Full House Resorts proposes racetrack-casino-hotel complex for Eastern New Mexico Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · August 20, 2018 at 11:30 am Full House Resorts unveiled a proposal Monday for a destination resort in Eastern New Mexico that was teased during the Las Vegas-based company’s second quarter earnings call earlier this month. The company, which operates five casinos in four states, wants to build a racetrack, casino, luxury hotel, and golf course complex near Clovis, N.M., that would draw visitors from neighboring western Texas.A price was not disclosed for the development, named “La Posada del Llano.” Full House CEO Dan Lee said on Aug. 9 that the company was one of 11 entities seeking the state’s sixth license for a racetrack casino. Full House entered into option agreements for the potential site covering 520 acres. The New Mexico Racing Commission set an application deadline for last week, which Lee said the company met. He told analysts on the conference call the state wanted to move quickly and suggested it could pick a developer by the end of the year. “We are proposing to build an entire regional destination resort, entailing much more than just a racetrack and casino,” Lee said in a statement. “Such a development will produce more jobs, more development, greater tax revenues, and larger horseracing purses, while also becoming a major attraction and amenity for the region.” Lee said the company focused on Clovis because the project could turn the area into a year-round tourist destination. On the conference call, Lee said the project would be “an important stimulus for the economy of Clovis and important for the state of New Mexico.” “There are a total of 11 proposals. We are a tiny company and we are the big company in this,” Lee said. “When you’re 1 of 11 proposals, you never going to say that you have a 50-50 chance. But I think our odds are better than a 1 in 11 chance, and so we are chasing that deal pretty aggressively.” In Monday’s statement, Full House unveiled a “moving grandstand” for the racetrack, which was described as like “a tram or streetcar.” The special stadium-style seating section would allow hundreds of guests to travel at the same speed as the racehorses, circling the track and offering spectators a close-up view of the horses for the entirety of the race. “In a typical race, spectators in the grandstand only see two brief moments of a race, its start and the closing seconds at the finish line,” Lee said. “Our moving grandstand changes that, allowing spectators to race side-by-side with the horses for every dramatic second of the race. By reinventing the viewing experience, we intend to open horse racing to a new generation of fans.” Full House operates two casinos in Northern Nevada, and one each in Colorado, Mississippi and Indiana. The company is in the process of expanding its Bronco Billy’s Casino in Cripple Creek, Colo., adding a hotel, increased parking and other amenities. Lee, the former CEO of Pinnacle Entertainment, likened the New Mexico plans to L’Auberge Lake Charles in western Louisiana, which the company developed from the ground-up and is currently the leading resort in the state in terms of monthly gaming revenue. The area targets nearby Houston for customers. According to the statement, Full House said La Posada del Llano “pays homage to the Hispanic heritage and population of the region.” La Posada means The Inn in Spanish and the region is known as the Llano Estacado, which translates to “short-grass plains.” The development will also feature a recreation vehicle park, a water park located in the racetrack’s infield, and five miles of recreational riding trails. Lee said on the conference call a budget for the development, as well as size of the hotel and casino, would be discussed later. “If we are lucky enough to get chosen, we will figure out how to pay for that at the appropriate time, but it’s a long way down the road,” he said. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.