Tucumcari will get its chance on July 24 to convince the state’s Racing Commission that it’s the best candidate for a race track and casino in the city.
On Thursday, Raton told its story to the commission.
“Every seat in the historic Shuler Theater downtown was filled, with about 100 more racetrack supporters sitting outside listening to the commission’s hearing broadcast over loudspeakers,” according to a report Friday in the Albuquerque Journal.
The town had also decorated its thoroughfare with banners and signs, the report said.
Making a bid for the race track is Horse Racing at Raton LLC, the Pojoaque Pueblo, which wants to revive the Santa Fe Downs and Tucumcari.
Each are going after a sixth license that became available after Gov. Bill Richardson and the pueblos reached a new gaming compact. There are five existing and active licenses.
Recently, Albuquerque Downs’ was given approval by the Racing Commission to move its license from Albuquerque to Moriarty.
Tucumcari's application to the commission was made by the Coronado Partners, which is seeking to develop Coronado Park Track and Casino south of Kmart and west of the Quality Inn on Route 66.
The main player in Tucumcari's bid for a ‘racino’ is Don Chalmers, an auto dealer and businessman from Rio Rancho.
The Racing Commission has hearings scheduled for July 22 to hear from the Pojoaque Pueblo and at 5:30 p.m. on July 24 in Tucumcari.
On Monday the Quay County Gaming Authority will hold a special meeting at 4:45 p.m. in Territorial Room of the Office of the Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corp. on the commission’s upcoming hearing.