Gaming authority waits to hire architectural firm

By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

Any decisions about a architectural firm to design a proposed casino and race track in Tucumcari were tabled on Monday at the meeting of Quay County Gaming Authority.

Warren Frost, executive director of the authority, recommended that the authority hold off on making a decision until a management firm – which would work the racino’s designers – is selected.

Frost also suggested that a committee of authority members be formed to review the proposals. They are Franklin McCasland, authority chair, Mayor Mary Mayfield of Tucumcari, Mayor David Babb of Logan and Frost.

The authority was formed to make an application on behalf of Quay County, Tucumcari and the villages of San Jon and Logan, to the state for a racino in Tucumcari. A site on I-40 between the Kmart and the Quality Inn has been selected for the racino.
Earlier this year, compacts were approved between the state and Indian tribes allowing for an off-reservation racino. Tucumcari is hoping it will be granted this latest off-reservation license.

The authority is working to put together its application to the state by July 15.

Today was the deadline for firms interested in managing the racino and on Thursday firms interested in being the racino’s financial manager are to be submitted.

Since the authority’s formation, the Downs at Albuquerque has announced that it would like to move to I-40 and State Road 41 in Moriarty. It is presently located at the fairgrounds in Albuquerque.

The Moriarty location is about 140 miles from Tucumcari.

“It still won’t attract the people we want to attract,” said Jim Witcher, an authority member who is also a Tucumcari City Commissioner.
Frost said Tucumcari’s application would take the proposed move by the Downs into consideration.

The authority meets to review management and architectural firms at 9 a.m., Thursday, at the Territorial Room, Tucumcari Convention Center.