In reading many letters to the editor, one might be led to think every economy in the valley is wonderful. But then you turn the page and read that school athletic programs need funds, small county communities can’t afford law enforcement, the city of Steamboat Springs is contemplating cuts to services, the airlines need help filling seats, the county can’t afford to maintain gravel roads, and there are many locals searching for jobs where there are none. Which page is correct?
I read we must maintain our small-town, Western, family environment. When was the last time you were at the mountain or walked down main street? How many true Western-looking folks did you see, versus city dudes of all types?
Our family types and traditionalists feel it is acceptable to have a medical marijuana dispensary on every corner. This acceptance, which is contrary to federal law, is prohibited in many Front Range cities and no doubt is contributing to increased substance abuse, particularly among the juveniles in our community. Do these dispensaries bolster and maintain our family-oriented Western way of life? I think not.
With all this in mind, we now read how the construction of a casino in rural Routt County will destroy our community — despite it being a project that will supply immediate construction jobs as well as long-term employment opportunities. I’ve read and heard people say there only will be low-paying jobs. The people stating this must be some special folks, because if you have no job, any job looks pretty appealing. These folks never would work there in the first place.
Exactly how does this casino destroy our community? It gives adults a source of entertainment besides reggae and jazz music in every club; it gives tax dollars to our community; it gives new employment opportunities; it provides business opportunities for existing businesses; and it’s another draw to our tourist-based economy.
This facility would supply a recreational opportunity to an adult segment of our community. This adult group easily can be monitored and controlled upon entry. Who in our community has the right to tell me, as an adult, I should not be able to visit a casino? Shouldn’t that decision be mine, not some community do-gooder? The inconsistency here in accepting and allowing marijuana to be dispensed and not be followed once it leaves the dispensary versus the controlled environment of a casino for adults is hypocritical, in my opinion.