Colorado neighbor urges Taos to nix tall hotels


I’m sorry, but I’m not surprised to see the push from Holiday Inn Express and its architect to put up a big-box type of hotel in Taos. These days, when mega-corporations rule the world, it’s easy to feel defeated when the Taos Town Council ignores the voice of the people’s 3,266 petition signatures and over 550 comments protesting four-story buildings in Taos. But we should take heart. If the people of Taos absolutely hold firm to the values which have made this community unique and famous throughout the world, those same corporate forces can be defeated.

Like many of us who live in the San Luis Valley, just north of you, I often drive south to Taos from Colorado. That’s because I love the feel of the place, the integrity of its architecture, the sense of place which honors the history and the people who came before. Thank you to Chairman Jim Pollard and Commissioner Doug Patterson, who challenged the architect’s design as not being in compliance with the new Design Standards Ordinance.

My position is not “anti-growth,” but it is definitely anti-greed. As many in our communities struggle with poverty, putting in a big Holiday Inn might sound good, but that will not promote tourism or do much for employment. There are plenty of other economic development options that are viable, home-based and realistic, and they do not undo the historical and aesthetic charm of Taos: agro-eco-tourism, community-based tourism, cultural and adventure tourism, and the encouragement of all sorts of home-grown special niches which the dynamic people of Taos are perfectly capable of exploiting in a good way.

Fort Garland, Colorado