulty alternator or voltage regulator, and I was holding up rush-hour traffic and moved over to the shoulder to let traffic around. Excessive speed -- or lack thereof -- had nothing to do with it; it was lane positioning.

In a battle of wits with you, Fred, I am fighting a one-armed man. It's just not fair.

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Sara Isley 1 year, 10 months ago

Actually I didn't really think it was clear either. But way to stay klassy!

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rhys jones 1 year, 10 months ago

My American Language instructor in College is turning in her grave (I assume she's there by now.) That would apparently be a good subject for a Pilot poll, but certainly doesn't rate the personal slams Fred is so free with.

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jerry carlton 1 year, 10 months ago

In the words of Rodney King "Can't we just all get along"?

Sara Thanks for the input on June 18. Nice to hear from some one with personal experience with a fiasco such as the one being proposed.

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