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Raton is much more than shown in the Journal

Kyle Land’s article of May 2, “Rebuilding Raton” could not have portrayed our small city in a worse way.

I’m not sure what the intent was, and I would hope that the intent was better than the result. By focusing on the negative, and by only using photos of the saddest looking buildings that he and photographer Eddie Moore could find, the Journal has done us a great disservice.

My partner and I moved from Florida to Raton five years ago because we saw the beauty and potential of this area. We bought a slightly tired motel and the years-closed building next to it, and turned them into the Raton Pass Motor Inn. You can look it up yourself, and file it under “retro cute” and “successful as heck.” We sold that property last year to a couple from Dallas who also love this area and who could not be happier to be out of the big city.

Now, my guy is running Gate City Craft Bar, which basically opened about the same time that the pandemic hit. Despite the multiple challenges that came with that timing, he’s determined to turn that into another success.

I just launched a short-term rental upstairs from the bar and plan on expanding with other units for the travelers we came to enjoy as innkeepers.

You completely ignored several other businesses, like 111 Park Ave, a coffee shop owned by two powerhouse sisters who are native Ratonians, and who moved back here after experiencing life outside New Mexico. They could have been successful anywhere but, again, the potential here was obvious to people with vision.

How about Bruno’s Pizza and Wings? Their food has gotten accolades far outside the area and they’ve recently expanded with Mountain Pass Market. You can now find high-end groceries in the downtown that Kyle seems to think is a wasteland.

Did he even stop into Dulces Encantados, where the handmade candies have a distinctly New Mexican flavor? Or businesses that are local traditions, such as La Cosina and Pappa’s Sweet Shop?

He completely ignored the plethora of well-kept Victorian homes that still line our streets and the small, charming parks where kids can play safely, the close proximity to a jewel of a state park, the fabulous views in every direction.

I’m sorry that the people who were chosen to represent our city did it such a pitiable fashion.

If the Journal would like to look at us from a different angle some time, and I hope you do, I’d like to invite Kyle and Eddie back to see things through the eyes of people who truly love this little city.

Laurie “Bunny” Bunker lives in Raton.


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