Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce Highlights Local Businesses as Part of Second Annual Monuments to Main Street Celebration
CHAMBER RELEASES ONLINE BUSINESS PROFILES TOUTING HOW ORGAN MOUNTAINS-DESERT PEAKS NATIONAL MONUMENT BENEFITS LOCAL BUSINESSES
For Immediate Release: August 31st, 2017
Contact: Carrie Hamblen, CEO/President
Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce
LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO – Starting tomorrow with a kick-off party in the Plaza de Las Cruces, and then through the month of September, Monuments to Main Street is back, celebrating the outdoor heritage of southern New Mexico, epitomized by nearby national monuments, including the newest designation, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks (OMDP) National Monument. This year’s festivities again draw attention to the power of national monuments as economic drivers, supporting local businesses and attracting a record number of tourists to communities within Doña Ana County.
The Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce, in fulfilling its mission of supporting businesses that are committed to the Triple Bottom Line, has begun profiling businesses that have benefitted from, and in turn fiercely support, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.
Currently up on the Las Cruces Green Chamber’s website are business profiles for the following local businesses: Beck’s Coffee, Classic Adobe Homes, Green Chile Paddy Wagon, Lulu’s, Downtown Desert Yoga, Organ Mountain Outfitters, the Smart Living Team at Keller Williams Realty, Salud! de Mesilla, Sinuate Media, Southwest Expeditions, and Visit Las Cruces. Each profile spells out precisely how the national monument designation has impacted those businesses, and there are also accompanying videos.
“I can’t imagine my personal or business life without the monument designation,” asserts Wayne Suggs, homebuilder and owner of Classic Adobe Homes, and also a professional photographer. “I grew up playing in the mountains of what is now OMDP, and I’m proud that the land has been protected for my grandkids. And having the monument within driving distance has become a huge selling point and value-add to the homes I design and build.” As part of the opening day of Monuments to Main Street, Suggs is hosting an exhibit of his photos in the Rio Grande Theatre.
These stories are a critical part of Monuments to Main Street, demonstrating the year-round community benefits of national monuments in Doña County, through the intersections of people, business, and public lands.
“The designation has been a catalyst for our hospitality industry,” commented Chris Faivre, Director of Marketing and Communications for the City of Las Cruces, speaking of OMDP. “Since the designation, we’ve witnessed a 150 percent increase in interest in the Organ Mountains on our website. The Monument has drawn significant visitors from out of town and out of state. These visitors stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants, and visit out shops. The economic boost to our communities is undeniable, and very exciting.”
“All of the sudden, areas around OMDP are very sought after for people looking for their next home, whether they’re retiring to Las Cruces, or they’re long-time residents looking to move,” said Renee Frank, realtor from the Smart Living Team at Keller Williams Realty. “The monument designation has given the residential real estate industry a much-needed boost, and we’re excited to be part of Monuments to Mainstreet, celebrating the widespread impact of our cherished national monuments across all business sectors.”
As part of the Executive Order calling for a review of several national monuments, including Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Rio Grande del Norte in the northern part of the state, there was a 120-day period wherein comments could be submitted. The overwhelming majority, 99% of the 2.8 million comments submitted, were in support of keeping monument designations just as they are, reflecting the will of business owners and employees.
“As a result of yoga classes on the monument, our studio has now branched out to create new partnerships within the business community to share the benefits of yoga. We feel this is just the beginning of good things to come to our area,” said Collen Boyd, owner of Downtown Desert Yoga in Las Cruces.
Even the brand of OMDP itself, which is well-known, is helping to grow the brands of business.
“Since launching our OMDP Coffee, we have sold approximately 1000 pounds of this specialty blend,” said Arianna Parsons, co-owner of Beck’s Coffee in Las Cruces. “With the description on the back of every bag of coffee, we tell the fantastic story of our area, highlighting the history of our culture, and shining a spotlight on special events.”
Despite the overwhelming popularity of OMDP and other national monuments on our nation’s public lands and the economic benefits they are providing for local communities, President Trump issued an Executive Order in April directing the Department of Interior to conduct a review of many national monuments designated since 1998, including OMDP. On August 24, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke submitted his recommendations for altering several national monuments to President Trump. However, the future of OMDP and other national monuments under review are unknown because the Trump Administration is keeping the contents of the report secret.
“If President Trump strips protections from OMDP and other monuments, he could undo economic benefits that local businesses are experiencing and have invested in cultivating,” said Carrie Hamblen, CEO/President of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce. “It would be a sad irony if the White House announced changes to OMDP during the Monuments to Main Street celebration, harming the community to which he is supposed to be listening.”
Monuments to Main Street officially kicks off tomorrow, Friday, September 1, at 6:00PM at the Plaza de Las Cruces. The full calendar of 50+ events during September can be found at www.monumentstomainstreet.com. Business profiles listed above are at www.locallascruces.com/omdpbusinessprofiles.