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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Arts, Aliens and Agriculture: Conference Focuses on Rural Tourism

LAS CRUCES--Roswell attractions ranging from the thriving dairy industry to the alien encounters phenomenon will take center stage April 26-27 at the 2004 Rural Economic Development Through Tourism rural tourism conference.

REDTT, a project of New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service, provides education, training and technical assistance to 17 New Mexico counties as well as statewide hospitality training and media services.

"REDTT has worked very hard to put together a tourism conference that is affordable and relevant to small- and medium-sized tourism organizations and individuals statewide," said director Dora Dominguez.

"Providing valuable information about a wide range of tourism activities continues to be the greatest draw of the annual conference. Additionally, the Chavez County Tourism Council will provide a perspective on tourism from an agricultural, outdoor, historical and, of course, alien perspective."

Presenters will give updates on hospitality, tourism and rural economic development trends.

Participants will spend April 26 touring Chavez County. Tours will visit Price's Dairy and Select Milk Producers; Bitter Lake and Salt Creek Wilderness; five Roswell museums; Roswell's cemetery (walking historical tour); Bottomless Lakes and Dexter National Fish Hatchery;and an "Alien Encounter" stop where humans are studied by aliens. Evening festivities include a reception and trade show at 6:30 p.m., followed by an awards banquet at 7:30. All tours will begin at the Roswell Convention and Civic Center and take place from 2-6 p.m.

The Best Western Sally Port Inn and Suites is the site of this year's conference and is sponsoring the hospitality suite, which will be hosted by Chris Cordova of CRC & Associates.

On Tuesday, attendees can earn an international marketing certification at Basic/World Bridge - cultural awareness training presented by Krista Rahe, owner of Rahe Hospitality Service. The New Mexico Tourism Department is underwriting the workshop.

Other workshop titles include Marketing and Managing Ghost Town Tourism, Is Your English Killing Your Message?, Tips for More Effective Business Writing, Working with Local Newspapers, Web Design and Enhanced Digital Media, and Attracting Tourists to the Arts. The workshop will include roundtable presentations on a variety of topics. The conference will conclude with a "State of New Mexico Tourism" luncheon from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

An optional post-conference tour April 28 will take visitors on a one-hour trip from Roswell to Lincoln for a reenactment of Billy the Kid's escape from the Lincoln County Jail.

More information is online at www.nmquest.org.

Registration is $35 for each active member of a REDTT county tourism council. (REDTT serves Catron, Chaves, DeBaca, Doņa Ana, Eddy, Grant, Guadalupe, Hidalgo, Lea, Lincoln, Otero, Quay, Sandoval, Sierra, Socorro and Quay counties). The fee is $50 per person for anyone living in a REDTT county who is not an active tourism council member and $100 for those living outside a REDTT county.
This marks the fifth year REDTT will host an annual statewide rural tourism conference. In the 13 years since its inception, the project has awarded more than $300,000 in rural tourism grants in New Mexico and provided hospitality training to thousands of hospitality and service employees and volunteers.

REDTT was created by U.S. Congressman Joe Skeen in 1992.

For more information, or if you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the meeting, please contact Dora Dominguez at (505)646-8009 or dorad@nmsu.edu before the event.