Taos Pueblo begins work on Hail Creek Travel Center

By Jesse Moya
jmoya@taosnews.com
Posted 7/2/19

Drivers and visitors in Taos will soon be able to stop and grab some gas and view Taos Pueblo's new convenience store.Officials broke ground on the new Hail Creek …

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Taos Pueblo begins work on Hail Creek Travel Center

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Drivers and visitors in Taos will soon be able to stop and grab some gas and view Taos Pueblo's new convenience store.

Officials broke ground on the new Hail Creek Travel Center on Friday (June 28) as tribal members and others from the public were invited to take part in a new part of the pueblo's history. The new 3,500-square-foot building will replace the current smoke shop at Hail Creek Road and Paseo del Pueblo and will offer various amenities such as Red Willow brand food products and 12 pumps for fuel.

"The property itself is large enough to have different things that our visitors and locals can enjoy," said former Taos Pueblo Governor Gilbert Suazo during the groundbreaking ceremony.

The new building will be the second gas station on the east side of Paseo del Pueblo Norte and will allow drivers headed north to stop in for gas without having to cross Taos' main road. In addition, the center will also hold a restaurant for those interested in catching a quick bite before heading back on the road.

Taos Pueblo Governor Richard Aspenwind said there will be three phases to the construction with phase one beginning soon.

"Taos Pueblo will bring to Taos-area drivers a new kind of travel center, offering competitive prices on gasoline and new goods and services for the Taos community, our members and Taos visitors. This project that started in 2017 made great progress in 2018 and will become a reality in 2019," said Aspenwind in a news release.

WarChief Bernard Lujan added in the statement, "We believe it will be a welcome enhancement of our smoke shop offerings and have a uniquely Taos Pueblo look and feel. On one part of the facility we'll have a nice outdoor seating area with a beautiful view onto Taos Mountain."

According to officials, the Taos Pueblo Tribal Council approved the facility's design and construction. The entire project is managed by the Governor's Business Development Team. The finished center will be managed by the pueblo's operations team led by Jennifer Welty. Snyder Construction will build the center, which will feature design and engineering by NCA Architects with Miller Civil Engineering, Chavez Grieves (structural), Arsed (mechanical), AC Electrical Engineering and MRMW Landscape Architects. All of the firms are based in Albuquerque. StoneCreek Partners acts as the owner's representative on behalf of the project.

The center is the latest business endeavor by Taos Pueblo. In October, the pueblo bought the Lineberry Estate, a 14-acre property that had been part of the original Taos Pueblo land grant and borders the current pueblo boundary. The pueblo is working on a master plan for the property, which may include a convention facility, hotel and restaurant.

According to the press release, Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (1992) and a National Historic Landmark (1960) - the main part of its multistory adobe buildings having been constructed around 1000 A.D.

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