New Mexico Had 2018 Tourism Boom | The Line

New Mexico Had 2018 Tourism Boom | The Line

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>>WELCOME BACK TO THE LINE. 2018 WAS A BANNER YEAR FOR
TOURISM HERE IN NEW MEXICO. ACCORDING TO THE TOURISM
DEPARTMENT SECRETARY, VISITOR TO THE LAND OF
ENCHANTMENT SPENT A RECORD $7.1 BILLION HERE LAST YEAR. THAT’S A JUMP OF 7%. BUT WHAT’S BEHIND THAT
INCREASE? SOME SUGGEST A NEW FOCUS ON
YEAR-ROUND TOURIST POSSIBILITIES HERE IN OUR
STATE, AND A FOCUS ON SOME OF THE LESSER KNOWN
ATTRACTIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES. TOM, THAT MIGHT BE ALL TRUE,
BUT BY ALL ACCOUNTS OUR MARQUE EVENT, BALLOON
FIESTA, WAS ALSO FARING PRETTY OKAY. HOW DID YOU GUYS WORK OUT
THIS YEAR?>>IT WAS A GREAT EVENT. WE HAD A LOT OF GREAT DAYS
OF FLYING. WE GOT BLOWN OUT ON THURSDAY
ON SOME OF THE EVENTS, SOME WEATHER IMPACTS. BUT OVERALL, JUST DOWN
SLIGHTLY. LAST YEAR IT WAS 888,000
PEOPLE WERE ESTIMATED GUEST VISITS. THIS YEAR WE WERE RIGHT AT
886. SO NOT TOO MUCH OF A DRASTIC
DIFFERENCE. BUT ANYWAY, THE NUMBERS THAT
I THINK EVERYBODY SHOULD BE REALLY FOCUSED ON ARE
BASICALLY WHAT ARE THE LODGINGS. IN THE CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE,
SANTA FE, WHAT ARE THEIR LODGERS TAX RECEIPTS LIKE
FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER. AND THEN YOU’LL START TO
SEE, WHAT WERE THE ADMISSIONS LIKE AT THE GATES
AT THE DIFFERENT MUSEUMS AND SUCH. BUT IT WAS A GREAT EVENT. IT’S A MARQUE EVENT FOR THE
STATE AND SOMETHING THAT GETS PEOPLE OUT AND ABOUT
AROUND NEW MEXICO.>>FROM YOUR POINT OF VIEW,
BEING CONNECTED WITH THE BALLOON FIESTA, WHEN YOU
LOOK OVER THE ENTIRE STATE AND OUR TOURISM, AND THE
BUMP YOU SEE, WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE IT TO? IS IT ONE THING, IN YOUR
MIND’S EYE, OR IS IT JUST A COMBINATION OF A LOT OF
THINGS?>>YOU KNOW, IT’S PROBABLY A
COMBINATION OF A LOT OF THINGS. FINALLY THE INDUSTRY HAS
SOMETHING TO RALLY AROUND WITH NEW MEXICO TRUE, WHICH
STARTED UNDER THE MARTINEZ ADMINISTRATION. SECRETARY SCHROER PROVIDED A
VERY COMPELLING CASE STUDY TO THE ECONOMIC FORUM WHERE
BASICALLY SHE MADE THE CASE OF BASICALLY SAYING, TOURISM
IS AN INDUSTRY, BUT IT’S MUCH LARGER THAN TOURISM. IT REALLY HAS A WAY TO
GENERATE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ON A LARGER
STATEWIDE BASIS. AND A LOT OF FOLKS IN THE
TOURISM INDUSTRY HAVE LOOKED AT TOURISM AS SAYING, THAT’S
THE FIRST DAY, AND THAT WILL GET THEM BACK TO THE STATE
TO HOPEFULLY COME AND RELOCATE THEIR BUSINESS. SO I LIKE THE LARGER VISION,
AND I LIKE THE FACT THAT THE SECRETARY IS NOT ABANDONING
A SUCCESSFUL NEW MEXICO TRUE PROGRAM.>>I’M INTERESTED, LAURA, IN
YOUR IDEA ABOUT — I HEAR A LOT FROM COUNTIES AND OTHER
FOLKS OUT THERE, A LOT OF THE TOURISM FOCUS TENDS TO
BE NORTHERN NEW MEXICO, A LOT OF SKIING, MOUNTAINS,
MAKE SENSE, SANTA FE AND ALBUQUERQUE, BUT IN THE
SOUTHERN PART OF THE STATE, THEY DON’T GET A LOT OF
JUICE WHEN IT COMES TO TOURISM DOLLARS. IS THAT A FAIR ASSESSMENT? AND THE SECOND PART OF THAT,
THEY WANT SOME MORE CONTROL ABOUT HOW THOSE MONIES GET
SPENT.>>I THINK THAT’S PROBABLY
FAIR. I THINK CERTAINLY WHEN
I TRAVEL, PEOPLE ALWAYS THINK OF SANTA FE AND THEY
THINK OF TAOS, AND I GET QUESTIONED A LOT ABOUT
SANTA FE AND TAOS, AND ALBUQUERQUE EVERYBODY KNOWS
ABOUT, BUT VERY LITTLE ABOUT SOUTHERN NEW MEXICO. SO I DO THINK THAT THERE’S
AN ISSUE THERE IN TERMS OF TRYING TO PUBLICIZE IT.
AND THERE’S GREAT AREAS TO VISIT DOWN THERE, A LOT OF
THINGS TO DO. WHEN I WAS AT THE NEW MEXICO
GREEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, WE WORKED A LOT ON DOING
WORK AROUND THE OUTDOOR RECREATION ECONOMY, AND SO
WE ALSO, AS A PART OF THAT, WORKED ON THE ORGAN
MOUNTAINS DESERT PEAKS NATIONAL MONUMENT DOWN
THERE. IT WAS RIGHT AFTER THE RIO
GRANDE DEL NORTE NATIONAL MONUMENT IN TAOS AND RIO
ARRIBA HAD BEEN CREATED. SO THIS NEW ONE DOWN SOUTH
CREATED A LITTLE BIT OF A BUMP, I THINK, IN SOME
OUTDOOR RECREATION, BUT I THINK THERE NEEDS TO BE
MORE RESOURCES PUT INTO IT AT THE STATEWIDE LEVEL TO
TRY TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT WHEN YOU’RE
COMING UP HERE, WHEN YOU’RE COMING INTO NEW MEXICO, TAKE
A TRIP DOWN I-25, GO CHECK OUT LAS CRUCES, GO CHECK OUT
THE ORGAN MOUNTAINS. WHITE SANDS, I THINK, IS
DEFINITELY AN AREA THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE APPRECIATE AND
LIKE TO GO TO. IT’S AN AMAZING AREA. BUT I THINK THAT’S A FAIR
ASSESSMENT. I HOPE THAT WE CAN COME UP
WITH A MORE STATEWIDE APPROACH TO TOURISM DOLLARS.>>EXACTLY RIGHT. MICHAEL, IT GOES WITHOUT
SAYING, IT WAS ALWAYS TRICKY TO SORT OF ASK AND PUT OUT
THERE, BUT OUR NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE, OUR NATIVE
AMERICAN POPULATION IS A BIG PART OF OUR TOURISM HERE. ARE NATIVE AMERICANS
RECEIVING SOME OF THE LARGESS HERE FROM ALL THESE
TOURIST DOLLARS? HOW MUCH OF THAT
$7.1 BILLION IS GETTING IN THE POCKETS OF NATIVE
AMERICAN FOLKS AROUND OUR STATE?>>I THINK I’D LOVE TO SEE
SOMEBODY RESPOND TO THAT QUESTION, MYSELF. THE BOTTOM LINE IS
HISTORICALLY, WHEN WE LOOK BACK HISTORICALLY IN TERMS
OF THE RAILROAD, A BIG DRIVER IN THE PAST
HISTORICALLY HAS BEEN NATIVE CULTURE, NATIVE TRADITIONS,
NATIVE FESTIVALS, AND IT CONTINUES TO STILL BE A
DRAW. IF YOU LOOK AT INDIAN
MARKET, 150,000 TOURISTS COME IN FOR THAT TWO-DAY
EVENT, MANY OF THEM INTERNATIONAL TOURISTS, NOT
JUST DOMESTIC. AND THEN WHEN WE LOOK AT THE
GATHERING OF NATIONS HERE IN ALBUQUERQUE, ALSO NOT JUST A
DOMESTIC PROGRAM, BUT DRAWS INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPANTS,
LARGEST POW-WOW IN THE AMERICAS. SO I WOULD HOPE — I GUESS
MY CONCERN AND HOPE WOULD BE THAT IN WHATEVER THE STATE
IS DOING, OR WHATEVER THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IS
DOING, OR WHATEVER THESE INDIVIDUALS, THAT THERE IS
SOME CONVERSATION GOING ON ALREADY. AND IF NOT, THEN THERE NEEDS
TO BE A CONVERSATION WITH EVERYONE, I THINK, AT THE
TABLE, BE IT SOMEBODY FROM THE SOUTH, BE IT THE
HISPANIC COMMUNITY, BE IT THE NATIVE AMERICAN
COMMUNITY. I THINK THE MORE PEOPLE THAT
ARE ON BOARD AND UNDERSTAND WHAT THE OBJECTIVE IS AND
THAT ALL PARTIES BENEFIT IN SOME FORM OR FASHION I THINK
WILL INCREASE THE SUCCESS, AND POTENTIALLY BUILD SOME
INFRASTRUCTURE IN ALL OF THE COMMUNITIES. BECAUSE THERE ARE A LOT OF
PEOPLE, I THINK — NEW MEXICO, YOU KNOW, IN
MANY WAYS WE TALK ABOUT THE ISSUES OF DISPARITIES AND
MANY OF THE NEGATIVES, BUT WHEN IT COMES TO CULTURE,
TRADITION, LANGUAGE, CULINARY, NEW MEXICO’S GOT
IT. AND LANDSCAPE, AS WELL. WE REALLY NEED TO FOCUS ON
THAT, BUT MAKE SURE THAT EVERYBODY IS BENEFITING.>>THAT’S RIGHT. JULIE ANN, MICHAEL JUST
ANTICIPATED A QUESTION I HAD FOR YOU. IT’S ALMOST LIKE THIS IN
LIEU OF, AND THAT IS, CRIME IS OBVIOUSLY A BIG ISSUE
THAT WE WORRY IS GOING OUT TO THE REST OF THE WORLD IN
OUR REPUTATION. CRIME, CRIME, CRIME, ALL THE
TIME. BUT IT’S NOT STOPPING PEOPLE
FROM COMING HERE AND SPENDING MONEY, IS IT?>>THERE’S CRIME EVERYWHERE.>>THAT’S RIGHT. I LIKE THE WAY YOU PUT THAT.>>I THINK WHEREVER YOU
LIVE, YOU’RE GOING TO FEEL THE STING, OR IT’S GOING TO
FEEL A LITTLE CLOSE TO HOME, AND WE ARE CERTAINLY ALL
FEELING THE STING OF THE CHALLENGES IN ALBUQUERQUE. PEOPLE IN SANTA FE KIND OF
LIKE TO DO THIS WELL-WE’RE-NOT-THEM THING. BUT WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A
STORY IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS HERE THAT I THINK WILL
ENLIGHTEN EVERYBODY A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SOME OF THE CRIME
TRENDS THAT WE’RE SEEING. CRIME AND VIOLENT CRIME IS
GOING UP IN SANTA FE, AS WELL. ONE OF THE THINGS I THINK IS
NOTEWORTHY ABOUT THIS DISCUSSION IS THAT IT’S NOT
JUST THE TOURISM DEPARTMENT AND THE NEW MEXICO TRUE
CAMPAIGN THAT’S REALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR AND WORKING
FOR VISITORS AND FOR OTHER KINDS OF DEVELOPMENT IN OUR
STATE. THE NEW OFFICE OF OUTDOOR
RECREATION, IT’S ACTUALLY PARKED IN ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT. THEN YOU’VE ALSO GOT THE
DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS, WHICH HAS NOT JUST
THE STATE MUSEUM SYSTEM, BUT ALL OF THESE HISTORIC SITES. AND THERE’S SOME OF THESE
SMALLER SITES IN RURAL PARTS OF THE STATE THAT DON’T GET
AS MUCH SORT OF LOVE. THEY’RE NOT THE BANDELIER,
THEY’RE NOT THE BALLOON FIESTA. BUT GOING TO FORT UNION IS
ALSO REALLY FUN. CATCHING A RIDE ON THE
CUMBRES & TOLTEC. COMING UP, THEY’RE GOING TO
HAVE THEIR BIG SANTA CLAUS THING.>>THE DEMING DUCK RACES.>>THERE YOU GO.>>THAT’S A BIG EVENT,
ACTUALLY.>>THEY ALL KIND OF COME
TOGETHER. THEY BUILD ON THE EDGES OF
THESE BIG THINGS THAT HAPPEN, AND I THINK THAT
THAT’S RESPONSIBLE FOR SOME OF THIS CHANGE THAT’S BEEN
RECORDED.>>JULIE ANN MAKES A GOOD
POINT HERE, TOM, AND THAT IS, IT’S HARD TO DEVELOP
THINGS THAT ARE LIKE SO GENERAL THEY’LL APPEAL TO
EVERYONE. THAT’S NOT HOW THE WORLD
WORKS. IF YOU THINK ABOUT MAYBE
EVEN THE LOWRIDER MUSEUM IN ESPANOLA, A REALLY
INTERESTING IDEA. WHY NOT HAVE LOTS AND LOTS
AND LOTS OF VERY TARGETED LITTLE THINGS THAT EVERY
COMMUNITY CAN HIGHLIGHT. IT SEEMS TO BE AN
INTERESTING WAY TO GO.>>YES. THE SUCCESSFUL DESTINATIONS
ARE AUTHENTIC DESTINATIONS. AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE
LOWRIDER MUSEUM, IT’S AUTHENTIC TO THE COMMUNITY. AND WHAT A WONDERFUL STORY
TO TELL, BECAUSE WHEN YOU ACTUALLY GO OUT TO —
ANYBODY WHO’S TRAVELED IN OR OUT OF THE ALBUQUERQUE
SUNPORT HAS ACTUALLY HAD A CHANCE TO EXPERIENCE PART OF
THE LOWRIDER CULTURE.>>THEY HAVE AN
EXHIBIT RIGHT NOW.>>YES. PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS TAKING
PICTURES, SELFIES WITH THEM AND STUFF. SO AUTHENTIC COMMUNICATIONS,
AUTHENTIC REPRESENTATIONS OF COMMUNITIES. AND EVEN THE QUIRKY. AS LAURA MENTIONED, THE
DEMING DUCK RACE. AND ROSWELL, THE ROSWELL UFO
ENCOUNTERS. DUCKS AREN’T THE FIRST THING
I THINK OF WHEN I THINK OF DEMING, BUT NOW THEY ARE.
AND ALIENS, DEFINITELY NOT ROSWELL.>>AND ME.>>WELL, YES, AND LAURA
SANCHEZ-RIVÉT.>>ONE OF THE BREAKOUTS HERE
IS SHOPPING AND RETAIL HAD A $1.2 BILLION HIT WITH THIS. AGAIN, JULIE ANN MADE THE
POINT, TOO, IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT PEOPLE FLYING IN AND
GOING OUT, THIS IS CRITICAL FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE
MOM-AND-POP STORES, RESTAURANTS, ALL THAT KIND
OF STUFF, ISN’T IT? IT’S AMAZING WHEN YOU THINK
ABOUT IT.>>IT MEANS SO MUCH FOR THEM
TO BE ABLE TO PLAN YEAR ROUND, AND THEN YOU GET A
BUMP AND THAT HELPS YOU WEATHER THOSE OTHER TIMES
THAT THERE’S A DOWN TIME. SO FOR ANY BUSINESS, SMALL
BUSINESS, IF THEY’RE ABLE TO CAPITALIZE ON VISITORS FOR
THE BALLOON FIESTA OR OTHER LOCAL EVENTS THAT ARE
HAPPENING, IT REALLY MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN TERMS OF
MAKING OR BREAKING THEIR BUSINESS.>>THAT’S RIGHT. I HAVEN’T SKIED, JULIE ANN,
IN LIKE 30 YEARS. I DON’T DISLIKE SKIING,
I JUST HAVEN’T DONE IT. ARE WE SEEING SOME SORT OF
REBOUND?>>THE LAST SEASON WAS
SPECTACULAR IN SANTA FE. THE SEASON BEFORE WAS THE
FAMOUS YEAR ON THE LIFT, AND YOU SEE MORE DIRT THAN SNOW
UNDER YOUR SKIS. BUT LAST SEASON WAS
WONDERFUL. I’M NOT REALLY A GREAT
METEOROLOGIST KIND OF PREDICTOR IN THAT WAY, BUT I
THINK CERTAINLY PEOPLE ARE HOPING FOR ANOTHER GOOD SNOW
SEASON. I MEAN, WE’VE SEEN TAOS SKI
VALLEY MADE SOME BIG INVESTMENTS IN THE LAST
COUPLE OF YEARS IN MODERNIZING AND MAKING
THINGS FANCY UP THERE, SO I THINK PEOPLE IN NORTHERN
NEW MEXICO ARE REALLY HOPING FOR GOOD SNOW THIS YEAR.>>COOL. IT’S IMPORTANT FOR OUR
STATE, TOO, THE SNOW STUFF. YOU CAN FIND OUT MUCH MORE
ABOUT THE TOURISM BOOM ON OUR WEBSITE,
NewMexicoInFocus.org. AND BE SURE TO CHECK IN WITH
THE SHOW AND OFFER YOUR THOUGHTS ON FACEBOOK,
TWITTER, AND YOUTUBE PAGES, OF COURSE. UP THERE RIGHT NOW, YOU CAN
HEAR THE LINE PANELISTS’ REACTIONS TO THE NEWS THAT
MAGGIE TOULOUSE-OLIVER IS DROPPING OUT OF THE U.S.
SENATE RACE AND ENDORSING HER OPPONENT, CONGRESSMAN
BEN RAY LUJAN.

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