POJOAQUE PUEBLO - Officials with the Buffalo Thunder Resort admit their casino
has been hit very hard by the current economy, but February business is giving
them new optimism. This follows the downgrading of the Buffalo Thunder
Development Authority by Standard & Poor's from B- to CCC, indicating a high
risk of default.
"We have been sold out for the last three weeks," said George Rivera, the
elected Governor of the Pueblo of Pojoaque. "We're going to weather the storm
and we're working as hard as we can to address all those issues." The resort is
benefiting from the excellent ski season. It has 20,000 room nights booked
including a number of meetings and conventions.
Buffalo Thunder Resort opened in August 2008 with 395 rooms. It was funded in
part with $245 million in corporate bonds. S&P said the downgrade reflects
concerns that the Authority will not be able to make payments on its upcoming
financial obligations because of weaker-than-expected cash flow. Rivera declined
to discuss whether the Authority will miss any payments on these bonds.
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