Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Ron Warnick
QCS Senior Writer 

Lodgers board urges bid for music grant program


August 3, 2022

The Tucumcari Lodgers Tax Advisory Board voted last week to recommend up to $20,000 to participate in the New Mexico Music Commission’s new cost-share grant program.

Carlos Medina of Santa Fe, chairman of the commission, told the board the New Mexico Legislature gave the commission a first-ever budget of $100,000. Medina said about $75,000 of that could be used for cost-share grants with municipalities to help pay for New Mexico-based music acts to perform there.

Medina said he anticipates Tucumcari could be eligible for up to $10,000 in cost-share grants through the program. The grant would cover one-half of the cost of booking music acts.

In exchange for receiving the money, two members of the music commission must attend the event, the city would be required to use the commission’s logo, and the commission must be allowed to take video footage of the event for promotional uses.

Medina said one municipality saw several local entities pledging contributions to the program, turning what had been a $3,000 show to a bigger event with a $24,000 budget.

Board Chairman Matt Bednorz said he would consult with Tucumcari MainStreet Executive Director Connie Loveland and Tucumcari/Quay County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Scott Crotzer on how much or what events to apply for commission funds.

“I don’t think Tucumcari wants to miss out on this,” Bednorz said.

Interim City Manager Mark Martinez agreed, saying it was “a no-brainer” for the city to participate in the program. He said those funds likely would be useful for the Pinata Fiesta, Fired Up festival and a forthcoming mural festival in the fall.

Bednorz asked the board to recommend up to $20,000 to participate in the New Mexico Music Commission program. Though he noted Medina thought only about $10,000 would be available for Tucumcari, Bednorz advocated a bid-high approach in the board’s recommendation to the Tucumcari City Commission.

During the city commission meeting a day later, several commissioners gave Martinez verbal authorization to send an email to the music commission expressing interest in the grant program.

In other business:

• The board tabled a request from Medina for $6,000 to help market his “Nuevo Mexico with Lauren and Carlos” video and assorted footage from it until it received clarity on how much the city’s marketing firm can accomplish with it.

Medina showed a 13-minute segment of his program that showcased Loretta’s Burrito Hut, Tucumcari Visitor Center, Blue Swallow Motel, New Mexico Route 66 Museum, Palomino Motel, Tucumcari Railroad Museum, Roadrunner Lodge Motel and Tucumcari Zia Club.

Earlier shoots by Medina featured other city businesses and landmarks. In all, Medina said he had about 50 minutes of content the city or businesses can use for promotional purposes, including on the city’s YouTube channel. The city would retain the rights to that footage, though he said he eventually wants to have his program broadcast on the CW Network, My50TV and perhaps PBS.

Regarding the marketing, Medina said he and co-host Lauren Poole have about 200,000 followers on their social-media accounts. He proposed using those to promote the footage and direct viewers to the city’s YouTube channel over a three-month period.

“A lot of people don’t realize what Tucumcari has to offer,” he said. “We want to get people to consider other towns than Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos.”

Loveland wondered whether it would be better to direct the efforts to the Visit Tucumcari channel on YouTube instead. Martinez also wondered whether it would be better to have city marketing director Robyne Beaubien place Medina’s footage on a separate YouTube channel, along with footage from the “Bands of Enchantment” production.

Board member Dawn Federico said businesses also should pay for some of the expense of teaser footage created for them.

Bednorz advocated some sort of plan for Medina’s footage regardless.

“We don’t want to let the videos sit after spending money on them,” he said.

• The board approved using $4,000 in lodgers tax executive funds, plus another $2,000 for promotional uses, for the Motorcycle Cannonball cross-country event scheduled to stop in Tucumcari on mid-September.

Loveland said the Motorcycle Cannonball involves at least 100 vintage motorcycles. Participants will stay in six motels in the city after they arrive Sept. 19. The event is associated with the Chix on 66 motorcycle tour that stopped in Tucumcari earlier this summer.

Loveland said $4,000 will be used for one meal for each participant, plus rental of portable bathrooms, at the Tucumcari Railroad Museum that will be used as a staging area. The event will be covered by the Motorcycle Cannonball’s print magazine and its social media channels.

Board member Al Patel said he supported using lodgers funds for the event, but he wanted to ensure a videographer conducted interviews and shot footage for promotional purposes.

“I don’t want to miss this marketing opportunity,” Patel said.

• The board chose new officers until the next scheduled election in January: Bednorz as chairman, Lila Doughty as vice chairwoman and Dawn Federico as secretary.

• During board comments, Bednorz noted the city recently retired its debt of $155,000 a year for the convention center and advocated using those lodgers tax funds to build a new pool or splash pad to replace the closed Tucumcari City Pool, which is awaiting repairs.

Bednorz said having a “destination” swimming facility or splash pad in Tucumcari would be “better than an old, dinky swimming pool.”


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