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Take Community Vision For Tourism Online Survey

on September 11, 2017 - 7:08am

COUNTY News:

Los Alamos County invites community members to participate in an online survey that is a substitute for attendance at the public forum that was held Sept. 6. Visit https://www.losalamostourismplan.com/ to access the survey link.

A recording of the public forum presentation is available within the survey providing an introduction to the plan purpose, information about current tourism, and a description of scenarios introducing ideas that create alternative futures for consideration.

Keypad polling devices were utilized in the public forum that allow for instant participant results to be shared with the audience. The online survey is a duplicate of these polling questions and the County asks that you only take the survey if you did not participate in the meeting. Your feedback is important!

The purpose of the meeting held Sept. 6 was to:         

• Educate the public about recent findings regarding Los Alamos tourism current conditions and trends.

• Present scenarios of optional courses of action to direct tourism efforts in the future for feedback.

• Gain an understanding of a variety of concerns, opportunities, values and needs.

• Collect additional improvement ideas or information regarding strategies.

Community members were invited to provide input to deepen the understanding of community values regarding tourism.

Background:

Recent events have redirected Los Alamos County’s focus on the tourism industry as an economic driver. The shift began with the economic recession when LANL’s workforce reductions resulted in a significant decrease in gross receipts tax. By 2013, cut-backs in Lab contracting took their toll on Lodgers’ Tax Revenues which hit an all-time low, compounded by the loss of hotel rooms with the temporary closure of two lodging establishments. Since then, the New Mexico Tourism Department successfully launched the New Mexico True brand. 

Since that launch in 2012, total visitation to the state has increased by 1.45 million (from 32.55 million to 34 million) and visitor spending increased from $5.7 billion to $6.3 billon; thus providing proof that the tourism industry is a growing and sustainable contributor to the State’s economy. Lift and lodge operations at Pajarito Mountain were turned over to a private company in 2014, bringing snowmaking and other improvements to extend operations and profitability during the winter. In 2015, Los Alamos was designated a New Mexico True destination and regularly hosts the governor, the tourism secretary and the tourism commission at several events each year.

Also, in 2015, Los Alamos became the gateway to three National Parks, adding the Valles Caldera National Preserve and the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park site to Bandelier National Monument—all within a 5- to 30-minute drive from downtown Los Alamos. Throughout the better part of the last decade, visitation to Los Alamos’ tourism attraction has grown 6 percent and Lodgers’ Tax Revenues have increased 13 percent. In order to sustain and manage the growth of our tourism economy, we need a strategic, collaborative plan closely linked to our economic development initiatives and goals that considers all tourism assets, marketing efforts and impacts.

The Los Alamos County Tourism Strategic Plan will help unify ongoing tourism efforts, and position the County to optimize tourism economic development for the benefit of the community. The plan will guide and provide direction to the County and partners when making decisions relating to tourism, community investment, cultural opportunities and physical development. This initiative is intended to benefit both community residents and tourists.

The project initiated in May of 2017 and includes a 20 person Tourism Work Group to advise the County Council and County planners. Two public meetings in addition to Focus Group meetings will inform the plan anticipated for adoption by Council December 2017.

For more information on the Tourism Strategic Plan Project visit www.losalamostourismplan.com or contact Assistant to County Manager Linda Matteson at linda.matteson@lacnm.us.


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