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Tourism council holds first meeting of 2020

Daniel Cederberg, left, listens to MainStreet Roswell director Kathy Lay talk about MainStreet Roswell’s online spreadsheet event management system at the Roswell Tourism Council meeting on Monday. Lay has been invited to talk about the spreadsheet concept at the National MainStreet Conference in Dallas in May. (Christina Stock Photo)

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Members of the Roswell Tourism Council met Monday at the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico Archives to discuss ongoing and future events at their first meeting of the year.

RTC Chair Jane Anglin informed members about upcoming events at the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico Museum and Archives. Anglin is a volunteer with the society.

Anglin informed the council that state Rep. Phelps Anderson, R-Roswell, couldn’t attend the meeting because he is in Santa Fe for the upcoming legislative session. He sent a letter to update the members. “He is having committee meetings all day,” Anglin said. The 30-day legislative session begins Tuesday in Santa Fe.

New at the meeting was Daniel Cederberg, owner of Moon Rock Outfitters, a bicycle repair and limited rental business located in the back of Stellar Coffee shop. Cederberg told members that he is holding community bike rides that are free to join, and that his group has been cleaning up part of the Spring River Corridor on a voluntary base.

MainStreet Roswell director Kathy Lay offered to help promote his events on her organization’s Facebook page. The council also got an update on MainStreet’s project collecting plastic caps and lids. According to Lay, the plastic will be redeemed with a company in Indiana in exchange for park benches that were made with recycled plastic from another location.

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“We’re recycling, and you’re teaching the kids about that and math,” Lay said. Volunteers at All Saints Catholic School sort the collected plastic.

“It benefits the community and the Earth for recycling,” Lay said. “We’re getting the benches at an economical price and it won’t cost the city anything to do it. It’s a win, win, win. We have already enough for two benches.

According to her, it takes 250 pounds of plastic to make a bench. She said she hopes to have enough caps and lids collected for at least five to six benches this spring.

The benches are commercial grade, sun- and graffiti-resistant. “We talked with the city and they helped us pick the colors, so it fits with what we already have. Our benches will be there (in Indiana) when we arrive with our bottle caps. Somebody else will get a bench made from our bottle caps. That way we don’t have to make two trips.”

Lay said if the recycling company continues as-is, recycling for benches could become an ongoing, long-term project, replacing all the old, worn-out benches for a uniform look on Main Street.

Anglin asked Lay to talk about the upcoming National MainStreet Conference in Dallas.

Lay explained that several years ago, MainStreet Roswell tried to manage the multiple organizers and entities working on the annual UFO Festival. “There are so many moving parts on this beast of organization,” Lay said. She would be in charge of the vendors, and would be asked during the meetings about numbers and details. “Juliana (Halvorson) made a comment during one of those meetings, ‘Why don’t I put them on a Google spreadsheet? We can have access outside of just the main computer.’” Lay explained in detail how this concept grew and expanded: Information became accessible to all organizers, each could update the spreadsheet individually and see changes when the information was put in. “I can actually go in right now and tell you everything about it,” Lay said.

At a meeting with New Mexico MainStreet, Lay explained the concept to other members and the word spread. According to Lay others became interested in using the Roswell MainStreet model.

“Some of the ladies of MainStreet asked me if I was interested in proposing to speak on the National Conference for MainStreet America, in Dallas. They are looking for keynote speakers to come and share ideas that can be beneficial to the MainStreet programs.” Lay said she was asked to do the presentation at the conference about her concept, which will include a how-to guide.

Don Weld, speaking on behalf of Friends of Spring River Zoo, Friends of Bitter Lake Wildlife Preserve and the Roswell Alzheimer’s Association, informed council members about the upcoming Valentine’s event at the Spring River Zoo and the Butterfly Trail cleaning and grooming project in the spring at the preserve.

“We are also considering the cleaning of Pine Lodge Road,” Weld said. “We are looking to rekindle that.”

Weld said that Roswell’s Alzheimer’s Association is planning its annual Longest Day event in June.

Cederberg asked Weld about the city’s plans for working on the bicycle trail. Weld shared some of the ideas, but said that these are still in the planning stage. Cederberg gave his input from a bicyclist’s perspective. Both agreed that the Red Bridge route, which is used by commercial trucks, is not advisable for bicyclists to drive on.

“There are some alternatives that are being worked on,” Weld said. Weld said that plans are in the works for one of the trails at the wildlife preserve to be not only for bicyclists but also for hikers and visitors riding horses.

Executive director at the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico Amy McVay-Davis informed the council about upcoming programs at the museum. She said that the society is working with the school district’s history clubs and that for the first time Sierra Middle School History Club will be doing a presentation in April.

Davis said that the parking lot has been restored, which came out of the renovation fund.

Edie Stevens said that she is no longer president of the Roswell Hotel Association. She said she is concerned that nobody stepped forward at the January meeting of the association to fill the vacant officer positions, including president. “At this point, because they were to have elections in January, an owner or a selected hotel employee needs to step up to be an officer or it (the association) dissolves. That is in the bylaws. It looks like it may dissolve, because hotel people are the busiest people.”

Karen Arnold, general manager of Hampton Inn, said that she was not able to attend because of extensive renovations and that usually only sales representatives of a hotel could attend and be involved in the association. Arnold said that she didn’t have one.

Stevens also represents Roswell Community Little Theatre. She told council members about the upcoming production of “The 39 Steps,” and auditions in February for the next play, “Francine’s Will.” The play has five women and five men and she said actors are needed.

Stevens said the theater needs donations to repair the building’s roof. Repairs had been made in form of “patches” when enough money was collected. She said that a new roof is needed.

Elaine Mayfield, Leadership Roswell Alumni, said, “The Leadership Alumni will be doing a candidate forum for the elections and the bond issue, and projected date is Feb. 25.”

Mayfield said that the location will be announced as soon as possible.

Judy Stubbs, city councilor, said that she and Juanita Jennings, city of Roswell public affairs director, are going to attend the Hospitality & Tourism TRENDS & Annual Meeting, which is hosted by the New Mexico Hospitality Association Feb. 3-4 in Santa Fe. “There will be interesting subjects that we’ll bring back,” Stubbs said.

The next meeting of the Roswell Tourism Council is Feb. 17 at 10:30 a.m. at the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico Archives building, 208 N. Lea Ave.

Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at vision@rdrnews.com.

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