The Economic Force of Nature

8/20/21

Outdoor recreation is the life line to Farmington’s economic survival. Endeavor New Mexico is the state’s first outdoor business alliance to help outdoor businesses and organizations thrive. By Donna K. Hewett. Sponsored by CMIT Solutions and Farmington Play Day Trampoline Park

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EndeavOR New Mexico is the state's first Outdoor Recreation Business Alliance. And it kicked off at a coffee shop in the middle of the pandemic, right here in Farmington. You're watching the local news network brought to you by Farmington Play Day Trampoline Park and CMIT solutions. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. A 501-C6 Lobby Association, EndeavOR New Mexico's goal is to make outdoor recreation businesses and organizations more successful throughout the state. And to give the industry a balanced, unified voice. Outdoor recreation greatly contributes to New Mexico's financial bottom line.

If you look at the state of New Mexico. So 2019, 2.4 billion of the state's GDP came from outdoor recreation. So 2.4 being, of the money that came in to the state coffers, came from outdoor recreation. So that was in 2019. I haven't seen 2020 numbers, but I do know that New Mexico's percentage of GDP produced by outdoor recreation is growing faster than any other state in the nation.

EndeavOR New Mexico, a year old already has 200 members. Many are businesses that also act as sponsors, like the state and city of Farmington, REI outside in Santa Fe, and also people like Ted Turner. The nonprofit offers regular Hone Your Craft seminars to area outdoor businesses, such as a high school Bicycle Mechanics Class. Most recently, it's expanding its Wildlife Viewing Program.

Um, believe it or not, wildlife viewing is huge. So that is a huge, that brings in a lot of tourism in the state. So we are working on right now, developing wildlife viewing, developing mapping for wildlife viewing, trying to get businesses to start businesses, getting tours leading for wildlife viewing. So that is one of the big things we've undertaken here in about the last three months, cause we believe that's going to be a big sector. And there's a lot of room for growth. It doesn't cost a lot of money to develop that, but it brings in a lot of tourism.

New Mexico offers a rare variety of wild animals to view.

You've got elk, you've got bear, you've got mountain lion, you've got cougar. You've got, down in the south part of state, you've got ibis. You know, there's really, and a big part of that isn't your big, your big wildlife, your big game type thing. A lot of that is bird specific. Um, people love birds. And so a lot of that bird specific that, you know, there's certain parts here in the state where there is wildlife that you can't see anywhere else in the world.

With so many energy industries leaving the area, the outdoor industry is key to the town's economic survival. And part of what Davis says will keep the town going. And that growth is occurring right now.

It was Marketplace magazine just said, rated Farmington, New Mexico, "As one of the top five places to retire to, due to the opportunities for outdoor recreation." So Farmington is really drawing a large sector, a large volume of people moving here and its retirees. And it's also, we're getting your millennials. We're getting a lot of them here. And the reason they're coming here is they graduate from college, They wanted to live in this city. They went to LA, they went to New York and whether it be COVID hitting or whether it be lifestyle changes, they got married, they had children, and they didn't want to be in the city anymore. And they work in jobs that they can pretty much do from anywhere. And they're coming here and we're having a big influence on people and our outdoor recreation opportunities are a huge part of that. You can go, whether it be right here in Farmington or an hour in any direction of Farmington and you can be in completely different terrain, you can do any outdoor recreation activity you like to do. You can snow ski, you can be on the lake. You can fish, you can hunt. You can mountain bike, you can golf. We've got one of the best public golf courses in the United States right here in Farmington.

To become a member of EndeavOR New Mexico, go to endeavornm.org. Thanks for watching this edition of the local news network. I'm Wendy Graham settle.

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