The Taos community depends on visitors and without them, our community would be much less prosperous and our opportunity to share our diverse cultural heritage would be more limited. Visitors provide …
The Taos community depends on visitors and without them, our community would be much less prosperous and our opportunity to share our diverse cultural heritage would be more limited. Visitors provide many benefits to our community, including:
• They spend money skiing, in our lodging establishments, entertainment venues, retail stores, restaurants, galleries
• They attend our events
• They pay lodgers' tax
• They pay gross receipts tax
• Many fall in love with the area and buy a second home here
• Many end up deciding to retire here
And hopefully, some will end up starting or moving a business to the area.
What we see with tourism in Taos Ski Valley is true in most small communities around the state. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Jen Schroer have requested a budget increase for tourism marketing promotion and advertising of $6.06 million. This is an increase over last year's budget of 66% and the money will be targeted at new markets that our research shows will yield solid results. This will enhance the marketing programs Taos and New Mexico True are already cultivating. As our advertising grows, the number of people who come to enjoy Taos and the surrounding community will also grow.
I encourage our legislators to say yes to the tourism budget increase. The dollars spent will have a direct economic return on investment in jobs, lodgers' tax, gross receipts tax and revenue to the businesses that depend on tourism. It will have the added benefit of providing indirect dollars that enhance our economy and our community and allow us to continue to expand services and support for all of our citizens.
New Mexico and Taos have momentum. Now is the time to keep that momentum going as investment in tourism continues the growth and stability that is good for everyone.
Chris Stagg works with Taos Ski Valley and is a village councilor of Taos Ski Valley.
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