The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Playing their hand

Full House makes pitch for racino in Clovis

 

September 6, 2018

Jamie Cushman

From left, Alex Stolyar, Raymond Sanchez and John Ryan present Full House Resorts' vision for a Clovis racetrack and casino at the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.

CLOVIS — More jobs, more revenue, prioritizing racing and “the nicest casino in New Mexico” were some of the projections of Full House Resorts’ pitch to Clovis Industrial Corporation members, Vision 2020 representatives and Clovis city officials during a presentation Wednesday at the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce.

Officials from Full House, one of three groups looking to bring a racino to Clovis and one of five proposals statewide, answered questions from the community about a month before the state’s racing commission comes to town on Oct. 4 to tour potential sites and hear presentations from each of the three Clovis groups.

Alex Stolyar, senior vice president and chief development officer for Full House, said that while gaming and slot machines will drive the revenue for whichever group is selected for the state’s sixth racino license, Full House really wanted to prioritize the horse racing part for its proposed racino to be called “La Posada Del Llano.”

“We knew that racing would have to be a priority, especially with the strength of the racing community and the horsemen here in New Mexico,” Stolyar said.

He said that’s why one of the first ideas for a potential track the group had was a moving grandstand that would allow spectators to follow the horses around the track for the duration of a race.

“You will be on the 50-yard line of that horse race the entire time,” Stolyar said. “We really want to make it clear that horse racing is a priority of this project and if we can heighten the spectator experience, we feel that is just great for the entire track, for racing and obviously for Clovis.”

Stolyar said he believes the moving grandstand would be the first of its kind. It’s still being developed, but Stolyar said it would likely hold around 80 to 100 people and travel about 40 mph.

Besides both thoroughbred and quarterhorse racing and the 600 to 750 slot machines, other amenities to draw in visitors from West Texas would include a water park and golf course located on the infield of the track, multiple restaurants and a 300-room hotel.

Stolyar said the company is in the midst of an economic impact study that will provide more details on the number of jobs the racino would generate and what effect it would have on other area businesses. But he believes Full House is proposing a bigger destination than other groups, which would mean more jobs and more revenue.

“Without commenting on other proposals’ projections, I can tell you that a project with a 300-room hotel, multiple restaurants, a moving grandstand, a golf course, a water park and a casino creates a lot more jobs — that’s a technical term — than just a casino,” Stolyar said.

He said it would take Full House about two years from the awarding of the sixth license, expected to occur by the end of the year, to get the facility up and running.

Other proposals for a racino in Clovis have been presented by:

• The “Curry Downs Racetrack and Casino,” part of Albuquerque’s L&M entertainment.

• “Clovis Race Track and Casino,” headed by a former general manager of Ruidoso Downs Racing.

All three Clovis proposals would establish the racino on Clovis’ east side near Mabry Drive.

The state’s Racing Commission is scheduled to tour all five racino proposals next month, beginning with Lordsburg and concluding with Tucumcari, with Clovis sandwiched in between.

 

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