Gaming Authority preps for Racing Commission visit

Chelle Delaney

In 37 days, the state’s Racing Commission will be in Tucumcari to hear what the community thinks about a proposed casino and racetrack off of Route 66 between Mountain Road and Interstate 40.

Tuesday night, in preparation for the Racing Commission’s public hearing on July 24, “We want to get an all out effort,” said Warren Frost, executive director of the Quay County Gaming Authority.

About 60 people attended the meeting at the Tucumcari Convention Center to hear how the community could support the proposal and racino application to the state by Coronado Partners, LLC.

Autodealer Don Chalmers of Rio Rancho is the majority owner of the partnership that wants to develop Coronado Park Race Track & Casino on a site between Interstate 40 and Kmart.

For the hearing, “I want everyone who can possible come to show up,” Frost said. “We’ve got to motivate everybody.”

In addition to a letter writing campaign to state officials, Frost said postcards and other notices would build awareness in the community.

“I think it’s great advice,” said Larry Bond, owner of the Travelers Motor Inn. “It’ll build awareness and get the enthusiasm going.”

Bond said he supports the racino because it will bring jobs to Tucumcari and have a major economic impact.

Coronado Park will create a larger tax base that will provide support for all types of groups in the community, said Molly Evetts.

The Racing Commission has not yet set a time for its July 24 public hearing, but it’s expected to be in the evening, Frost said.