LCSN: Las Cruces businesses report increase in tourism

May 7, 2010. Retrieved online: May 10, 2010, from Brook Stockberger, Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES — While it might not exactly count as a collective sigh of relief, more tourists seem to be hitting the road and stopping in the Las Cruces area.

Jerry Harrell, manager of the Double Eagle restaurant in Mesilla said he’s definitely seen more out-of-towners come through the door.

“We’re up in sales over last year,” he said. “Easter was our best holiday ever.”

Across the Mesilla plaza at the store Del Sol, manager Johna Moore has a similar story to tell.

“It’s picking up; I can see more people are traveling,” Moore said. “A lot of our customers are tourists, probably 75 to 80 percent. So we’re real happy to see it pick up. I just hope gas prices don’t go sky high.”

We are now in the midst of National Travel and Tourism Week. While it is hard to exactly quantify how much money is spent in the Las Cruces area on tourism, hotels, stores, restaurants and other businesses benefit from people who come through to see where Billy the Kid’s trial took place, or to check out White Sands or the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum.

With the economy seeming to improve, businesses hope tourism will also improve.

“We’re probably seeing a little uptick in tourism,” said Tony Popp, head of the Department of Economics and International Business at New Mexico State University.

If the winter is any indicator, tourism all across the state is on the rise. Ski areas in New Mexico experienced a 23-percent increase in skier days during the 2009-2010 season compared to the previous season and also had the most skier visits since the 2000-2001 season.

Read the Las Cruces Sun-News article.

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