Harold Morgan: Tourists come to N.M.; residents leave

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By Harold Morgon

People find New Mexico an appealing place to visit if reminded by advertising emphasizing people and land — our Enchantment. 

However, some people find New Mexico, with its stagnant to declining economy (excepting the Southeast), an unappealing place to live.

The parallel elements emerged on consecutive days just before Christmas. 

“Quality of life” links the elements. A devil of differing definition hides in the link. 

The conclusion about visitor appeal comes from a Tourism Department study of a campaign featuring the “New Mexico True” theme developed by Vendor Inc., the department’s Austin-based advertising firm.

Vendor’s vindication came with the report that $1.2 million spent in three markets on the “New Mexico True” campaign generated 264,000 more trips here, $35.1 million in visitor spending and $3.6 million in taxes. 

Not that I expect the parochial complainers about Vendor to admit it, but maybe the Texans weren’t so bad after all.

Some Vendor principals did have New Mexico connections. Complainers included Jon Hendry, a film union (IATSE Local 480) official, and Gene Grant, an Albuquerque media figure. 

For the advocates and activists, admitting fallibility is not allowed.

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