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Tourism council discusses ‘See Roswell’ website

At the Roswell Tourism Council meeting on Monday, Kathy Lay, left, and Molly Boyles answered questions about which plastic lids are acceptable for a MainStreet Roswell project, which will recycle the plastic into benches. Boyles said lids marked as plastic 2, 4 or 5 can be used. (Alison Penn Photo)

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Upcoming events, nominations for awards also on group’s agenda

At the Roswell Tourism Council meeting on Monday, Juanita Jennings, public affairs director for the city of Roswell, announced that the tourism-focused See Roswell website is currently being worked on.

Both Wendy Cook, communications and events coordinator for the Roswell Museum and Art Center (RMAC), and Amy McVay-Davis, executive director of the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico (HSSNM), inquired about their events that had incorrect dates on the site or weren’t posted.

Cook clarified that the RMAC’s free and ages 21-plus event, pARTy After Hours: Swing into the 40s, is this Friday from 6-9 p.m. with a swing dance class beginning at 5:30.

Jennings said her staff is being trained to eventually manage the website (seeroswell.com) in-house by Oct. 1. She also said the “Fly Roswell” website is expected to launch in early November.

A fundraiser for the Spring River Park & Zoo — “Oktobearfest” — has also been rescheduled for Oct. 5 instead of Sept. 21, Jennings informed the council.

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Jennings and Edie Stevens let the council know there would be a New Mexico Tourism Department listening tour, for the state to grow tourism by developing a destination development roadmap. The southeast region’s stop on the tour is Aug. 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center at 310 W. Main St. in Artesia.

Information about New Mexico Hospitality Association Top Hospitality and Tourism awards — for marketing, product development, personnel, and other awards — was presented by Jennings and Stevens. Nominations are open until Sept. 15 for the gala in November, and Jennings and Stevens noted that nominations for the southeast region were consistently low.

“The city will be submitting their own nominations for the marketing campaign, which was our new rebrand — which we just won an award two months ago in Oklahoma,” Jennings said. “And last week I was notified that we won a PR award in the state of Florida … for the execution and roll-out of our new brand.

“We’re super excited because our brand was exposed to everybody in Florida, which was really great …”

The city of Roswell shared its new brand with a logo, ‘We believe’ slogan and UFO-themed campaign — created by Cubic Inc. of Tulsa, Oklahoma — in May.

Representing MainStreet Roswell, Executive Director Kathy Lay and Molly Boyles discussed a successful First Friday event and their collecting of plastic lids to make into recycled benches, a project in conjunction with All Saints Catholic School. Boyles said the hope is that eight benches will be picked up in November.

Lay and Boyles also said the first-ever combined Piñata & Chile Cheese Festival at the end of September will be gated, so they can accurately track the number of attendees. Lay said the event and parking are still free; people will just be asked for their zip code and how many people are in their party. The intention of combining the two events and having them close to the Eastern New Mexico State Fair was to have visitors come for the festival and “stay for the fair,” Lay said.

Don Weld also reminded the council that reservations are required for tours at the annual Dragonfly Festival on Sept. 7. Last year he said around 1,500 people came, which is nearing Bitter Lake Wildlife Refuge’s limit, and the event is looking for another 15 passenger vans to be used for tours.

A release of 150 butterflies is also planned for the festival. Weld said the butterflies will be tagged to track their migration.

McVay-Davis said the HSSNM’s annual heritage dinner is in November and will honor the dairy industry in Chaves County.

Special projects reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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