Tucumcarians await Monday decision on racino location

By Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico

The decision is due Monday.

All Quay County can do now is wait for members of the New Mexico Racing Commission to decide which of three proposals it will choose for the site of New Mexico’s sixth racetrack and casino.

Raton and Santa Fe have also submitted proposals. Commissioners are expected to announce their decision at 1:30 p.m. Monday.

“We have done everything that is humanly possible to convince the Commission that Tucumcari is the right place for the casino,” said Warren Frost, Quay County Gaming Authority’s executive director.

Promoters for the proposed Coronado Park sent an overview to the Commission last week showing how awarding the license to build a racetrack and casino in Tucumcari will benefit the entire state of New Mexico, Frost said.

Studies by the Innovation Group and New Mexico State University were included in the overview.

The studies, funded by Coronado Park officials, included comparisons between Tucumcari and Raton on the projected state tax revenues and earnings, Frost said.

“The studies have shown that Tucumcari will draw in more out-of-state revenue than any other proposed location in New Mexico,” Quay County Commissioner Franklin McCasland said.

Tucumcari would be targeting the Texas Panhandle for its racetrack and casino business, specifically Amarillo, which is a 90-minute drive.

While a few area residents have spoken out against the proposed racetrack, Frost said community support overall has been amazing.

The Racing Commission held a hearing on July 24 in Tucumcari where a crowd of 1,400 was overwhelmingly supportive.

Commission Chairman Arnold Rael said Tucumcari produced a larger crowd of supporters than Santa Fe or Raton when hearings were held in those communities.

Commissioners contacted by the Quay County Sun have declined to discuss how they might vote, but representatives of