Locals express concern over dealership closure

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

Reaction to the closing of Hamilton Big Country Ford in Tucumcari is one of shock and concern.

“We are not happy about the closure of the dealership,” said Tucumcari City Manager Bobbye Rose.

Rose said the closing was unexpected and it will affect the city and surrounding areas.

“When you purchase anything locally it stimulates our economy,” Rose said. “When people buy out of town it affects our town. That can be seen with this latest closing.”

Any business closing in Quay County is not a good sign, said Quay County Manager Richard Primrose.

Primrose said the county has been working with the Tucumcari Economic Development Corporation for years in developing and bringing business to Tucumcari. He said the closing of Hamilton is a concern for everyone.

“I hate to see it go,” said Logan Village Manager Larry Wallin. “That place has been there for a long time.”

Wallin said the closing is a sign economic problems the nation has been facing are now being felt in the region.

“Now people can seeing that it is worse then they thought,” Wallin said.

Wallin said Logan saw signs of economic struggles that apparently forced the closure of Hamilton.

“Last year the motor vehicle department had not registered a one-third of the vehicles it had in past years,” Wallin said. “We generate revenue from the titling and transferring cost.”

With Hamilton closing there is one automotive dealership left in Tucumcari, the Brian Urlacher Cross Country Autoplex.

“You never want to see a business close it’s doors,” said Don Watts, who is general manager of the autoplex. “With the closure of Hamiltons, I am sure that the people in town have been asking and wondering if the same was going to happen here,” Watts said. “We hope to be operating in Tucumcari for a long time.”

Hamilton, in operation for 12 years in Quay County, was located at 402 South First St.

The lot once filled with new and used Ford vehicles is now vacant.

“In the past I had purchased a vehicle from there,” Primrose said. “The services were good.”

“You can not help but notice that it is gone,” said Georgia Lujan, a Tucumcari resident.

Lujan said she purchased a truck from Hamilton six years ago.

“Everyone that drives on First Street will see that empty lot,” Lujan said.