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Media Release

Published: 08/27/2012

‘Breaking Bad’ fans discover Albuquerque

Unlikely tourism draw bringing new audience to visit film locations

Albuquerque, NM (August 2012) – Now in its fifth and final season, the Emmy-winning show Breaking Bad is generating a new visitor audience for Albuquerque, New Mexico. The popular AMC show is set and filmed in Albuquerque, and is drawing attention to the destination.

New Mexico’s aggressive film incentives have brought film and television crews to the state for several years. Production companies can receive up to 25 percent tax rebates on production costs when filming in our state, which helped attract Sony Pictures Television to Albuquerque five years ago. As the story of Breaking Bad has progressed, the city of Albuquerque has become a significant “character” in the show.

“Albuquerque itself has become a character in our show. A really important character,” said Bryan Cranston, who plays Walter White, in a recent radio interview. “It gave it a justifiable location. A sound, solid place that not many people have related to. They’ve seen Los Angeles, they’ve seen New York, but they haven’t really seen Albuquerque and New Mexico.”

As we approach the 2012 Emmys, Albuquerque will be front and center with Breaking Bad’s 13 nominations including best drama series and acting nominations for Bryan Cranston (Walt), Aaron Paul (Jesse), Giancarlo Esposito (Gus) and Anna Gunn (Skyler).

Self-guided location map

The Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau has compiled a snapshot of film locations along with nearby attractions to help visitors discover what Albuquerque is really about: 300+ years of history, diverse arts and culture, delectable New Mexican cuisine, spectacular weather and abundant outdoor recreation opportunities.

The self-guided interactive map helps visitors explore a variety of Breaking Bad film locations in tandem with Albuquerque attractions. The map is easy to navigate and offers more than a carwash or burrito restaurant for those that want to see the film locations firsthand, but also discover what the city is about.

Tourism partners are also getting on board with the Breaking Bad hype. The Albuquerque Trolley Company is now offering 3.5-hour Breaking Bad location tours around Albuquerque on a regular basis. The tours are typically sold out within a day of being announced.  

“We are seeing a younger demographic than our typical visitors contacting us and taking our tours because they found out about Albuquerque through Breaking Bad,” said Jesse Herron, co-owner of the ABQ Trolley Co.

“People from around the world have connected with our city because of the show’s popularity,” said Michael Silva, ABQ Trolley Co. co-owner.

Many of the actors have chosen to live part-time in Albuquerque and have enjoyed experiencing the same things visitors come for – outdoor recreation, scenic views, great food and weather. View comments about the city on the website.

“Film projects like Breaking Bad and blockbusters movies like The Lone Ranger and Terminator Salvation bring money into our city,” said Dale Lockett, President/CEO of the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau.  “Those that are set here can help us dispel misperceptions about our area. The beautiful landscape shots show the gorgeous Sandia Mountains and other vistas that pique the interest of viewers.”

“We are reaching a new potential visitor audience that may not have considered Albuquerque for vacation in the past through shows like Breaking Bad. People want to come here and see the actual locations where the filming is taking place,” Lockett said.

Albuquerque and New Mexico have strong film history. In addition to Breaking Bad, a snapshot of recent film projects includes the upcoming Lone Ranger, In Plain Sight, The Avengers, The Book of Eli, Terminator Salvation, Crazy Heart and many more.

Stay tuned for more developments on Breaking Bad and other film tourism promotions in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

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