Two muncipalities agree to option for ‘racino’

By Chelle Delaney

Two of the four government entities that comprise the Quay County Gaming Authority have agreed to sign options for a reduced percentage of the ownership in a proposed application for a race track and casino.

The Quay County Commission agreed Monday that it would sign an option for a 1.5 percent ownership in the “racino.” The county would exercise its option if the racino is approved by state gaming and racing agencies.

Members of the gaming authority agreed on Thursday to give up 4 percent of their combined 9 percent ownership in the racino. It was learned that investors wanted the 4 percent to strengthen the application to the state and possibly bring in another investor.

“It seems reasonable to give the investors the 4 percent, when they are spending tens of thousands of dollars of their own money to put together the application,” said Warren Frost, executive director of the gaming authority.

Gaming authority members are Quay County, the city of Tucumcari and the villages of Logan and San Jon.

They agreed to split the remaining 5 percent in the following manner:
l Quay County 1.5 percent
l Tucumcari 1.5 percent
l Logan 1 percent
l San Jon 1 percent

The Village of San Jon also agreed to sign off on the option at its Tuesday night board meeting.

Frost said the village, which has contributed $9,000 to the racino proposal, could, if the racino become a reality, expect to realize between $50,000 and $75,000 annually in proceeds from its 1 percent. Or it could possibly sell its 1 percent share for between $1 million and $1.5 million, Frost said.

In two weeks, investors and designers of the proposed racino will unveil their plans for the racino, including placement of stalls, track, casino, turf club and other facilities on a 248-acre site east of Kmart between Route 66 and Interstate 40. The investors presentation will be at 11 a.m. at the Tucumcari Convention Center on March 25.