Transition team pitches ideas to boost tourism revenue

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Related Stories

Posted: Sunday, June 8, 2014 8:45 pm | Updated: 11:24 am, Mon Jun 9, 2014.

Mayor Javier Gonzales’ transition team on tourism recommends the city of Santa Fe enact a $1 hotel room fee that would generate about $1 million annually.

The additional revenue could be used for different purposes, including allowing the city’s visitors bureau to pump more money into advertising or waive convention center usage fees for out-of-town groups and charitable organizations, the team said in its report.

Subscription Required

An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety. You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login Now

Need an online subscription?



You must login to view the full content on this page.

Thank you for reading 5 free articles on our site. You can come back at the end of your 30-day period for another 5 free articles, or you can get complete access to the online edition for $2.49 a week. If you need help, please contact our office at 505-986-3010 You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login Now

Need an online subscription?



More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 No Alias Commenters must use their real names.
  • 2 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 3 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. and please turn off caps lock.
  • 4 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Destiny Baca posted at 5:58 pm on Thu, Jun 12, 2014.

    destiny baca Posts: 48

    A green chile Bacon cheeseburger at The Bite is $13.65. That's without fries or a drink.....highway robbery I tell you.

  • Pierce Knolls posted at 8:37 am on Thu, Jun 12, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1670

    I read that AP article. "New Mexico, True" wasn't the worst state marketing tagline mentioned, but it's surely far from the best. Heck, the old reliable "Land of Enchantment" is far superior, in my opinion.

    I've always liked: "New Mexico, it's not new, and it's not Mexico."

  • Jennifer Bizzarro posted at 6:47 pm on Wed, Jun 11, 2014.

    Jennifer_Bizzarro Posts: 481

    Who are you?

  • Jennifer Bizzarro posted at 6:46 pm on Wed, Jun 11, 2014.

    Jennifer_Bizzarro Posts: 481

    Mr. Knolls,

    "That's how you boil a frog." I like that! And it certainly beats the heck out of "New Mexico. True."

    New Mexico: That's How You Boil a Frog

    Did you read the Associated Press article carried by this paper several weeks ago in which the reporter discussed the various marketing and tourism statements used by the individual states? We (New Mexico) really gave everyone else a great belly laugh with our "New Mexico. True," as in "What the heck does that mean?"

    Maybe Secretary of Tourism Monique Jacobson thinks that line is very clever, but everyone considering New Mexico as a destination is scratching their heads and wondering, "Huh?" But let's face it: New Mexico thought it was "The Land of Sunshine" until the 1940s (don't have an iPad!) and Florida vehemently made us understand otherwise.

    Or: "New Mexico: No Parking, Just Taxes"

  • Peter Neal posted at 8:12 am on Wed, Jun 11, 2014.

    PeterNeal Posts: 286

    Not to mention creation of sales taxes, property taxes, fees and costs associated with regulation and litigation, which have all increased as well- reducing the real disposable income of every citizen. The ultimate goal, of course, is a "utopia" where 70% or more of every (decent) wage earners income will be confiscated for "the greater good".

  • Pierce Knolls posted at 10:14 am on Tue, Jun 10, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1670

    “'A dollar is not going to break anybody’s bank,' Paul Margetson, general manager of Hotel Santa Fe and chairman of the mayor’s tourism advisory group, said Thursday."

    Ah, the rallying cry of proponents for new taxes; just a little more isn't going to hurt anybody. Back in 1913, income tax rates started out at 1%, and maxed out at 7%, and now, thanks to "a dollar is not going to break anybody’s bank" applied over and over again, tax rates start out at 10% and top out at 39.6%. That's how you boil a frog.

  • John Edwards posted at 9:15 am on Tue, Jun 10, 2014.

    Dj JohnEdwards Posts: 15

    Trying to raise money?? Ever notice how this culture is addicted to gambling? There are plenty of avenues to raise money by allowing local to gamble away their money to win packages, parking spaces or whatever and never realizing that the odds not there they never complain. If raffles aren't legal here; I am sure some casinos would love to sponsor something like this on the pueblos. Also, allow gambling in the City through some deal made with the Pueblos, that will build tourism.

  • Pierce Knolls posted at 8:22 am on Tue, Jun 10, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1670

    "The tourism advisory group also recommended burying the electrical box."

    Hooray! And thanks for the info.

  • Peter Neal posted at 7:31 am on Tue, Jun 10, 2014.

    PeterNeal Posts: 286

    And what the heck is this growing trend- tip jars at a take out counter? Really? You expect a tip for handing me a bag of food?

  • Carolyn Garcia-Martinez posted at 9:06 pm on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    CarolynDM Posts: 425

    Well, we have red bags on our meters too, except they say, "No Parking".

  • Gail Larson posted at 7:23 pm on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    Casper Posts: 9

    I wasn't even thinking about illegals when I commented, but you bring up some very good points. I was only thinking about tourists, but you are right......anyone with out of state plates would benefit. And if NM does have a law pertaining to mandatory registration, it sure isn't enforced. A recent trip to Best Buy just before closing on a Saturday night confirmed that. Five cars in the lot.....every one with out of state plates. So frustrating...........

  • Daniel Chacon posted at 6:40 pm on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    Daniel Chacon Posts: 18 Staff

    Mr. Knolls,

    The tourism advisory group also recommended burying the electrical box. I plan to write about the box at a later date.

    Thank you.

  • Mark Ordonez posted at 3:21 pm on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    marcoordonez Posts: 657

    Thank you Gail for your input. The Elephant (Illegals) in the room (Sanctuary City Santa Fe) was my first thought. But, how to fight it? The SFNM is firmly pro-illegal & Somos Unidos has too much juice, Yalman is discriminatory if her rulings, and although illegal is not a race, you're considered racist for bringing up the all the cons for allowing the inundation of illegals. One thing pertaining to out of towners being allowed free parking is this, I don't believe our state has a mandatory, register your car if your gonna live here, law. How many illegals flooded New Mexico after Arizona attempt to stickup for itself? Anyone notice an increase in Arizona plates in Santa Fe? How many vehicles with Guadalajara license plates can you count in a week....20-50?
    Who is the biggest demographic employed by the hotels and restaurants in the downtown area? Cooks, kitchen help, bussers, housekeepers, groundskeepers, custodians, these are who would benefit from not ticketing out of state plates. Also, those from out of state who to were drawn to Santa Fe to school, be an artist, or just love the area, well they also find jobs in the high end retail stores, restaurants and bars as sales clerks, wait staff, or bartenders, or front desk clerks. How many don't bother to register their vehicle here?
    But at least the city is seeing what sticks.

  • Pierce Knolls posted at 12:59 pm on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1670

    Soon stealing out-of-state license plates off of tourists' cars and selling them to locals who want to park for free will be a real growth industry for Santa Fe's huge population of unemployed teens. I wonder if there's enough opportunity there to create 4,000 black-market jobs?


  • Pierce Knolls posted at 12:47 pm on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1670

    Were there any locals on the mayor’s tourism advisory group?

  • Gail Larson posted at 12:33 pm on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    Casper Posts: 9

    Give tourists a "welcome but naughty" pass instead of a parking ticket? Are you freaking kidding me? As a 34 year resident who often works downtown, I have paid literally thousands of dollars feeding the meters, the city parking lots and more parking tickets than I can count, thanks to the 2 hour meters. I went to court once to fight a few tickets that were given within minutes of the 2 hour limit. I sat there for 2 and a half hours and watched Judge Yalman dismiss tickets for everyone who couldn't speak English, even though a translator was made available. When it was finally my turn she told me I deserved no "break," as it was my choice to park at a meter instead of a city lot. She said we locals feel "entitled" to park close to our destination and are "too lazy" to walk a few blocks from a lot. Talk about leaving with a "sour taste in your mouth!" This is a ridiculous idea that would only add to the increasing resentment and animosity locals feel. Why not a transition team to investigate and find ways to alleviate that "elephant in the room"?

  • Staci Benni posted at 12:12 pm on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    Sta Benni Posts: 172

    Sorry but newspaper boxes are protected under the 1st Amendment so the city would have to have a very strong counter interest to pull them off the plaza.
    Sure why not look to other solutions? Like getting rid of the flowers hanging on the plaza and in Cathedral Pk. The trees are so big at the plaza you can hardly notice the flowers. City workers (3) spend an hour watering the hanging plants and any bench nearby with potable water daily while they smoke tobacco in a now non-smoking zone.
    And where is the enforcement of the no smoking ban in parks which includes the plaza/
    We make Santa Fe a joke.
    And really will a dollar help the Convention Center? What about requiring incentives for those marketing Santa Fe instead of an entry wage of 20 40 dollars./ hour and wage to the marketing director of $60/hr? Maybe then the SFCCC would actually having paying guests.

  • Jimmy Green posted at 11:53 am on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    Evil_J Posts: 145

    you know, in Taos, near the plaza, during summer tourist season just bags the meters and with a note that says "welcome to taos" on the covers... Santa fe could never ever be that tourist friendly. So, this is the best second solution? fine the locals while giving the tourists, who you just gouged a buck for lodging, a pass on meters? especially when the hotels in town have their own dang parking garages. This is truly GENIUS level political progressive think. Good job. And not a single word on the downtown merchants who are selling forged Native American silver.

  • Jimmy Green posted at 11:49 am on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    Evil_J Posts: 145

    well said!

  • Jimmy Green posted at 11:47 am on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    Evil_J Posts: 145

    Awesome! Another reason for a local to NOT get NM license plates.

    Here's an idea! Close the plaza!! That will help!

  • Pierce Knolls posted at 11:05 am on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1670

    The newspaper boxes on the Plaza have got to go, but the huge green utility box that Mayor Coss' cronies dropped onto the NE corner of the Plaza, without any public notification or review, gets to stay, forever.

  • Carolyn Garcia-Martinez posted at 10:45 am on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    CarolynDM Posts: 425

    Newspaper boxes junk up the plaza? Geezus, leave some normalcy and life in the place! SF is getting snottier and snottier by the week. And how about giving us locals a free pass on the parking tickets! Why just the tourists? That's a great way of turning even more people away from downtown. Way to go!

  • Christian Vanschayk posted at 9:53 am on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    chrisvs Posts: 5

    Mass tourism is not what we need. We want tourist dollars to stay in the community, Cheap T-Shirts and jewelry made in Bangladesh does little to add to the economic base of Santa Fe. 'High-End' tourism supports the local art and artisan communities. Fewer tourist who spend more means that the city spends less on services. The result is more net income from tourism.

  • Carolyn Garcia-Martinez posted at 9:28 am on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    CarolynDM Posts: 425

    How about taking the focus of tourism dollars, catering to the tourists and making SF all about tourists and turn back to the locals. Go meet with the police chief and the judges and get something done about our number one problem which is innocent people being victimized by loser drug addicts when they steal their stuff and damage their property. They're allowed to do this repeatedly because the judges let them off time and time again. TURN YOUR TRAJECTORY BACK TO THE LOCALS!!!! Which night Zozobra burns and whether the streets around the plaza stay open seem to have a much bigger priority than things that really matter. I'm sick of hearing about Zozobra. You got him on the night you wanted him now move on and start getting some real problems addressed.

  • Carlos Guthrie posted at 8:42 am on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    CarlosG Posts: 32

    Hey Paul, here is a creative idea that your team could execute other than just adding more taxes: Do you know how much money is spend by the galleries and downtown businesses to advertise the city individually in more than a dozens publications? Well, it is millions more than your $600,00 budget. Find a creative way to pool this money, make a creative video about Santa Fe that goes viral and has the whole wold talking about....look at what Island did for their economy after the crash...for sure not adding more taxes to the rooms...

  • Pierce Knolls posted at 8:32 am on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1670

    So if I just hang an out-of-state license plate over my NM plate when I park, I'll be able to park all day at a meter for free?

  • Edward Brown posted at 7:32 am on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    ERB Posts: 14

    If the city really wants to boast tourism it should start with having vacation packages with the airlines - read SKI PACKAGES! We have direct service coming into Santa Fe from two very high income cities - LAX AND DFW. Package deals would draw them in. Also, having bus service to SKI SANTA FE would also help visitors and locals alike. The bus service would mirror Taos' bus service to their ski area.

    $1 more on hotel rooms is a joke. Visitors are already paying over a 15% tax on there hotel rooms and what do we see for it?

    And then there is the state of the Plaza. The city needs to get in there and repaint all the traffic lines and curbs. It would give the plaza area a fresh look!

    All these suggestions have been provided the city over the years and nothing happens! [sad]

  • Diane Senior posted at 7:26 am on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    dsenior Posts: 27

    I have another idea -- do not allow the gateway entrance to Santa Fe, La Bajada mesa, to be turned into a mining zone. The city and the department of tourism have a responsibility to do everything in their power to protect tourism and the interests of businesses that rely on tourism. Saving La Bajada mesa isn't just about what it means to the quality of life of residents. It's what it means to a local economy that's highly dependent on tourism. Tourists come for our art, the amazing sunlight, clear skies and endless vistas. Tourists don't come to see strip mines.

    Come out to help save La Bajada mesa this Wednesday, June 11, 4:00 PM at the Santa Fe Convention Center, 201 W.Marcy St.

    Mayor Gonzalez, please add your voice those calling on the County Commission to deny the application to allow mining on La Bajada mesa.

  • Fred Stokes posted at 7:25 am on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    fredstokes Posts: 93

    Agreed. In fact, there are tourists who are put off by a tax of more than 15% on a night's stay. If we want to boost tourism, we should get rid of the corruption and inefficiency that creates the need for such high taxes.

    But then, if we wanted to get rid of corruption we would never have elected an influence peddler as mayor.

    You get the government you voted for.

  • Garrett M. Walker posted at 6:15 am on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    Garrett Posts: 4

    A dollar is not going to break anybody’s bank,” Paul Margetson

    Well, perhaps not, but the idea that ABSENT of any REAL thought on how to improve the economy in Santa Fe or attract more tourism, these geniuses think they can simply "boost tourism revenue" by extracting more money from the folks who do come to Santa Fe is progressive "thinking" at its finest. It is just this kind of "take more from those who have it" mentality that will eventually lead to the demise of your tourist diven economy.

    Let me get this straight...If I live in NM and presumably (pay taxes, fees, spend money downtown, probably feed the meter more than once a week) and I don't have change for a meter, I get the pipe with a $16 ticket... But the out of towner (whom you just said you want to charge a buck a room extra) gets a "Welcome but Naughty" note??? Fanta Se...come for the rainbows...stay for the unicorns!

  • Steve Spraitz posted at 1:34 am on Mon, Jun 9, 2014.

    tilesteve Posts: 15

    ten years after ' Woodstock's Alvin lee sang years ago...
    tax the rich, feed the poor, until there are no Rich no More.
    I cannot even afford a ' Chicago Dog'
    a ' Shake' burger set me back $8.10 Yesterday, no fries, only warm filtered water.
    Chicago Dog is the Same. and they want a 20% Tip!


Follow The Santa Fe New Mexican

Today’s New Mexican, July 24, 2014

To view a replica of today's printed edition of The Santa Fe New Mexican, you must be a subscriber. Get complete access to the online edition, including the print replica, at our low rate of $2.49 a week. That's about the price of a cup of coffee. Or get online and home delivery of our print edition for $3.24. Click here for details.