Governor to create "21st Century showcase"
By Denise Tessier 09/08/2008
As the New Mexico State Fair kicked off on Friday, the governor's office released a number of broad ideas for use of the EXPO New Mexico fairgrounds year-round, promising the state "will move forward to turn EXPO into a 21st century showcase."
The governor received written comments on EXPO's future and also heard directly from individuals, neighborhood associations and groups at a hearing he hosted in Albuquerque last month.
“After reaching out to the community and potential private partners, it is clear that there is overwhelming support to redevelop the existing property,” Gov. Bill Richardson said in a statement from his office today.
The information was sought in light of the Downs of Albuquerque's decision to move its racing operations to Moriarty. The next step will be to issue a Request for Proposals, which will give interested parties an opportunity to develop a concrete plan for EXPO.
The statement issued by the governor's office summarized these six broad themes for use of the property, which will be part of the Request for Proposals:
Keeping the State Fair at the current location and improving the existing
infrastructure. Other ideas include building apartments on site, restaurants and
an urban market.
Creating job opportunities and economic development by building
commercial, retail, workforce training facilities or even an Alternative Energy
Developing a year-round family recreation center, such as a
cultural theme park or an athletic complex. Ideas included an Old Western Theme
Park, Asian Cultural Center, Deaf Culture Club or a Dubai of the Southwest.
Creating a world class equestrian center for horse shows, rodeos, dirt biking
and family-centered livestock events.
Designing a community green space including a growers market and a public garden. One idea called it a "Lean Innovation Green Business & Entertainment Center"
Building a multipurpose event center or grandstand for concerts, sporting events and conventions. One proposal suggested bringing a professional soccer team to the state