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New Mexicans consider including Spaceport in plan to lure Amazon

Joy Wang
October 07, 2017 08:06 AM

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. -- While the state grapples with the question of whether to throw more money at the Spaceport, ordinary citizens in southern New Mexico believe they have an out-of-this-world idea that could revive the struggling space travel hub.

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And it involves luring another, already-booming company to the Land of Enchantment.

“We recently had this light bulb go off saying let’s work with Amazon and Mr. [Jeff] Bezos, who runs Amazon, and talk about the Spaceport as an enticement to bring him here to take over the Spaceport payments. Because it’s very costly for the taxpayers of New Mexico,” said Sophia Peron of Truth or Consequences.

It’s no secret that Amazon is looking for a new home, and Albuquerque wants that home to be in New Mexico.

“I can certainly tell you that we're doing everything we can as of even earlier today,” said Gilbert Montaño, chief of staff to Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry. “There were discussions and talks about what we need to be doing and talking about to ensure that the application is a standout.”

So some people in Truth or Consequences are wondering if adding the Spaceport to the mix would make the potential deal even sweeter for Bezos.

“(It involves) reassessing it as a business,” Peron said.

She says privatizing the Spaceport would save money, and Amazon could help bring publicity; especially since the space center hasn’t been doing much of anything lately.

“We spoke to our elected representatives and people like that we're talking about doing something different,” Peron said. “We have plenty of talented people who can negotiate and work out a deal. But it's difficult. It's a difficult situation and nobody wants to talk about it.”

Peron said she has reached out to Berry’s office to share her plan, but she also believes this must be a private sector deal to get the job done.

“I think the mayor's been extremely, extremely forward as far as saying everything we can possibly do to help entice or allure Amazon to Albuquerque is a number one priority,” Montaño said.

Ben Cloutier, the communications director for the New Mexico Economic Development Department, sent this statement:

New Mexico has a lot to offer a company like Amazon. Since 2011, we’ve improved New Mexico’s business climate by reducing taxes, removing burdensome regulations, and reinforcing our key economic development incentives. We have many unique assets like the Spaceport, the National Labs and the Santa Teresa-San Jeronimo Bi-National Community. And, New Mexico’s mild weather and beautiful natural environment makes our state a perfect place do business as well as live, work, and raise a family.

Credits

Joy Wang

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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