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Trinidad Rancheria Unveils its Revised Hotel Proposal

The Trinidad Rancheria recently presented its revised concept of a 100-room hotel on the bluffs of Scenic Drive but it aroused little enthusiasm from the residents of Trinidad. David Tyson, CEO of the Trinidad Rancheria Economic Development Corporation (TREDC), gave the presentation during the March 13 meeting of the Trinidad City Council to an audience of about 40 people. Tyson said the Rancheria had reviewed the hundreds of comments received last October about the planned five-story Hyatt hotel and tried to address the concerns expressed. TREDC has hired a new developer, architect and hotel operator. Nonetheless, the plans still depict a five-story building, which is considerably larger than any other structure on the Trinidad coast. The height of the building was reduced by about 20 feet, and the exterior now displays exposed timber and rock, which Tyson said is typical of northwestern architecture. The audience was generally polite, with many people expressing appreciation for the Rancheria's continued work to improve the project, but was clearly skeptical of the proposal, with 18 of the 19 people who addressed the council speaking critically of it. Proposed water usage, which had been one of the most contentious issues, will be reduced to 3,500 gallons per day or less, Tyson said, because laundry will not be done onsite. This should also reduce the amount of wastewater entering the leachfield. The Rancheria also plans to use recycled graywater in the toilets, to help reduce water use. In October, people expressed skepticism about the capacity of the Rancheria's leachfield to absorb a large amount of additional wastewater. If the leach field were to fail, excess wastewater could add to the instability of the bluffs over Scenic Drive. Tyson said that both issues — wastewater and slope stability — are still being studied by professionals. The Rancheria hopes to obtain water for the hotel from the city of Trinidad but that could be problematic. The city, which contains only 367 residents, obtains all its water from Luffenholz Creek and is currently studying the creek and its treatment plant to determine the maximum amount of water available. Since the city must also be able to provide for all those who own property within the city limits, the amount that can be sold to property owners located outside city limits is limited. Several…

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