Application filed for racino in Tucumari

By QCS Staff

It’s official. The application for a race track and casino has been filed with state agencies to obtain licenses for a racino in Tucumcari.

Here is Coronado Partners’ press release on the filing of the application:

Don Chalmers of Coronado Partners, LLC filed an application Friday with the New Mexico Racing Commission and the New Mexico Gaming Control Board to develop and operate Coronado Park race track and casino in Tucumcari.

“I am very excited to bring this project to Quay County,” said Chalmers. “It will provide local economic benefits, and be very good for the state. Certainly this area needs investment and jobs, and we think that this project, more than any other will enhance racing in the State and not interfere with the success of the tribal gaming industry nor the fate of the State Fair.”

According to the 2000 Census, 19.1 percent of Tucumcari’s population lives below the poverty level, and Tucumcari’s median family income was $22,560 – considerably lower than in Santa Fe, Raton and Moriarty, communities also vying for race tracks and casinos, where median family income in 1999 was $49,705, $31,957 and $31,762 respectively.

Coronado Partners has acquired options on 245 acres to build the one-mile race track and 600-slot casino within Tucumcari city limits on Historic Route 66 at I-40 and Tucumcari Boulevard. The site is 165 miles east of Albuquerque and will not compete with Indian casinos in the Albuquerque area or west thereof. In addition, at 105 miles from Amarillo, Coronado Park expects to generate the majority of its patrons from West Texas and from pass-through traffic and tourists along 1-40.

“Tourism is an important industry for Quay County,” said Pat Vanderpool, Executive Director of the Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corporation. “Approximately 250,000 people visit Ute Lake each year for boating, camping and fishing. But what the area needs is a source of permanent, non-seasonal employment. We think that this project provides us this unique opportunity.”

Coronado Park will employ 300 full-time employees in management and administration, operations, security and surveillance, and food and beverage. Coronado Partners will team with Tucumcari’s Mesalands Community College to develop workforce training and internships in racing and gaming. And Mesalands existing associate degree program in farrier science, which combines practical experience in horsemanship with classroom instruction in anatomy and physiology, will provide a steady supply of trained employees.

The site’s location within city limits means that all utilities and ancillary infrastructure is now available. Tucumcari also recently completed a $2 million expansion of its municipal airport. Coronado Partners has negotiated Development Agreements with the City of Tucumcari and Quay County; the Villages of Logan and San Jon will also participate in the project.

Mr. Chalmers partners and managers are David Vance, Larry D. Woolf and Navegante Group, and Brad Friedmutter and the Friedmutter Group.

• Mr. Chalmers is president of Don Chalmers Ford in Rio Rancho, N.M His dealership is the only Albuquerque Ford store that has won the President’s Award, the most prestigious customer loyalty and customer service dealer award obtainable from Ford Motor Company. He
is a member of the University of New Mexico Board of Regents, and serves on numerous other boards including the University of New Mexico Foundation, St. Joseph Community Health Foundation, Better Business Bureau, Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Central New Mexico, Albuquerque Community Foundation, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and St. John United Methodist Church Foundation.

• Mr. Vance was Executive Vice President of the Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation, overseeing the operations of Remington Park, Louisiana Downs and Thistle Downs. Prior to that, he was President of Turfway Park in Kentucky. He is former President of the Thoroughbred Racing Association, and is the only non-New Yorker to serve on the Board of Trustees of the New York Racing Association. In addition, he was Chairman of the American Championship Racing Series on ABC Television. He has served as an international consultant to the horse racing industry, with projects in China, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Panama and Brazil. Mr. Vance is a breeder and owner of Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds.

• Mr. Woolf of Navegante Group has over 25 years of experience in the gaming industry and is considered an expert in casino operations and management, table games, slots, casino marketing and casino credit. A recent gaming assessment conducted by Navegante Group resulted in bond and related financing for Santa Ana Star Casino, and its affiliates in Bernalillo in the amount of $60 million. Navegante Group serves as business oversight manager for Santa Ana Star Casino. In January 2008, Mr. Woolf was approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission to operate eight casinos in Nevada.

• Mr. Friedmutter is a registered architect in Nevada and 39 other states. In the gaming and hospitality industry for over 30 years, Mr. Friedmutter worked as vice president of design and construction for Steve Wynn, and as vice president of design and construction for Bally’s Inc. Friedmutter Group employs over 200 design professionals located in offices in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Newport Beach, New York, Biloxi, Hong Kong and Dubai, and provides Architecture, Themed Design, Master Planning and Interior Design for the Gaming and Hospitality Industry. The firm also has clients in the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Europe, Asia, and New Zealand.