The scheme to build a big new convention center hotel in downtown Tucson is dead. SO what’s next?
Tucson has demonstrated without question that it can waste millions of dollars on pie-in-the-sky schemes to revitalize downtown, while only enriching consultants from out of town.
If people really want a giant hotel downtown and more convention business, and the private sector isn’t willing to play ball with Tucson without taxpayer subsidies, how about a third option:
Offer the entire complex of the Convention Center and hotel site to an Indian Tribe.
Let an Indian Tribe turn the site into a gambling casino and tourist Mecca.
The neighboring Tohono O’odham Indians are busy trying to build a $550 million 600 room resort hotel and casino complex in Glendale, Arizona (up west of Phoenix). Glendale officials oppose the Indian hotel casino deal. That project is mired in litigation.
For the site to be used as an Indian resort and casino, it would have to officially become part of an Indian reservation. This can only happen if Tucson settles a land claim with an Indian tribe and Congress approves the settlement. Or a tribe with settlement money could buy the site (but it would have to be de-annexed from the city limits). Or special Congressional legislation passed allowing the site to become part of an Indian Reservation. Stranger things have happened in Congress….
Now…how many Indian tribes are there that could settle a land claim with Tucson? Obviously the O’odham, our neighbors. Tucsonans stole parts of of the San Xavier Reservation….all of Midvale was once Tohono Indian land.
The Yaqui could make a claim because Tucson gun runners gave weapons to the Mexican Army which ran the Yaquis out of Mexico.
The best claim against Tucson would be the Chiricahua and Arivaipa Apaches. Tucsonans massacred the Arivaipas in the Camp Grant Massacre, and Tucsonans were involved in running every last one of the Chirichahua band out of the state.
I think it would be only right and just if the Apaches ended up with a casino in downtown Tucson.