Sonny and Judy Chavez live in Rio Rancho but have their second home at Conchas Dam. “We come every chance we can get, even in the winter,” said Sonny Chavez.
About 33,000 visitors at Logan and Conchas Dam over the Memorial Day holiday.
Nevertheless, the number of visitors was down slightly from previous years at both recreational areas, park officials said.
About 24,000 people visited Ute Lake State Park, said Rodney Paris, park manager.
Just under 9,000 people visited Conchas Lake State Park, said Dan Rand, park superintendent. This was lower than last year, Rand said. However, on Tuesday, Rand said he was unable to provide last year's numbers and could not point to a cause for the decline.
"The park was crowded this holiday weekend. We were at 90 percent capacity," said Rand. "We had great conditions for fishing and boating and the only problems were the afternoon thunderstorms.”
At Logan, over the three-day holiday, between 1,000 and 1,500 people came in daily to Allsup’s convenience store, said Brandy McIntyre, store manager.
“We were very busy over the weekend,” said McIntyre. “We sold a lot of ice, beer, ready made food (burritos and corn dogs) and picnic supplies.”
And the high gas prices on the road or on the water didn't seem to slow them down.
Gas was at $3.89 a gallon for unleaded regular at the Ute Lake Marina, said Bobby Dugger marina manager.
“We had one of the busiest weekends,” Dugger said. “The amount of people we had this year was far above that of last year.”
Business was also brisk at Conchas.
"We sold 55 annual passes this weekend which is what we sold for the entire summer last year," said Gary Cordova operations manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Even with the high number of tourists in the area, the number of alcohol-related arrests were down, said police officials. There also were no deaths related to accidents, officials said.
There were, however, a higher number of domestic disputes and fight calls, said one Tucumcari official.
The State Police office in Tucumcari saw a low number of incidents over the weekend, said Capt. Daniel Lopez of the State Police.
• 4 non-injury accidents
• 3 injury accidents
• 2 non traffic arrest for warrants
• 1 DWI
“We actively pursued our DWI saturation patrols this weekend,” said Lopez. “The low numbers of DWIs show that people are staying off the roads when they are intoxicated.”
The Tucumcari Police Department reported one DWI but had 11 violent crime calls.
• 1 DWI
• 5 domestic disputes
• 6 fights
“We only had one DWI which is very good for this holiday,” said Tucumcari police chief Larry Ham.
“This weekend kicked off the beginning of summer and there is usually a lot of alcohol involved and the low DWI number is good.The violent crime calls we got kept our department busy. But overall it was a good weekend,” Ham said.