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As we enter the spring season, we look toward opportunity and growth in the industry. This month signifies the beginning of spring and Women’s History Month. Each March, we celebrate the accomplished, inspiring female entrepreneurs throughout the community and recognize the women throughout history who have helped shape Albuquerque into the destination it is today.
This issue of Industry Insider covers the addition of the Turquoise level to the state’s reopening framework, updates from this year’s legislative session and the announcement of the #TrueABQ Challenge winner.
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President & CEO
On Feb. 24, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham added a Turquoise level to the state’s reopening framework as the least restrictive status. Although the Turquoise level still does not represent a full reopening, it does increase the mass gathering limit to 150 people and raises the maximum occupancy limits at places of lodging and restaurants. In order to move into the Turquoise level, counties must have been operating at the Green level for two consecutive reporting periods. Each reporting period is 14 days.
Large entertainment venues were added to the framework for the first time. These businesses include concert venues, movie theaters and live performance theaters, professional sports venues and racetracks. Hotel ballrooms and convention centers also fall under the definition of “large entertainment venues.” They are kept closed at the Red level, allowed to operate their outdoor spaces at reduced capacity at the Yellow level, and allowed to operate their indoor and outdoor spaces at reduced capacity in the Green and Turquoise levels.
Bars and clubs were added to the framework for the first time. They must remain closed at the Red or Yellow level, but are allowed to begin operating at the Green and Turquoise levels. Restrictions on recreational facilities were modified at every level of the framework, permitting greater access. These businesses include aquariums, amusement parks, arcades, basketball courts, baseball fields, bowling alleys, family entertainment centers, golf courses, museums with interactive displays or exhibits, ski areas, soccer fields, swimming pools and zoos, among others. Read the latest public health order here.
Although Visit Albuquerque is pleased to see progress toward reopening, we continue to advocate for opportunities to permit safe and responsible activities. For example, earlier this month we joined our counterparts in Farmington, Las Cruces and Roswell to advocate for the return of competitive youth sports to local fields and stadiums. Our voices joined the advocacy of many youth sports organizations, sports venues, elected leaders and others. On March 19, the State added youth club sports to its COVID-Safe Practices, allowing organized competitive games within the state for the first time in a year. We also are advocating for revisions to the Red-to-Green framework in the state’s public health order that will increase occupancy limits and permit additional economic activity. We believe these changes are needed in order to help the hospitality industry recover in a timely manner.
On March 17, the City of Albuquerque unveiled a new indoor track at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The new track will replace the City’s first indoor track that was purchased in 2005. The track was purchased using funds from the 2019 Lodgers’ Tax bond package which was made possible by several years of positive tourism performance prior to the pandemic. The investment aims to keep Albuquerque top-of-mind as a premier indoor track and field destination, allowing us to host national track events such as the NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships in 2023. Read the official press release here.
The FY22 budget approved last week by the New Mexico State Legislature includes a $7 million special appropriation to the State Tourism Department for “a revitalization strategy to restart the tourism economy.” The Tourism Department had originally requested $25 million from the Legislature. Also in the FY22 budget, legislators directed $10 million to the Tourism Department from the $1.6 billion the State will receive under the federal government’s American Rescue Plan (ARP), with instructions to use the money for advertising and marketing that will assist the tourism industry. The Legislature designated another $25 million of ARP funding to provide relief “to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality.” Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has until April 9 to approve the FY22 budget forwarded by the Legislature.
House Bill 267, which would have provided a total of $45 million to support the leisure and hospitality industry, did not advance in the legislative session that ended March 20. The bill had proposed $30 million to develop a job training and career advancement program for the industry; $8 million to fund an event revitalization program designed to promote uniquely New Mexican events; and $7 million to increase business retention and support business expansion.
Our organization had voiced support for a $25 million special appropriation for tourism marketing and for House Bill 267. We want to take the time to show our appreciation and express our thanks to our valued industry Partners that advocated alongside us and the New Mexico Hospitality Association.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed several bills forwarded to her by the Legislature that are intended to provide relief to New Mexico businesses. On Feb. 26, the Governor signed House Bill 11 into law, delivering $200 million in grants to support New Mexico businesses to ease the hiring or rehiring of employees. Each business may qualify for up to $100,000 to be distributed in four quarterly payments. Guidelines include:
The applications and payments for the grants provided in House Bill 11 will be managed by the New Mexico Finance Authority. Click here to learn more.
On March 3, the Governor signed Senate Bill 1, which provides a four-month “tax holiday” for food and beverage businesses. Sales at certain restaurants, bars, food trucks, breweries, craft distilleries and wineries will be exempt from gross receipts tax (GRT) from March 1 through June 30. Eligible businesses may choose either to not charge GRT on the deductible receipts, or to charge the tax but keep the amount charged. It is estimated that dining and drinking establishments could save up to $90 million over the four-month period.
Also on March 3, the Governor signed Senate Bill 3, allowing more businesses to tap into what is now a $500 million pool of loan money at a discounted borrowing rate. The bill extends the Small Business Recovery Loan Fund created by the Legislature last year and makes funds available from the Severance Tax Permanent Fund. The new bill eases eligibility standards so more businesses can connect with the financial assistance they need. Learn more here.
The Milken Institute ranked Albuquerque No. 89 in the “Tier 3” cities category—72 spots higher than the 2020 report. The Milken Institute index is used to understand economic opportunity, indicating where employment is stable and expanding, wages and salaries are increasing, and businesses are thriving. According to the report, ranking cities combine steady growth and innovation, concentrating on investment in high-tech sectors that generate positive effects for local communities. Rankings are based on scores calculated using a combination of short and medium-term growth in jobs, wages, salaries, and technology output. For 2021, the index was modernized to show cities that have built inclusive local economies by adding measures of housing affordability and a measure of access to broadband internet. Read the official press release here.
The organization is excited to announce that Josh K. from Albuquerque is the winner of a hot air balloon ride for two, courtesy of Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Co. The #TrueABQ Challenge ran throughout January and February and received numerous qualified entries. Participants completed over 120 local activities from the challenge — a campaign designed to inspire and encourage residents to rediscover Albuquerque while simultaneously supporting the city’s small businesses community.
By sharing what you love about Albuquerque as part of the Travel + Leisure 2021 World’s Best Awards, you will be entered into a giveaway for a chance to win a dream trip for two worth $10,000! It’s simple to participate in the survey and enter the contest:
The Official Albuquerque Visitors Guide is designed to inspire people who are planning to visit our beautiful city as well as those who have already made the trip and are looking for ideas about where to eat, shop and spend their time while they are here. The new edition of the guide, which will be distributed in September 2021, will focus on what travelers desire now: outdoor recreation, a city-wide commitment to welcoming guests safely and responsibly, and the opportunity to visit an exciting destination that offers distinctive art, culture, cuisine and history.
The guides are distributed through mail to those who request a copy, as well as to leisure and business travelers, meeting planners, members of the media and event attendees. It will also be available at Visitor Information Centers throughout the state and in Amarillo, Texas, as well as the Albuquerque Sunport, museums, restaurants, lodging establishments and citywide attractions. An interactive, digital version of the guide will also be available on the Visit Albuquerque website.
Being included in the Visitors Guide increases your exposure to the millions of visitors who travel to Albuquerque annually. Make sure visitors to our city know about your business! If you are interested in advertising in this publication, contact Mary Brown, 505-222-4310 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A recent survey conducted by Destination Analysts confirmed that:
One of your key benefits as a Partner of Visit Albuquerque is your business listing on our website. Travelers and residents alike count on our website for information about where to eat, shop, play and stay in Albuquerque.
As businesses begin to reopen, many of you are making changes to your business hours, operations, products, services and amenities. Make sure your customers, clients and guests know about these changes by updating your business listing on VisitABQ.org. It only takes three easy steps!
Use the link below to submit your updates.
If you have any questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
A new filter allows TripAdvisor users to sort lodging properties in order to view only those that are taking additional safety precautions related to COVID-19. This means it is important for your property to update its TripAdvisor listing as soon as possible. Access the safety checklist in your TripAdvisor Management Center and select which safety measures you have in place, such as mandatory face masks, additional sanitation procedures and social distancing policies. You also can submit a text description of the steps you are taking to protect customers.
We’re looking for images of COVID-safe practices in Albuquerque. Help us promote your business and Albuquerque in this new era by uploading your images of employees and customers wearing masks, socially distancing and participating in other COVID-safe practices. We might use your photo on social media, on our website or in other marketing materials to promote our city and our Partners. It’s easy to share your image; just click this link and drag and drop your images in our public uploader.
Visit Albuquerque’s ABQ365 Events Calendar offers a great opportunity to promote your virtual and COVID-safe events! The one-stop, all-ABQ encompassing calendar features primarily arts, entertainment and culture-focused events, appealing to both locals and visitors.
Virtual event listings offer a great opportunity for additional exposure and promotion, and can help keep your business top-of-mind – for free!
Click here to get started, and be sure to select the virtual events tag on the submission form.
Coupons can be a great way to drive traffic to your business. If you have a current coupon or special running, please submit it to us so we can list it on our Specials & Coupons page.
Click here to submit your current coupons and specials.
We know things are different right now. We want to help you share your new initiatives. If you are offering a new type of service or concept, a new product, or have anything else exciting or new going on, we want to hear about it! Send anything and everything to Media@VisitABQ.org.
Más Tapas Y Vino Executive Chef Marc Quiñones, was a participant on Season 19 of Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen.” The show airs on FOX and was filmed in Las Vegas, Nevada. Quiñones was among 16 aspiring chefs who went head-to-head in rigorous culinary challenges and made it to round 10 on the show. Great job representing ABQ and NM, Chef Marc!
More than 100 Visit Albuquerque Partners have earned certification through the NM Safe Certified program, which verifies that their management team has been trained in COVID-Safe Practices. Check out all the businesses statewide that have earned the certification so far at nmsafecertified.org, and click here to start earning your certification today.
Through the Flower Art Space is a center for educational resources and creative opportunities that connect visitors to cultural institutions across the US. Currently on view in the gallery is “CONFINED,” an exhibition of new works by Judy Chicago with photography by Donald Woodman. Make an appointment here!
Calling local brewery, entertainment and restaurant businesses to participate in a digital passport program developed to help local businesses with no cost to participate. The Unbelievable Pass will be the premier deals pass for Albuquerque and the perfect cure for cabin fever.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.