Market Analysis The Los Alamos New Mexico Market February 2000 Draft
COMPILED AND ASSEMBLED BY THE LOS ALAMOS MEETING AND VISITOR BUREAU, FEBRUARY, 2000
Market Analysis Our Situation and Opportunities Market Definition Industry Analysis Tourism in New Mexico continues to be a significant activity. Santa Fe, and on a smaller scale Taos, are international tourist destinations year-round and are able to successfully market themselves as such. However, recent trends in visits to major attractions such as National and State Parks and in the number of trips through the Albuquerque Internantional Airport show a decline in activity.
Visits/Trips at Major NM Attractions
3,000,000 2,000,000 1,000,000
19 88 19 92 19 93 19 94 19 95 19 96 19 97 19 98
Albuquerque Air Passenger Traffic
As we will see, this trend is reflected (although not as dramatically) in recent experience of the major tourist attractions in Los Alamos County.
Selected Indictors of Recreation & Tourism in New Mexico 1988
% chang e 19971998
Employment (monthly averages) Lodging Establishment s
Eating & Drinking Places (1)
Gross Receipts (2) ($000) Lodging Establishment s
Eating & Drinking Places (1)
Lodgers Tax Receipts (3) ($000)
Visits to National Parks & Monuments Annual Total
Visits to State Parks 4,870,303
Passenger Traffic at Albuquerque International Sunport (4) (000s) Total
1998 #s are preliminary (1) Includes the liquor-dispensers-by-the-drink industry. (2) Gross receipts figures are derived by summing data from quarterly New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Dept. reports. (3) Lodger's tax receipts are shown on a fiscal year basis. In previous issues these receipts were shown on a calendaryear basis. (4) Commercial airline passengers. This table was reproduced from New Mexico Business, Bureau of Business & Economic Research @ UNM. Sources for the data: New Mexico Department of Labor; New Mexico Taxation & Revenue Department; New Mexico Department of Finance & Administration, Local Government Division; US Department of the Interior, National Park Service; New Mexico Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Department, Park & Recreation Division; and City of Albuquerque, Albuquerque International Sunport.
Most trips within New Mexico by travelers from outside of New Mexico are for leisure while most trips originating within New Mexico are for business. Reason for Travel within New Mexico Personal Business
Origin outside NM Visit Friends or Relatives
Origin in NM
% Source: USDOT-BTS 1995 American Travel Survey
Nationally, expenditures for travel in the U.S. were $495.1B in 1998 and are forecasted to increase by more than 5% per year in 1999 and 2000. At the same time, "person-trips" are anticipated to be relatively flat over the same time period. Baseline Travel Data and Forecasts Total U.S. Person-Trips (millions) Percent Change Total International Visitors (millions) Percent Change Travel Price Inflation Percent Change Travel Expenditures ($billions) U.S. Residents Percent Change International Visitors* Percent Change Total Travel Expenditures ($billions) Percent Change
1997 1,026.6 3.3% 47.8
1998 1,035.6 0.9% 46.4
1999 1,053.0 1.7% 47.0
2000 1,076.4 2.2% 48.6
2.7% 173.7 3.4%
-2.8% 177.1 2.0%
1.3% 180.7 2.0%
3.3% 186.3 3.1%
$408.2 6.7% $73.3 5.0% $481.5
$424.0 3.9% $71.1 -2.9% $495.1
$446.2 5.2% $74.5 4.8% $520.7
$470.9 5.5% $78.3 5.1% $549.2
Sources: TIA's Forecasting Models (U.S. Resident Travel Forecasts and Travel Price Inflation), Tourism Industries/ITA (International Visitor Forecasts) Note: * Includes spending within the U.S. only. th
The Travel Industry Association's Fall 1999 forecast predicts that 4 quarter 1999 vacation/pleasure travel will have declined from 1998 levels by 1%, suggesting a flattening of recent growth in vacation/pleasure travel. Facts and analysis of interest: n
Camping is the number one outdoor vacation activity in America. One third of U.S. adults say they have gone on a camping vacation in the past five years and 3
only 6% of people who have gone camping said it was not for them. Camping vacationers tend to be married with children at home. The average age of travelers who go camping is 37 and their median household income is $43,000. People who go camping also tend to enjoy hiking, biking, canoeing. Fifty-nine percent of campers said they traveled with their spouses on their most recent outdoor vacation and nearly half traveled with their children. n
Canada and Mexico send more travelers to the U.S. than any other foreign nations. About 90% of the foreign travelers who leave Mexico each year come to the U.S. and 71% of the international travelers in Canada visit America. In 1998 13.4 million Canadians and 9.3 million Mexicans visited the U.S.
Cultural and Historic Tourism is one of the more popular sectors of the travel industry. A recent TIA survey found that 53.6 million adults said they visited a museum or historical site in the past year and 33 million U.S. adults attended a cultural event such as a theater, arts, or music festival. Cultural and historic travelers spend more, stay in hotels more often, visit more destinations and are twice as likely to travel for entertainment purposes than other travelers.
Dining, Shopping, Museums and Tours are the top activities for travelers. Over one-half of U.S. adult travelers (53%) planned activities after they arrived at their destination while on a trip of 100 miles or more, one-way, in the past year. This equates to 74.3 million U.S. adults. Dining out in restaurants were popular with more than 67 million travelers (48%) in 1998 and was the most popular activity planned after arrival at a destination. Going to a shopping area was the second most popular spontaneously planned activity (45%), followed by visiting a museum (26%). Other activities planned after arrival include: sightseeing tour (24%), movie (16%), theme park (15%), religious service (14%), live theater or live performance (14%) and festival or parade (13%). One-quarter of past year travelers (24%) went to some other type of attraction, which they planned after arrival at their destination 4
Golf and Tennis are popular travel activities in the U.S. One in eight U.S. travelers (12%) played golf while on a trip of 100 miles or more, one-way, away from home in the past year. This translates to 17.3 million U.S. adults. Six million U.S. adults (4% of past year travelers) played tennis while on a trip of 100 miles or more, one-way, away from home in the past year. Among these two groups, 2.7 million U.S. adults played both golf and tennis while traveling in the past year. This represents 16 percent of all golf travelers and 46 percent of all tennis travelers. Golfing travelers averaged 2.6 trips (mean) over the past year, with 10 percent golfing on six or more trips. Nearly one-half of golfing travelers did so on only one trip in the past year (46%). One-third went on either two or three golfing trips in the past year (34%). Sixteen percent of travelers who played golf said that golf was the most important reason for taking the trip. Over one-half of golfing travelers (55%) said that on their most recent golf trip, golfing was not a primary or secondary reason, but rather just an activity on the trip.
National Parks are one of American's biggest attractions. Nearly 30 million U.S. adults (20% of travelers or 15% of all U.S. adults) took a trip of 100 miles or more, one-way, to visit a national park during the past year. Residents of the Rocky Mountain region of the U.S. are most likely to visit a national park with 37% saying they included a park visit while traveling. A large share of these travelers (70%) participated in outdoor activities while visiting the national parks. Among these outdoor activities, hiking (53%) was the most popular, followed by camping (33%) and fishing (19%).
The Internet and online services are very popular with travelers. Six million travelers booked trips online in 1997 and the percentage of travelers who use online services and/or the Internet for travel plans or reservations jumped from 11% in 1996 to 28% in 1997. Meanwhile there was a 19% increase in the share of Americans who prefer the Internet for travel reservations, rather than using a travel agent. In 1998 the number of travelers booking online should increase by 12.1 million.
Online travel revenues will grow enormously over the next five years as computer users discover booking travel online. Internet users booked $276 million in travel online in 1996 including air travel, hotel rooms, car rentals, and other travel products. In 1997, sales tripled to $827 million, and by the year 2002 the size of the online travel industry will top reach nearly $9 billion. Airline tickets accounted for nearly 90 percent of all online travel sales, generating $243 million in revenue in 1996, but by the year 2002, the proportion of airline tickets purchased online is expected to drop to 73 percent, accounting for $6.5 billion in sales. Non-airline sales, mostly hotel and car rental bookings, are expected to grow from $31 million in 1996, to $2.2 billion in the year 2002 . Online advertising on travel websites will grow from $2 million in 1996, to $282 million in 2002.
Kids programs are popular with family travelers. Nearly 60% of family travelers use children's services offered on the road but special kids meals (41%) and hotel discounts (30%) are the most popular children's services followed by video and other games (22%), supervised activities (13%) and baby-sitting (6%). Among travelers taking children along, those aged 35-44 had the highest use of children's services (71%), while travelers aged 65+ had the lowest use (28%). Travelers with family incomes of $50,000+ have the highest use (67%), while travelers with family incomes of <$20,000 have the lowest use (30%). 5
Mature Americans, those 55 years and older, are less likely to travel than their younger counterparts; however, their growing numbers coupled with their financial power and availability of time, make them a very attractive market for the U.S. travel industry.
Mature travelers enjoy historic trips and travelers age 55 and older account for 32% of all travelers who have visited a historic site or museum. In comparison to 27% of all U.S. adults have taken a trip to a museum or historic site. In addition, 18% of all historic travelers are retired
Travelers who attend cultural events are more likely to be age 55 or older. Thirty three percent of all cultural travelers are 55 or older, compared to 27% of the U.S. adult population. Retired travelers account for 19% of all cultural travelers compared to 15% of the adult population.
Staying wired while traveling is important to business and pleasure travelers. Fifty-one percent of the 39.8 million business travelers over the past year brought their cellular phone with them on a business trip. Twenty-two percent brought a pager, 20% brought a laptop computer and 6% brought a handheld personal digital assistant with them on at least one business trip. Pleasure travelers are only slightly less likely than business travelers to want to stay connected while away from home. Forty-six percent brought a cellular phone, 18% brought their pager, 6% brought a laptop computer, and 3% took a handheld personal digital assistant. The increased usage of the Internet and the popularity of e-mail as a form of communication is evident among many travelers, as 22% of business travelers used the Internet or e-mail while on a business or convention trip in the past year, compared to 10% of pleasure travelers.
Two out of ten business travelers (21%) combined business and vacation on their last business trip. Women and less frequent business travelers are more likely to combine business and vacation in one trip (25% and 23%, respectively).
Nearly half of all business travelers (47%) report that attending a meeting, trade show or convention was the reason for their last business trip. However, frequent business travelers are much less likely to have traveled for meetings and conventions on the last trip (21%). Frequent business travelers are much more likely to have made their last trip for consulting, sales or company operations.
The demographic profile of the business traveler continues to be disproportionately male, with 60% of business travelers being male. The average age of the business traveler is 42, and the average household income is $76,100. Demographic trends over the past decade have remained remarkably consistent, with the exception of slight increases in age, moderate increases in income, and shifts in traveler occupation and industry affiliation.
Many significant differences are found when comparing business and leisure travelers. The business traveler is more likely to be a male between 25 and 54, married, and to have children. The business traveler is also more likely to be a college graduate, a professional or manager and live in a 'two income' household with an annual income of at least $50,000. Leisure travelers are more
likely to be single, and have an annual household below $50,000. Leisure travelers are also more likely to be retired or unemployed. n
Travel Information comes from a variety of sources, but friends and relatives are the number one source for information about places to visit or about flights, hotels or rental cars (43%). Travel agents are the second most popular source of travel information (39%) and travel companies such as airlines, hotels or rental car companies were third (32%). One in five past year travelers (21%) contacted a city, state or countryâ€™s tourism office to get information about a destination that they planned to visit or about flights, hotels or other travel services in the past five years. This equates to 33 million U.S. adult travelers. Contacts with travel agents, tourism offices and travel companies include visits to the web sites of these organizations. In total, 19 percent of travelers visited a web site to obtain travel information in the past five years. Length of Trip Trip durations in 1998
% of total person trips
10 nights or more
Source: National Travel Survey
Roundtrip Distance Traveled by U.S. Residents in 1998 Distance
% of U.S. person trips
2000 miles or more
Outside of the U.S.
Source: National Travel Survey
Season of Travel Day
% of all travel in 1998
24% Source: National Travel Survey
Weekend trips by Americans jumped by a dramatic 70% between 1986 and 1996 and they now account for more than half of all U.S. travel . In comparison, non-weekend travel increased by only 15% during the same period. Americans took 604 million weekend person-trips in 1996 and nearly 80% of the travel was for pleasure. Weekend trips are popular year round but summer is the most popular time for weekend travel, accounting for 28% of all weekend trips. From 7
1990 to 1998 weekend travel in the U.S. jumped by 41% and accounts for more than 50% of travel in the U.S. Weekend travel includes a Friday or Saturday night stay or both. Day
% of weekend travel person trips in 1998
Friday night stay over
Saturday night stay over
Both Friday and Saturday Night
Source: National Travel Survey n
Additional facts about weekend travel in the U..S. n
Sixty-two percent of all overnight weekend travel is for vacation only, 16% is for business and the remaining weekend travel is for other purposes
The average overnight weekend trip includes 2.6 nights of travel
Nearly half (49%) of all overnight weekend travel includes a hotel or motel stay. The average stay in a hotel is 2.6 nights
Twenty six percent of all overnight weekend travel includes children
Eight-four percent of all overnight weekend travel is by auto/truck/RV/or rented car
The increase in the cost of travel-related services is outpacing the general rate of inflation in the overall economy as represented by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) Travel Price Index -- 1994 - 1999 Industry: % Change from Previous Year
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
Alcohol Away From Home
Food Away From Home
OTHER LODGING (INCLUDE HOTEL/MOTEL)
Intracity Public Transportation
Other Intercity Transportation
Base year for index: 1982-84=100; Source: Travel Industry Association of America and U.S. Department of Labor; The Travel Price Index (TPI) was developed by TIA to measure the seasonally unadjusted inflation rate of the cost of travel away from home in the United States. The TPI is based on U.S. Department of Labor price data collected for the monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI). The TPI indicates the price change in travel goods and services available to the consumer in the U.S. and does not necessarily represent changes in the average fares, rates and other costs travelers actually paid. The TPI is released monthly and is directly comparable to the CPI.
Lodging occupancy rates nationally have been stable over the past ten years in spite of large numbers of lodging rooms being added annually to the market. Current Lodging Industry Statistics Occupancy Average
Room Rate Rooms
Sources: Coopers & Lybrand Lodging Research Network, FW Dodge, Smith Travel Research, Bear Stearns, USA Today
The Los Alamos Market Market Segment Key points in defining the market segment of relevance to Los Alamos for visitor services are business visits associated with Los Alamos National Laboratory and other local businesses and the setting and attractions of Los Alamos for tourism visitors. Tour operators bring many of these visitors to Los Alamos and should be considered a significant segment in of themselves. To some extent, there is an opportunity to address the overall market for general tourism in Northern New Mexico by serving as a hub for visitors. Kind of Visitor
Convenience of location to who they are visiting
Relative poor quality of services available
Lifestyle considerations: safety, recreation interests
Lifestyle considerations: entertainment interests Perceived low value
Tourists interested in Los Alamos
Specific attractions Lifestyle considerations: safety, recreation interests
Relative poor quality of services available Accessibility
Lifestyle considerations: entertainment interests
Location relative to other attractions
Relative poor quality of services available
Lifestyle considerations: safety, recreation interests
Accessibility; not a true hub
Lifestyle considerations: entertainment interests Perceived low value
Currently, the market is shared by Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Los Alamos, and Northern Rio Grande communities such as Pojoaque and Espanola. The business visitor market is not well characterized but is believed to be shared across the participants. Based on patterns of occupancy at the Los Alamos lodging establishments, this segment generates the most overnight stays in Los Alamos. Occupancy is high during business days and is relatively low on non-business days. There is no clear data on the total size of the market for business visitors to Los Alamos or on the proportion of business visitors who stay elsewhere. Los Alamos immediately gained overnight stays by business visitors when the Holiday Inn Express brought additional rooms online in the market. This suggests that there were (and may still be) a significant number of business visitors who stay in other communities. However, Los Alamos is limited by the rooms available in seeking market share.
Los Alamos Hotel Occupancy Saturday Friday Thursday
Wednesday Tuesday Monday Sunday 0
Source:Survey of Hotel Sales Managers, 2/2000
Visitation to Los Alamos is seasonal with summer months tending to be “high season” while winter months bring fewer visitors.
Average LT Receipts by Month 1993-99 ($) Dec Nov Oct Sep Aug Jul Jun May Apr Mar Feb Jan $-
Visitors who are tourists are primarily attracted to Los Alamos by Bandelier National Monument or by the Laboratory and its history (represented by the Bradbury Science Museum). There are other smaller attractions such as the
Visits to Major Attractions 600,000 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 -
Bandelier Bradbury LANL Total 1996
historical museum, art venues, recreational activities (e.g. skiing, golf, swimming, hiking, mountain scenery viewing, athletic events, “fly-ins”) and cultural activities (e.g. concerts, galleries, art fairs, performances, historical commemorations) that draw relatively small numbers of additional visitors. By far, most visits are day visits of short duration. Sources: Bradbury, Bandelier, and Robert Charles Lesser Company analysis of business visitation to LANL, 2/00
Contacts at the Los Alamos Visitor Center and the White Rock Tourist Information Center have increased over the past three years. Contacts are in the form of visits, phone inquiries, mail inquiries and email inquiries.
Annual Visitor Center Contacts 60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 1997
Seasonality patterns in inquiries are reflective of the seasonality pattern in Lodger Tax receipts.
Average Monthly Visitor Center Contacts, 1997-99 Dec Nov Oct Sep Aug Jul Jun May Apr Mar Feb Jan -
A new category of visitor contacts in 1999 has been the development of a visitor information website which came online in summer. "Requests" were at about 2000 per month late in the year and "hits" were about 25,000 per month. Hits are file downloads from the site. A request is any hit that successfully retrieves content. Requests are more reflective of user behavior. For example, if a user requests a single page that has three graphics files, the web server might record hits for the three graphics files and the text page. However, this would only be one request.
Lodger's Tax Revenue is a function of the number of rooms available, room rates charged, and occupancy. The last major change in these variables was the opening of the Holiday Inn Express in Los Alamos.
Total Lodger's Tax Revenue $250,000.00 $200,000.00 $150,000.00 $ $100,000.00 $50,000.00 $1993
Customer Profile Business visitors, although smaller in number represent most of the overnight stays in Los Alamos. Interviews with local lodging establishments indicate that business visitors are about 85-90% of their current clientele. Business visitors are looking for convenient, comfortable, quality lodging and services. Perceptions about the availability of quality of hotel rooms and lack of dining options after 7 PM are considered to be issues that discourage business visitors from staying in Los Alamos. Business visitors are quite often repeat visitors and like to build 14
relationships and some level of personal connections with the places they visit. Very frequent business visitors like to be recognized and treated as “regulars”. There is some potential for encouraging business visitors to stay over, bring spouse/family along on visits, or return for pleasure travel. The business visitor segment is dependent on the vitality of external business opportunities with local businesses, particularly the Laboratory. Individual tourists are looking for interesting, welcoming experiences and have often already committed themselves to an itinerary and base of stay for their visit prior to their arrival in NNM and Los Alamos. To the extent that visitors come back to NNM, there is an opportunity to impress them and influence them to base their next visit at Los Alamos. The individual tourism segment is dependent on overall economic conditions and disposable income for pleasure travel. Individual tourists often learn about or become aware of the opportunity to visit Los Alamos once they arrive at their hotel in Santa Fe or Albuquerque through visitor guides, tourism brochures, or word of mouth. Distribution of the visitor guide or other informational materials, ads in destination visitor guides, and word of mouth are the most likely prompts for a day visit to Los Alamos. A significant number of tourism visitors to Los Alamos are brought here as members of tours. In such cases, the tour operator becomes the primary customer. Relationships should be developed and services should be targeted to relevant tour operators if we want Los Alamos to be more than a "drive-by". Tour operators are looking for additions to tour itineraries that “fit” and that will offer interesting experience for their clients. To the extent that adjunct services are available at reasonable rates for servicing the tour (e.g. food, interesting shopping, “local color”), the tour operator has additional options to work with. The tour operator segment is dependent on demand for tours and can be best accessed by building relationships with tour operators and reputation and supporting services for servicing them. In looking at visitation by state and country, New Mexico, Texas, California, and Colorado continue to be the leading states of origin for our visitors in that order. International visitors have increased in the past year. Canada remains the highest international origin, second is England, and third is Germany.
The Business Visitor n
Expense account; often on government per diem
Time is $
Research collaborator, Sales person, Consultant, Government employee, Construction contractor
Emotional influences: status;
Practical influences: expense account limitations; travel time to airport; convenience in arrangements for business meetings; things for spouse/travel companion to do; availability of afterwork services
The Individual Tourist n
Willing to drive
Emotional influences: memorable experience; making a personal connection; safety; "safe adventure"
Practical influences: saving money; receiving value for expenditures
The Tour Operator n
Working within a fixed budget; looks for stops to add interest to tour without adding costs; tour may have a theme (i.e. art, Southwest culture, history, etc.) that operator is trying to match up with
Wants options clearly laid out; does not want to have to create the options
Emotional Influences: personal feelings about the work of LANL; personal interests; relationships
Practical Influences: considerations
Saving money, ease of making arrangements, time
Competition Santa Fe's strengths are size of marketing budget, variety of entertainment possibilities offered, variety of accommodation (price and quality), focus on service to visitors, and organization to serve visitors. Santa Fe's weaknesses with respect to the Los Alamos market include location (distance from Los Alamos), lack of any particular focus on Los Alamos’ target market, and high pricing of downtown/northside Santa Fe properties (relative to Los Alamos). Santa Fe's strategy is mass marketing for tourism. Santa Fe is positioned as “the City Different”, a unique international destination. We will respond to Santa Fe as a competitor by focus on service to our target market. We will position Los Alamos as an alternative to Santa Fe by emphasizing convenience, lower pricing, safety, and small town familiarity. An emerging competitive threat is from locations such as Pojoaque and the Cities of Gold Hotel which offers new rooms, competitive pricing, and greater convenience relative to Santa Fe properties. The Espanola market has similar attributes.
Competitive Roundup Competitive Roundup
Number of Hotel Rooms
Number of Bed & Breakfast Rooms
Basic - little range
Limited in evenings
Avg. Published Pricing
Location/Convenience to Los Alamos
Limited except on weekends
Better on weekdays
Estimated Promotion Budget Quality of Rooms
Advertising Effectiveness Capacity
Appearance 24-Hour Availability / Support
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats Strengths The Los Alamos National Laboratory is a $1B-plus multi-disciplinary research institution that requires both research and business interactions with people and organizations from around the world. The international history surrounding the world-changing development of nuclear weapons puts Los Alamos on the map. 17
Bandelier National Monument, as part of the National Park System puts Los Alamos on the map in a national sense independent of the existence of the Laboratory and its history. The natural beauty of the Los Alamos setting, the appeal of mountain recreation opportunities, the rich local and regional history and culture, and the sophistication of the local populace in a small-town rural setting play supporting roles to the primary attractions of Los Alamos. In marketing, our most powerful assets are our indirect connection to the marketing of the National Park System, our proximity to Santa Fe and the need of Santa Fe to be able to promote interesting day trips as part of the experience of visiting Santa Fe, and the draw of business activity with the Laboratory. Los Alamos draws day visitors largely on the coattails of Santa Fe and Albuquerque. LACDCâ€™s strengths are in its connection to the local community at-large and specifically the local business community, established relationships to LANL, and synergies with other business development activities such as the Chamber of Commerce, MainStreet, Small Business Development Center, and Research Park.
Too many opinions; lack of consensus of approach with what are fairly limited resources for tourism promotion activities
Lack of coordination of attractions
Limited accessibility other than by private vehicle
Perceptions of poor value in hotel services
There are limited numbers of hotel rooms in the community; the community can only absorb relatively small numbers of additional overnight stays unless more rooms are built
Limited entertainment and service options for visitors; relatively few local services are aimed at/interested in serving visitor market outside of standard working hours; this manifests in the "they roll up the streets at 8PM" perception.
Misinformation about Los Alamos, its setting, and its history confuse visitors and potential visitors. For instance, lack of knowledge that the town and the Lab are not the same thing and health concerns about proximity to the Lab are common. Last year's Wall Street Journal article about Los Alamos was completely misinformation.
Opportunities There are opportunities apparent in a number of areas: n
The impending purchase of the Baca Ranch and the anticipated creation of a National Park-like entity would create another significant attraction to the Los Alamos area.
The Los Alamos Research Park will enable greater interaction between LANL and private companies that could result in increased business visitation.
Establishing relationships with tour operators seems to be an area that has not been addressed by prior efforts; an opportunity exists to cultivate relationships in this area.
There is an effort underway in the community to establish a plan for the future of the downtown Los Alamos; this effort is actively evaluating community interest in amenities that would be valued by community residents and visitors alike.
Occupancy patterns in Santa Fe hotels (full on weekends, space on weekdays) and Los Alamos hotels (full on weekdays, space on weekends) suggest an opportunity to work together providing that appropriate relationships can be established.
Based on national trends, focus on the "drive market" could offer the potential for filling more lodging rooms on weekends. The drive market is characterized as origins that are far enough away from Los Alamos that a visitor would not consider Los Alamos or Santa Fe a day-trip, but close enough to make a weekend (or long-weekend) visit practical by driving here. Examples of origins in the drive market are Durango/Farmington, Pagosa Springs, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Amarillo, Lubbock, Alamagordo, and Las Cruces.
There is fertile potential for increasing weekend occupancies by creation of weekend packages in the areas of “edu-tourism”, recreation (golf, swimming, skiing, skating, and hiking), and cultural events (concerts, performances, and festivals).
There is an ever-present potential for LANL and National Park Service budget reductions and the potential for general economic fluctuations which could negatively impact business and pleasure travel.
There is the potential for competitive developments that would provide visitors with increasing lodging options close to Los Alamos.
The traditional base of individual visitors to Los Alamos tend to be older; familiarity and interest in the history of the beginnings of the atomic age may fade as the people who lived through this era age.
Los Alamos continues to viewed very negatively by a part of society that is antinuke. To the extent that this attitude discourages visitors or motivates others to discourage visitors, it poses a threat. This may be linked to continuation of misinformation that is circulated about Los Alamos.
Published on Sep 24, 2010