THE SEED FOR THE THEME of this special issue was planted a year ago at an event in Taos called the Ski Lift Pitch Contest, sponsored by the ABQid business accelerator. Owners of startup companies pitched their concepts on chairlift rides with venture capitalists and business leaders who later judged their ideas and awarded a nice cash prize. There were all kinds of great ideas on display, many of a highly technical nature, but the winners were the hometown favorites behind Taos Mountain Energy Bars (see Raising the Bar). The take-away, for me, was that this event represented the sweet-spot nexus of New Mexico’s natural assets, the recreation/lifestyle/travel options they present, and the opportunities for grassroots economic development they can inspire.
Once I’d witnessed this ecosystem in action, I started seeing examples of it all over the state. In this issue, you’ll read about the revival of Downtown Albuquerque (ABQ Awakening), the capital city’s pivot to 21st-century culture (Neo Santa Fe), and a community of artists and food crafters who exemplify an only-in-NM brand of creativity. All of this contributes enormously to the quality of life here, and to the visitor experience as well: There’s simply lots of cool new stuff to see and do and eat and drink in New Mexico these days.
Coinciding with our coverage of this forward movement, Art Director Edie Dillman and her team have freshened up the look and feel of the magazine. We’ve retained classic department titles like “Storytellers,” “Mailbag,” and—of course—One of Our 50 Is Missing. But we’re also introducing some new elements. It’s time. This is Volume 94—a venerable age for a magazine to reach. But it’s also Issue 1—which means we’re starting over again in what we hope is a happy new year for New Mexico and those who love it.