By:  Wentworth                                         S.R. No. 635
    1-1                           SENATE RESOLUTION
    1-2        WHEREAS, The Senate of the State of Texas takes great pride
    1-3  in recognizing and celebrating the grand opening on April 7, 1995,
    1-4  of the splendid San Antonio racetrack, Retama Park; and
    1-5        WHEREAS, Retama Park is the long-awaited horse-racing
    1-6  facility that fulfills a dream of the racetrack's chairman of the
    1-7  board and chief executive officer, Joe R. Straus, Jr., and of
    1-8  citizens across the state who have for years envisioned a Class 1
    1-9  racetrack for thoroughbred horses in the Lone Star State; and
   1-10        WHEREAS, The completion of the $79 million project is a
   1-11  story of vision, tenacity, and perseverance that dates back to the
   1-12  1930s when pari-mutuel racing was illegal, and Joe Straus, Sr.,
   1-13  and others began a crusade to bring the sport back to Texas;
   1-14  Mr. Straus's sons, David Straus and Joe Straus, Jr., have continued
   1-15  their father's legacy which now comes to fruition with the creation
   1-16  of Retama Park; and
   1-17        WHEREAS, After a 50-year absence, pari-mutuel wagering was
   1-18  legalized in Texas in 1987; the Retama Park Association was formed
   1-19  in 1989, and the land acquisition process began; the initial
   1-20  investors were Joe Straus, Jr., David Straus, and Jerry Carroll;
   1-21  in 1991, new investors became limited partners in Retama Partners,
   1-22  Limited, and the park was granted a Class 1 license by the Texas
   1-23  Racing Commission; and in 1993, financing for the park was
    2-1  completed with the receipt of $56.2 million of proceeds from the
    2-2  sale of tax-exempt municipal bonds through the City of Selma; and
    2-3        WHEREAS, The experienced racetrack leader of Garden State
    2-4  Park in New Jersey, Robert J. Quigley, was hired to be president
    2-5  and chief operating officer of the Retama Park project in 1992,
    2-6  and construction on the racetrack began January 3, 1994; the first
    2-7  steps in designing the park were undertaken by the San Antonio
    2-8  architectural firm of Ford, Powell and Carson, and later HKS, a
    2-9  major architectural firm in Dallas, was responsible for the
   2-10  completion of the design work; and
   2-11        WHEREAS, A pleasing example of Southwestern architecture,
   2-12  Retama Park is a beautifully designed facility of buff-colored
   2-13  buildings, textures, and archways that reflect the regional
   2-14  character and charm of San Antonio and that blend well with the
   2-15  Central Texas landscape; and
   2-16        WHEREAS, The 200-plus-acre racetrack site features a
   2-17  striking grandstand of soft tan stucco siding and arched windows;
   2-18  the construction of the racetrack, grandstand, and stable area,
   2-19  which includes 23 barns, five dormitories, two loading ramps, and
   2-20  jockeys' quarters, was coordinated and planned with expertise under
   2-21  the guidance of Project Control of Texas, the project's "Central
   2-22  Command Station"; and
   2-23        WHEREAS, A major asset to the State of Texas, Retama Park is
   2-24  a world-class facility that has provided thousands of jobs for
   2-25  area citizens and has helped to boost the local economy; employment
    3-1  opportunities have been provided for 750 on-track workers, vendors,
    3-2  horsemen, construction workers, mutuel tellers, security workers,
    3-3  information guides, and maintenance workers; others who will
    3-4  benefit include trainers, jockeys, grooms, blacksmiths, and
    3-5  veterinarians; and
    3-6        WHEREAS, An immense and impressive undertaking,
    3-7  Retama Park will be a significant source of revenue for the
    3-8  City of Selma, the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, and the
    3-9  State of Texas; Bexar County and Selma will benefit from the
   3-10  sales tax and admission tax and increased property values; the
   3-11  state can expect a financial windfall from the wagering takeout,
   3-12  and San Antonio, one of the country's favorite tourist spots,
   3-13  has another magnificent attraction to offer its visitors; now,
   3-14  therefore, be it
   3-15        RESOLVED, That the Senate of the State of Texas,
   3-16  74th Legislature, hereby commend all who were responsible for
   3-17  the creation of this remarkable Class 1 racetrack and extend best
   3-18  wishes for much success to those attending the grand opening of
   3-19  Retama Park; and, be it further
   3-20        RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution be prepared for
   3-21  the Retama Park Association as an expression of appreciation and
   3-22  high regard from the Texas Senate.
   3-23                               ______________________________________
   3-24                                       President of the Senate
   3-25                                    I hereby certify that the above
    4-1                               Resolution was adopted by the Senate
    4-2                               on April 5, 1995.
    4-3                               ______________________________________
    4-4                                       Secretary of the Senate
    4-5                               ______________________________________
    4-6                                        Member, Texas Senate