“Our community has been resilient, and we’ve helped each other. So it’s been a pretty good year other than the pandemic. "
“We had expected 2020 to be a record-breaking year as far as lodgers tax. When the summer comes, all of our Texas friends and people passing through on I-25 come to enjoy our state park, Sugarite Canyon, camping, fishing, and all of that. We didn’t get that this year because of the shutdown.
We had to cancel our annual International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally, which is held over the July Fourth holidays. Last year, we had record-breaking crowds. People were making reservations from as far away as New York. It’s a great festival and we have the best firework show in the southwest. And Los Lobos was supposed to play to a sold-out crowd at our Shuler Theater on July 2. So we missed out on having all that this year.
And then of course, for the last five years, on Labor Day weekend we've had the Gate City Music Festival. A couple years ago we had Deana Carter, last year we had Restless Heart, and this year was supposed to be the Bellamy Brothers. And of course, it didn't get to happen, but you know we bounce back.
The Bellamy Brothers and Los Lobos have been so gracious and said they’d come do shows here next year. So, you know, you got to look at everybody, everybody's realizing the circumstances, we're in, and trying to do the best they can.
I have to say that it’s surprising, but we haven’t taken as big a hit as we thought we would. There has been a lot more tourist traffic than we expected, so our fast food retailers did very well and our gas stations did well. I think to an extent, even though they were at 25% of capacity, and then up I believe to 40%, our hotels did pretty well.
Gotta tip my hat also to our MainStreet crew, especially Brenda, Melissa and Lynnette, for doing a Facebook live version of the Raton Cash Mob when the stores were closed down. They were so successful, raising over $45,000, that it made national news. And now other communities, like Trinidad, Colorado and Las Vegas, New Mexico, are doing the same thing. [Read Brenda’s Who We Are Now 2020 story here for more details about the Raton Cash Mob.]