Letter To The Editor: ‘Thank You Alan Wadlinger’

Los Alamos
Thank you Alan Wadlinger for the timely letter regarding White Rock Visitors Center. In its present configuration, I agree this beautiful tourist facility says ‘NO’ to Los Alamos, loud and clear.

The first big issue is that the facility is expensive:

  • $100,000 annual fee paid by Los Alamos County to LACDC to run WRVC; and 
  • $150,000 paid by Los Alamos County for ‘free shuttles’ to take visitors to Bandelier. 

That is a quarter of a million dollars spent to efficiently shuttle people out of town.

The second issue is that in several years of operation, WRVC has not succeeded in engaging the tourists with local businesses. Almost zero tourist dollars are recovered. In contrast, by running a gift shop, Taos Visitor Center brings a sizable profit of $250,000 to its small community. So we are clearly missing an opportunity that works for others.

Here are several fixes for the WRVC that there is time to implement before another tourist season passes us by:

  • better maps;
  • better display cabinets;
  • employees trained to mention Los Alamos business and restaurants;
  • a TV screen with a movie loop showing local highlights;
  • Install a second business showcase to advertise local shopping without delay. (CB FOX has kindly offered to supply the cabinet for free);
  • Allow restaurant signs in the bus waiting area; and
  • business signs in the buses themselves.

These improvements are very fast and low-cost.

Heads-up to Los Alamos County taxpayers, WRVC and buses cost $40 per Los Alamos family per year. $40! Interested in doing more with this facility? Please email: countycouncil@lacnm.us.

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