Downs move to Moriarty not expected to hurt Tucumcari’s chances for racino

By QCS Staff

A new race track in Moriarty shouldn’t have much impact on Tucumcari’s proposal for a race track and casino, said Warren Frost, executive director of the Quay County Gaming Authority.

The New Mexico Racing Commission gave its approval on Tuesday to the Downs of Albuquerque to move to Moriarity, according to a report by The Associated Press.

Frost said, prior to the approval, that Tucumcari’s planned race track and casino would attract players from the eastern side of the state and from western Texas, who would bring new dollars to the state. It’s not expected to compete with Moriarty, he said.

About 140 miles separate Moriarty from Tucumcari and there shouldn’t be competition for players at a casino or race track, Frost said.

Moriarty will draw its attendance from Albuquerque and the surrounding area, not from this section of the state, Frost said.

Coronado Partners, LLC, headed up by Don Chalmers of Rio Rancho, has applied to the Commission for a race track and casino operation in Tucumcari. The development of a racino off of Route 66 near Interstate 40 is expected to cost between $30 million and $40 million.

The Moriarty group has proposed a $65 million race track and casino that would expand the number of slot machines to 715, compared to the current 330 slots at the Downs, according to AP.

The state’s Racing Commission is expected to hold a meeting in August in Tucumcari, where Coronado Partners are expected to present its plans in more detail to the commission and to the community, Frost said.