Tourism head says interest in outlaw could bring in more tourism

Dave Gragg

Tucumcari and Quay County must assess on what will draw in tourists and then market those assests, New Mexico’s secretary of Tourism told about 20 people Friday at the Tucumcari Convention Center.
The recent excitement about Billy the Kid could be a boon for the area because Tucumcari is close to Fort Sumner and has ties to the legend of the famous outlaw, Fred Peralta said.
“Billy the Kid is the most recognizable resident of New Mexico,” Peralta said. “The governor is number two.”
On June 10, Gov. Bill Richardson announced the state police would supervise an investigation as to what really happened on July 14, 1881, when William Bonney escaped from Fort Sumner.
In an Albuquerque Journal article, Richardson said the motive behind the investigation was to find the truth. Any increased interest and tourism would only be a bonus.
Peralta made no such disclaimer Friday.
“In two or three years, we’re expecting a big influx of people because of that,” he said. The announcement has drawn international interest and Fort Sumner will be one of the places in the state that gets the most attention — attention Tucumcari has an opportunity to “piggyback” on.