Los Alamos earns spot on National Geographic map

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Web site showcases what Los Alamos has to offer

By The Staff

Los Alamos has a lot to offer visitors — spectacular views, a unique history and small town charm. The challenge it faces is spreading the word about the community’s assets. Luckily, it is getting some assistance from National Geographic.
National Geographic created a Web site that focuses on geotourism, which it defines as tourism that enhances or sustains the geographic character of a place. This can include the environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and well-being of residents, the Web site reports. One of the regions featured on the Web site is the Four Corners area including Los Alamos.
The site features a map that spotlights different interests a visitor could experience if they visited the community such as the historic district and Ashley Pond.
Kevin Holsapple, executive director of Los Alamos Commerce Development Corporation, said people are invited to visit the Web site, which is www.fourcornersgeotourism.com, and nominate different attractions they feel should be promoted on the site.
The hope is not only will individuals nominate local tourist destinations but they also will include a link to the main visitor Web site for Los Alamos,  www.visit.losalamos.com.
Combining Los Alamos’ attractions with National Geographic’s world-wide audience should be a recipe for success, said Los Alamos County Lodgers Tax Advisory Board Chair Linda Deck.  
“I think Los Alamos has so much to offer … and we need to get the word out and this National Geographic tool has the potential to reach an audience we never would have reached with other tools we are using,” she said. “It really reaches an international audience and that’s great because the international audience should know about the wide variety of  (local) historical, cultural and recreational opportunities.”
Deck added the Web site is similar to social networking; it allows people to talk to each other.
Similar to the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child,” it takes a region to let people know what’s cool, she said.
“We’re our best ambassadors because we live in this beautiful, wonderful place. We should be crowing about it,” Deck said.
Only time will tell if the Web site, which is between 60 to 90 days old, will work, Holsapple said.
“It remains to be seen if it will really produce anything helpful,” he said. “there’s many kinds of these initiatives other there but the only thing is … National Geographic has a membership that is very much a match to the demographics and interests of the people we think would like to come here.”
National Geographic appeals to individuals who are interested in history, geography and other subjects, Holsapple said.
For more information about submitting information to the Web site, call the chamber of commerce at 662-0099.

Monitor County Reporter Kirsten Laskey contributed to this story.