Archive for October, 2015

Grow Your Own: It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

by John Weckerle

The Great Pumpkin.

The Great Pumpkin.

With Halloween just a day away, the denizens of New Mexico Central headquarters are watching with bated breath as the great pumpkin (this year’s only pumpkin, and likely our last given the yields) slowly ripens in the greenhouse.  It is a race against time; colder temperatures appear to have taken their toll on the cucumbers, tomatoes, and zucchini, and the pumpkin plant itself is looking a bit compromised.  We brought in some of the latter two today, but it seems likely that this will be our last.  We harvested eggplants and peppers as well, and those plants are doing well still – with luck, sunny days and warmer temperatures may give us a little more time with them.  Green beans are anybody’s guess, at this point, and we can take the leeks and shallots at any time.

Today's harvest - tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants, bell peppers, green chiles, and cabbage.

Today’s harvest – tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants, bell peppers, green chiles, and cabbage.

Last Sunday's harvest.

Last Sunday’s harvest.

Until the last couple of days, temperatures in the greenhouse had been reaching into the mid- to upper-80s, and dropping to the high 30s to mid-40s at night.  They barely crept above 50 degrees today, however, and this may be a critical point for the warm-weather loving plants.  Cabbage is doing well and doesn’t mind a little cool weather, and we’ll see what happens with the broccoli, which we never pulled up.  All things considered, we consider ourselves fortunate to be harvesting summer veggies this close to November.  As we remove the summer plants from the beds, we’ll be amending soil and getting things ready for Spring – or perhaps some Winter growing!

Edgewood Chamber Director Resigns

by John Weckerle

Word has reached New Mexico Central that the Edgewood Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Director, Brenda Murray, has resigned to accept a sales and marketing position, leaving the Chamber’s Board of Directors with the unenviable task of replacing a person who will likely be a tough act to follow.  Ms. Murray’s efforts were noteworthy enough for us to allow a glimmer of cautious optimism with respect to the Chamber, and it remains to be seen whether the Chamber’s Board will be successful in hiring a similarly capable and dedicated executive director.

Small Chamber of Commerce executive director positions can be hard to fill, or at least to fill well.  A good part of the reason for this is financial as budgets tend to be very limited.  Looking at the Chamber’s web site, we see about 110 members.  Assuming that they all pay $95 (unlikely, as a number of members listed are individuals and nonprofits, who pay less), this amounts to $10,450 in membership fees, which doesn’t go far in acquiring a capable and dedicated executive director – at least not for long.  The Town of Edgewood’s Economic Development page indicates that the Town contracts with the Chamber for economic development services; however, the most recent budget posted (which, like much of the information on the site, is out of date) appears to contain no funding for economic development and both the Chamber’s and the Town’s economic development pages appear not to have been updated for a long time.  While we are sure the Town is spending some money on economic development, the information on the two entities websites suggests that this is not a major source of revenue for the Chamber.

Your editor has been a member of three local/regional nonprofit organizations: The Edgewood Chamber of Commerce, the Estancia Basin Resource Association (EBRA), and the Estancia Valley Economic Development Association (EVEDA).  Of these, EBRA stood out in terms of meeting its goals and fundraising and your editor remains a supporter, having resigned from the Board only for reasons associated with earning a living.  At one point, your editor received training on the responsibilities of a nonprofit Board of Directors member, which have evolved over time, and we think it timely to discuss at least some of those roles and responsibilities in the hope that the information may help the Chamber and other organizations increase their probability of success.

During one of your editor’s Board adventures, the opportunity arose to take a class on Board roles and responsibilities provided by Jean Block, Inc.  The class was quite revealing, and we recommend it to Board members of nonprofits of all kinds.  Of chief interest to the current situation is the role of Board members in fundraising: in short, that is one of the chief responsibilities of Board members.  As articulated on the Bridgespan Group’s (and numerous others’) web site, “One of the board’s foremost responsibilities is to secure adequate resources for the organization to fulfill its mission.”  That means fundraising.  However, many nonprofits, Chambers included and perhaps especially, tend to delegate this function to the executive director and/or staff, who then are forced to essentially find the money to pay themselves – leaving less time for work associated with the Chamber’s actual mission.

Of course, there is often confusion on what that mission is. Both the Edgewood and East Mountain chambers’ web sites have what amounts to mission statements, although these tend to be a bit short on language associated with implementation.  What we’ve observed at times is that chambers appear to view themselves more as community organizations than business organizations, and efforts seem to focus disproportionately on community events, placing fundraising, business advocacy, economic development, and member recruitment/retention in subordinate positions.  Many events do little to bring in revenue for the Chamber and perhaps benefit only a few businesses that may see some increased traffic as a result.  Events are good for the community, and it is appropriate for the business community to “give back” to the community at large, but when resources are scarce it makes little sense to focus strongly on community events at the expense of building/maintaining a strong Chamber.

We wish the Edgewood Chamber Board good luck in securing a new executive director – and in focusing on the fundraising activities so greatly needed to acquire and retain a competent and capable individual for the position.

Prescribed Fire Explained

Submitted by John Helmich, East Mountain Interagency Fire Protection Association

EM Residents,

The following is a letter written to you from Matt Rau, FMO, Sandia Ranger District. This is an explanation of the prescribed fire process. Since we will possibly be seeing prescribed fire in our area this fall, we hope this explains the process that takes place in ‘putting  fire on the ground’.

Prescribed Fire
At a recent event we held about prescribed fire, a surprising comment was made: “I did not realize how complex the process is to bring prescribed fire into our forest”. We will very soon be conducting prescribed fire operations in the EM, and so we feel it is the perfect time to talk about the process.

?    The process of getting to the point of actually putting fire on the ground is lengthy and has many checks and balances.
?    This process starts with deciding what physical, geographical area(s) are of critical importance
?    The prescribed fire plan must be current.
?    Compliance requirements must be met: smoke/cultural/endangered species impacts, NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) requirements.
?    Risk management and residual risk in place, acceptable (work sheet completed)
?    Will elements of the plan be met? (Preparation work, weather, contingency resources, etc)
?    Media and residents notified?
?    Critical personnel properly briefed?
?    Any circumstances that would stop the plan being put in place?
?    What about contingency actions notification?

Once these pieces have been asked and answered, there is yet another check list the ‘Burn Boss’ (lead agency person responsible for conducting the prescribed burn) must conduct the day of the planned burn. If these items are not met, no burn will take place:

?    Are ALL fire prescription elements met
?    Are ALL smoke management specifications met
?    Has ALL current and projected weather predictions been obtained
?    Are ALL weather elements favorable
?    Are ALL personnel and equipment on hand, operational
?    Are ALL contingency resources on hand and checked
?    Have ALL personnel been briefed properly
?    Have all pre-burn concerns been addressed and completed
?    Have media and residents been notified
?    Are ALL permits and clearances in hand and current
?    Can the burn be carried out per the Prescribed Fire Plan
?    Will the prescribed fire meet the plan’s objectives

Unfortunately, this is a lengthy list. But this demonstrates that we do NOT just decide to go out one day and burn some forest land. This process takes many months and years to develop and implement.  We hope that this information will reassure you that we take extensive precautions when we conduct prescribed fires on the Sandia District.

Sincerely, Matt Rau, FMO, Burn Boss, Sandia Ranger District

EMIFPA web site

EMIFPA Facebook site

Twitter: @EMIFPA_NM

Buffett, Margaritas Hold Storm At Bay

by John Weckerle

Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band in Albuquerque

Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band in Paradise – Albuquerque, October 20, 2015.

This week, two thirds of the denizens of New Mexico Central Headquarters embarked on a local adventure centered around Tuesday’s first-time-ever Albuquerque performance by Jimmy Buffett and the seemingly immortal Coral Reefer Band (Senior Parrot Correspondent Wilson conceded that he could not produce ID proving that he was of age, despite having reached the age of 42 in Correspondent Years in June, and it would be less fun without access to the entire experience).  Given the opportunity, the remaining 67 percent decided to turn the experience into a mini “staycation” and, aligning with a few similarly minded people, decided to make a night of it, and then some.

The day started out with – well, work.  Your editor and Senior Music Correspondent Lucy took the latter half of the day off, and met with part of the crew for lunch at BJ’s (Winrock, behind the Macaroni Grill) for lunch and a beginning to the festivities.  We were not unpleasantly surprised to find that wine was 50% off and that draft beer was $3.50.  We’re not in the habit of seeking out lunchtime happy hours, and we don’t know whether this is a daily event, but those planning a pre-pre-concert interlude might want to check in ahead of time and see if this is a worthwhile stop on the tour.  Unlike a number of nearby chain restaurants, BJ’s has not fallen victim to “menu simplification disorder” (another article forthcoming) and has a diverse menu with tasty options available for devout carnivores and non-meat-eaters alike.

Following lunch, we checked in to the Sheraton Uptown – pricey, but we got a bit of a deal, we think – enjoyed another beverage or two, and headed off to the Parrotheads of New Mexico party at the Casino at the Downs, located at the New Mexico State Fairgrounds (by way of the hotel shuttle, which was part of the all no-driving strategy for the evening).  Overall, this was a good event, although we will note that the Downs needs to do a better job in ensuring that their events are adequately staffed; the bar was understaffed and wait times for drinks and even light snacks such as French fries were far longer than they should have been.  With respect to entertainment, the venue faces serious challenges regarding acoustics, which would require some sound engineering attention, and as a result the performers perhaps did not fare as well as they might have otherwise (would really like to have had the steel drum audible) – although, in the end, everyone seemed to have a great time and that is what it was all about. Still, a little bit of in-house sound engineering help for performers might help the venue in situations where the entire audience isn’t actually focused on going somewhere else.  And to be clear: thank you, Parrotheads of New Mexico, for setting this up; it was a blast, and helped enhance the mood.

We then got on the bus to the show – thanks again, to our in-state Parrotheads for setting this up – got out of the bus, and noted that it was still raining when we arrived at the Isleta Amphitheater (formerly the Journal Pavilion), and that the rain was falling just a bit harder.  We got into the venue after a rather weird, and probably unconstitutional, separation into lines by gender and a rather detailed pat-down for the men by patters-down who seemed perhaps a bit more nervous than one might expect.  With the rain getting just a bit heavier, we visited the concession stand just inside the gate, ordered margaritas – it was, after all, a Jimmy Buffet concert and his first headlining in New Mexico – and paid for them…

And the rain pretty much stopped right about then, and didn’t return at any time during the show.

»» Buffett, Margaritas Hold Storm At Bay

Fall Burning on the Mountainair Ranger District

by Arlene Perea

Mountainair, NM – October 14, 2015: Fire officials on the Mountainair Ranger District are planning to begin fall burning.  The first project planned is the approximately 460 acre Thunderbird Prescribed Burn which was started in June but not completed due to weather conditions and personnel.  Managers have been closely monitoring fuel moistures and have decided that conditions are again conducive to implement a very successful burn.  The planned burn area is located within the Thunderbird Ecosystem Management Project area, east of FR#422, south of FR#253 and north of FR#275.  This area has been previously thinned so fire personnel will now be entering the area to burn excess material left behind after the thinning operation.

The burn date is tentatively planned to begin the week of October 19 but may be conducted at any point within the next month.  Fire managers on the district will be organizing resource and will be closely watching weather patterns and fuel moistures to determine the best time to implement a successful burn.  If ignited, fire management crews will monitor the burn for as long as necessary.

As with most of the burns in the Manzano Mountains, the goal of this project is to improve watershed and wildlife biodiversity, and to help protect private property in the event of a wildfire by reducing fuel loading (amount of fuel available to burn).  Our ecosystem depends on fire to promote new vegetation, enhance habitat and reduce the threat of large fire.  It also improves public and firefighter safety by reducing the accumulated fuels that could otherwise contribute to more intense fire behavior under hotter and drier conditions.

During the prescribed burn, NFS roads directly affected by the burn may be closed to the public.  Signs will be posted in any areas with temporary road closures.  In addition, temporary road signs warning about smoke and activity on the roads will be posted on State Highways 131 and 55 along with Forest Roads #422, #253 and #275.  Smoke may be noticeable throughout any of the local mountain communities and will include the Estancia Valley and the west side of the Manzano Mountains.  Smoke could travel as far north as State Highways 217 and 337 in the Tijeras area depending on conditions.  Fire fighters will make every attempt to burn during times of the day when ventilation is optimal.  Additional fire vehicles will be in the area patrolling and monitoring the roads.  Please drive carefully when on affected roads, as visibility might be lowered due to smoke.

Prescribed Fire General Information – EMIFPA

by John Helmich

EM Residents,

Fall is frequently when prescribed fires are planned and executed in the NFs of NM. We have received updates from several areas that are planning prescribed fires. The Carson NF, Santa Fe NF and the Cibola NF are all planning prescribed burns in their districts. Since these districts are close to our area (and in our area), we will try to keep you updated about these efforts. But if you have not heard from us about what is going on, and see smoke, here are some telephone numbers for you to use seeking information – Carson National Forest: (575) 758-6200; Santa Fe National Forest: (505) 438-5300; and Cibola National Forest: (505) 346-2650.

Talking about prescribed fire, the NM Prescribed Fire Council will be hosting an all day workshop in Capitan, NM on October 29th. You can get more information about this workshop by calling Doug Boykin at 575-405-2387 or Don Kearny at 575-835-9359. You can also go to their information page about this by using this link:

John Helmich

EMIFPA Community Education Outreach Coordinator

EMIFPA web site

EMIFPA Facebook site

Twitter: @EMIFPA_NM

Press Release: Sandia Ranger District Planning Prescribed Burn

Editor’s note: This was forwarded Friday by John Helmich of the East Mountain Interagency Fire Protection Association

Tijeras, NM – October 15, 2015: Cibola National Forest fire managers on the Sandia Ranger District are planning to conduct broadcast burning starting on Wednesday, October 21st, weather conditions permitting.

The planned prescribed burn is in David Canyon, which is situated east of Kirtland Air Force Base and west of Raven Court Rd in Tijeras, NM. The crews will burn the understory of approximately 170 acres of Ponderosa pine. Smoke could affect the Raven Court area, State Highway337, and Forest Road 530. There will be a closure to area system trails and Forest Roads during burn operations. The public will be notified when conditions are safe to enter the area.

Broadcast burns involve applying fire across the forest floor. Flames make their way along the surface, consuming accumulated needles, leaves, branches, and logs while recycling nutrients back into the soil. Broadcast burns typically produce the most noticeable smoke. The purpose of this burn is to reduce hazardous fuels and to maintain wildlife habitat.

All prescribed fire activity is dependent on personnel availability, weather – including winds and ventilation, and approval from the NMDEQ (

Periodic prescribed burns will occur in this area through December as conditions permit.

For more information about the prescribed burn, please contact the Sandia Ranger District at 505-288-2112. Smoke sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at

For more information, you can visit our website: or call the Sandia Ranger Station in Tijeras, NM at 505-281-3304.

Follow the conversation at

EMIFPA contact information:

John Helmich

EMIFPA Community Education Outreach Coordinator

EMIFPA web site

EMIFPA Facebook site

Twitter: @EMIFPA_NM

Grow Your Own – Ups and Downs

by John Weckerle

Having spend the weekend tearing out 850 square feet of tile and hauling home new flooring, we return to efforts in the food development corner.

We buttoned up the greenhouse about a week and a half or two weeks ago, when the weather was gloomy and cool.  Of course, temperatures have returned to above normal again, and will be there again for a few days, although that may prove to be a short-lived phenomenon.  With an eye toward learning more about our greenhouse, we installed a recording thermometer with two probes – one at head height and one near the ground.  This has proven to be a real education.  In the last couple of days, the temperature has fluctuated substantially, from mid-forties the first night to over 105 degrees at head height today (ground level temperatures topped out at 95 degrees).  Temperatures remained in the sixties last night.  Also, given the humidity in the greenhouse, we’ve cut down on the watering frequency.

Some of the plants have responded well.  A couple of the tomato plants have begun putting out new growth (we’re still getting a couple of tomatoes a day), and the peppers and eggplants are flowering again.  The string beans – at least the ones that survived the caterpillars and grasshoppers, are looking good and have begun to put out flowers as well.  The cucumbers are essentially finished, but cabbage looks fairly happy, as do the leeks and shallots.  The cauliflower, sadly, has not amounted to much, nor has the broccoli, and those plants may be surrendering their space in the very near future.

Soon we’ll be switching to the winter crops; probably some chard, lettuce, broccoli, and others.  We’ll have to reestablish the starting setup, lights and all, and order some seeds.  We’ll also be performing some soil testing as we clear the beds for winter crops.  We know it’s time to add some organic material, and have a source of composted manure waiting in the wings.  Viva vegetables!

Tractor Supply Company Reaches Settlement In Emissions Case

by John Weckerle

On September 30, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice issued a press release announcing a settlement with Tractor Supply Company Inc. and Tractor Supply Company of Texas L.P. (“Tractor Supply Company”) regarding the import and sale of more than 28,000 all terrain vehicles, off-road motorcycles, and engines that “did not comply with federal Clean Air Act certification and emission labeling requirements.”  These requirements specify that all vehicles and engines sold in the United States must be covered by a valid certificate of conformity issued by EPA.  The vehicles and engines, sold by Tractor Supply Company between 2006 and 2009, were imported from China (suggesting that they were not manufactured by Volkswagen) and allegedly “varied from the certificates of conformity that had been submitted to EPA.” EPA estimated that the noncompliance resulted in excess emissions of up to 23.5 tons of excess hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions and 12.2 tons of excess carbon monoxide emissions.

Tractor Supply Company will pay $775,000 in civil penalties and be required to “implement a rigorous compliance plan that requires regular vehicle and engine inspections, emissions and catalyst testing, staff training and reporting for five years.  Tractor Supply Company will also mitigate potential adverse environmental effects of equipment already sold to consumers.”

Estancia Basin Water Planning Committee Meeting

The Estancia Basin Water Planning Committee will hold its regular meeting at the Administrative Offices of Torrance County in the Commission Chambers at 205 9th Street in Estancia on Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.

If We Build It, Will They Come? And Who, Exactly, Are They?

by John Weckerle

In the 1989 film Field of Dreams (a film well liked by your editor), farmer Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner) undergoes a supernatural journey in which a voice whispering “If you build it, he will come” leads him to plow under part of his farm and build a baseball field.  Much transpires, and as time goes on the field is populated by the spirits of baseball players gone by, including Ray’s father.  Author Terrance Mann, played by James Earl Jones, asserts that people will come, even though they won’t know why, and pay to simply be there – and in the end, a stream of automobiles, miles long, is seen headed for the field.

“If you build it, they will come” has to some extent been a bit of a mantra among the economic development community – with the right incentives, infrastructure, amenities, etc., who could resist coming here (wherever “here” may be)?  The problem, however, is that every community/region/state, etc. has incentives and amenities to offer.  The competition is fierce, and it can be difficult to score an advantage over equally hungry community with just a bit more to offer – or an urban area that can offer much more, both to owners and employees.  And people tend to have ideas regarding what is to be built, and to whom it must be sold.  In our earlier article on economic development in the Estancia Valley, we referenced a September 4 article from local newspaper The Independent reporting on a presentation by Estancia Valley Economic Development Association Executive (EVEDA) Director Myra Pancrazio.  As stated in the article:

What those high-paid millenial workers at Google want, Pancrazio said, is retail shops and mixed-use development, like master-planned communities that combine residential with retail and open space. “Quality of life,” she said to the Moriarty council, adding, “Homes, homes, homes, homes.”

We likely join our readers in a certain sense of suspense, wondering what what strategy is forthcoming from this realization.  The article indicates that EVEDA is now considering pursuit of retail companies, something it has “not done much so far.”  We’ll note that one of the areas in which the region – for the most part, Edgewood – has succeeded is in retail, all on its own.

We digress, perhaps a bit, because our focus today is not on the “what” (we’ll get back to that another time), but the “who.” And maybe the “why.” When we first read The Independent’s article, we decided to take a look not only at what might attract entrepreneurs (and we’ll go on record that shops, good restaurants, etc. are attractive to anybody), but who those entrepreneurs might be. And as it turns out, they may not be who the regional experts plan to target.  “Millennials” (depending on the source, birth years run from the early 1980s to around 2000) definitely include their share of entrepreneurs.  However, a number of sources, including the 2015 edition of The Kauffman Index: Startup Activity, National Trends suggests that perhaps there is more to it than meets the eye of the local econovelopers.

We’ll note that the Kauffman report examines 3-year averages, which dampens down some of the volatility that is common to many economic data sets.  Examining “unfiltered” data, which includes both entrepreneurs pursuing opportunity and those going into business by necessity (lost jobs, running out of unemployment benefits, etc.) as well as data strictly involving opportunistic entrepreneurs, some intriguing information comes forward. In the unfiltered realm, substantially more men than women create startups, and from the standpoint of ethnicity (the report incorrectly expresses this as race), Latinos lead the pack in terms of starting up businesses.  Immigrants create more startups than native-born folk. With respect to age, the lowest rate of startups is actually associated with those 20 to 34 years of age, and the rest of the age populations tend to leapfrog each other over time.  And almost incredibly (unless you actually read the text of the report, of course), the least educated segment of the populations (“less than high school”) outstrips the more highly schooled populations.

Looking next at the filtered data, which excludes those who essentially start businesses for reasons other than absolute necessity, other patterns emerge.  More women than men start up enterprises by a substantial margin; people of Asian descent lead in terms of ethnicity/race; more educated people somewhat narrowly lead in terms of startups; and foreign-born and native-born folk are in a dead heat.  In terms of age, the group from age 53 to 64 outstrips all other age groups. And as the Harvard Business Review notes:

Twice as many successful entrepreneurs are over 50 as under 25. The vast majority — 75 percent — have more than six years of industry experience and half have more than 10 years when they create their startup,” says Duke University scholar Vivek Wadhwa, who studied 549 successful technology ventures. Meanwhile, data from the Kauffman Foundation indicates the highest rate of entrepreneurship in America has shifted to the 55-64 age group, with people over 55 almost twice as likely to found successful companies than those between 20 and 34.

We’ll refer readers to our earlier article on the departure of Google’s solar drone project so that they can take a look at some regional demographic information.  We see a certain commonality between our local demographics and some of the groups of entrepreneurs in the Kauffman report.  And lest we be uniquely branded as merchants of doom and gloom, we refer our readers to this Washington Post article on New Mexico’s economic situation, published in January 2014.   And we’d like to put forth an idea: as a place to which entrepreneurs might bring their companies, perhaps the Estancia Valley is not quite ready to receive them – but on the other hand, if one were looking for an pool of potential entrepreneurs ready to start up, based on the demographics, just exactly where else should one look?

As has been the case in many places, those dedicated to economic development here in the Estancia Valley and East Mountains should perhaps move into a listening mode.  There will always be projects in which partners from elsewhere are needed – hotels, and so on are a prime example – but the entire idea of economic development should always be to enhance the lives of and opportunities for those who live here in the first place.  We may face challenges in attracting businesses, but perhaps we can help grow them, instead.

Road Construction/Traffic Alert

by John Weckerle

On Saturday morning, road crews were hard at work on a repaving project involving the bridge over Interstate 40 and the road leading up to the westbound Sedillo entrance to the highway.  Based on the state of construction, we expect that efforts will continue through Monday morning and beyond.  We recommend that readers commuting westbound leave themselves a few extra minutes or find an alternate route – of course, given the difference in speed limits between Old Route 66 and Interstate 40 – the only real alternate route – the value of the trade-off may be minimal.

EMIFPA Fire Info – October 1, 2015: EM Library Community Appreciation Day

by John Helmich

EM Residents,

This one should be on your calendar! The Tijeras Library (EM Library) will hold a “Community Appreciation Day” October 10th (Saturday) from 10 am until 2 pm. They will be holding various programs for the whole family – grade schoolers, teen agers and parents. Check out the various events planned by visiting their web page –

EMIFPA will be part of this celebration. We will hold a 1/2 hour conversation (10 -10:30 am) about landlord/tenant issues and concerns. This is a very interesting topic, and we hope highly informative. EMIFPA member agency US Forest Service Sandia Ranger District will also be involved. Matt Rau, FMO for the Sandia District, will present a program (12:30 – 1 pm) on prescribed fire, and he will also be touching on USFS prescribed fire plans in the near future on the Sandia District.

John Helmich

EMIFPA Community Education Outreach Coordinator

EMIFPA web site

EMIFPA Facebook site

Twitter: @EMIFPA_NM

Edgewood Will Leave The Light On For You – Finally

by John Weckerle

In a September 17, 2015 article, the Mountain View Telegraph reports that the Edgewood Town Council has taken formal action toward bringing a hotel to the Town. According to the article, the hotel will be a Comfort Inn (yes, we know our title for this article suggests a different chain) built on Marietta Court by Aspire Hotels.  The Town acted to approve an ordinance and a contract to allow the project to move forward.  As the Telegraph reports, the hotel is projected to results in 10 full-time equivalent jobs, $26,000 in gross receipts taxes, and $3,718 in property taxes.

This is great news for Edgewood; the local business community has long cried out for a hotel. As with Estancia’s wishes to bring in a hotel to house people visiting inmates at the nearby prison, these cries seemed unheard by the regional economic development community.  At one point, however, Edgewood apparently decided to pursue the concept, and the Town began working with the Edgewood Chamber of Commerce to assess the feasibility of bringing a hotel to the Town.

Edgewood is entering the hospitality arena – and given the Town’s closer proximity to Albuquerque as compared to Moriarty, shifts in the region’s economic configuration remain an item of interest.  Moriarty has long held a monopoly in the lodging arena in the region, and a solid entry into the market on Edgewood’s part could seriously erode Moriarty’s primacy in the lodging sector.  Moriarty holds certain advantages with respect to road infrastructure, especially regarding truck traffic, but if old proposals for an exit between Edgewood and Moriarty resurface, the value of that advantage could decrease.

Of course, Moriarty holds one other distinct advantage that Edgewood refuses to take away: the ability to have a cocktail with dinner ( we will note that we gave up on dinner in Moriarty several years ago, with or without cocktails, so we may be a bit behind the times in this regard).  Edgewood has only one establishment – Pizza Barn (which we recommend) – that offers beer and wine with dinner.  And of course lodgers will be unable to purchase wine, beer, or other alcoholic beverages to take back to the room on Sunday, unless of course they drive to Moriarty. Regardless, the arrival of Comfort Suites in Edgewood is good news for local businesses and attractions. Perhaps this will renew Estancia’s interest in obtaining a hotel, as well.