TUCUMCARI, NM (KFDA) - Located right off I-40 and Route 66, Tucumcari is one of three cities competing to be the home of New Mexico’s final racino.
Coronado Partners hopes to bring Coronado Park Racetrack and Casino to Tucumcari, in an effort to boost the city's economy.
"We've struggled economically for the past couple of decades and we really need a boost like this,” said Warren Frost, Coronado Partners spokesman. "We're going to have about 300 employees, full-time employees this is going to generate, we're going to have the casino with its 600 slots with the racetrack, itself."
The Tucumcari Quay County Chamber of Commerce notes the need for a large entertainment hub to boost the area's tourism.
"A lot of tourists do come through town and they're always looking for things to do. We've got some great museums, we've got some great local attractions, but having a big hub like that, a big entertainment hub would be very big for those tourists,” said Carmen Runyan, Executive Director of Tucumcari Quay County Chamber of Commerce.
Frost, based out of Logan, says Coronado Partners has worked to bring a racino to Tucumcari for more than 12 years and says it serves a dual purpose of bringing in tourism traffic, as well as its Texas Panhandle neighbors, where gaming isn't allowed.
"Anywhere else, Colorado near the northern part of the state, they have gaming, Arizona to the west has gaming, so the reason it makes sense to put it on the eastern side of the state is because of Texas,” said Frost. "And in addition to local and Amarillo traffic, we're going to have a lot of people coming in off of Interstate 40 that are traveling throughout the country."
With no decision yet by the current racing commission, Tucumcari’s contender doesn’t plan to give up anytime soon.
"We're disappointed that a decision hasn't been made but we're still living to fight another day and so that's what we intend to do and we intend to get this track into Tucumcari,” said Frost.
As of this time, New Mexico’s new governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, has not said if she will allow the current commission to issue a license or will instead appoint a new racing commission and start the selection process over.