Tag Archives: new mexico

internet

ACA names Arizona Innovation Challenge semifinalists

The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) today announced 25 semifinalists in its Fall 2014 Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC), a bi-annual business plan competition awarding $3 million annually to talented entrepreneurs.

Each year, the ACA awards – $1.5 million in the spring and $1.5 million in the fall – to the most qualified, innovative startups and early-stage companies. Recipients receive up to $250,000 in capital to grow their businesses, advancing innovation and technology commercialization opportunities in Arizona.

“We congratulate the forward-thinking entrepreneurs selected as our newest AIC semifinalists,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “Arizona’s engagement with early-stage companies through its suite of targeted programs continues to spur growth, technology commercialization and capital investment within Arizona’s innovation ecosystem. With more than 1,200 applications received for the AIC since 2011, the program continues to be among the many opportunities available to innovators which have made Arizona a top hub for entrepreneurial activity and startup success.”

The 25 Fall 2014 Arizona Innovation Challenge Semifinalists include:

• Adosia, LLC, IT – Software, Tempe, AZ
• Allbound, IT – Software, Scottsdale, AZ
• Cactus Semiconductor, Advanced Manufacturing, Chandler, AZ
• CampusLogic, IT – Software, Gilbert, AZ
• Crowd Mics, IT – Software, Mesa, AZ
• Dermspectra, LLC, Bio & Life Sciences, Tucson, AZ
• Energy Conservation Mgmt., Cleantech/Renewable Energy, Scottsdale, AZ
• EZ Dump Commercial, Advanced Manufacturing, Phoenix, AZ
• HiringSolved, IT – Software, Chandler, AZ
• Iris PR Management, IT – Software, Phoenix, AZ
• Iron Horse Diagnostics, Inc., Bio & Life Sciences, Scottsdale, AZ
• MWI Laboratories, Advanced Materials, Tempe, AZ
• Next Alternative, Inc., Cleantech/Renewable Energy, Chandler, AZ
• Numa Tactical Eyewear, Advanced Materials, Phoenix, AZ
• NuvOx Pharma, Bio & Life Sciences, Tucson, AZ
• Park Genius, IT – Software, Tucson, AZ
• PoG Technologies, LLC, Cleantech/Renewable Energy, Peoria, AZ
• Pure Chat, IT – Software, Scottsdale, AZ
• RightBio Metrics, Bio & Life Sciences, Scottsdale, AZ
• Salutaris Medical Devices, Inc., Bio & Life Sciences, Tucson, AZ
• Sentinel Internet Systems, IT – Software, Phoenix, AZ
• Smart Service Desk, IT – Software, Chandler, AZ
• Spotlight Software, IT – Software, Peoria, AZ
• Universal Bio Mining, Bio & Life Sciences, Tucson, AZ
• Zero Shock Seating, Advanced Manufacturing, Chandler, AZ

A panel of expert judges evaluated 154 applications from the Fall 2014 AIC submitted by companies based in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia. The judges assessed each application on a set of criteria including technology potential, marketing strategy, quality of management team and economic impact. These companies represent high-value industry sectors that include IT software, IT hardware, bio and life sciences, cleantech/renewable energy, advanced materials, advanced manufacturing, and aerospace and defense.

Every applying company that meets the AIC’s eligibility requirements will receive constructive feedback generated from the rigorous online evaluation and scoring process. All semifinalists also will be considered for participation in Venture Ready, the ACA’s mentor program that connects early stage companies with high-level CEOs to further refine business plans and investor pitches.

The ACA will name its Fall 2014 Arizona Innovation Challenge finalists in early January and the winners later that same month.

A Guide to Applying for a Bank Loan

Wells Fargo No. 1 SBA lender for Arizona

Wells Fargo & Company announced it is the No. 1 Small Business Administration (SBA) 7 (a) lender in Arizona in amount of dollars and number of loans  approved for fiscal year 2014.  Wells Fargo approved $89,034,400 and 197 loans to Arizona businesses from Oct. 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014.

“Working with small business owners is one of the most important things we do and is a key focus for our company,” said Greg DeJesus, SBA regional sales manager for Wells Fargo Arizona.  “Every SBA dollar we lend helps an Arizona business owner start, expand or invest in a business and helps keep the Arizona economy strong.  We believe that the flow of new loan dollars into our communities represents a very powerful statement for job creation and economic development.”

Nationally, Wells Fargo approved a record $1.6 billion in Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loans in federal fiscal year 2014 (Oct. 1, 2013 – Sept. 30, 2014).  The company increased its dollar volume of SBA 7(a) loans by 10 percent from a year ago. An SBA preferred lender in all 50 states, Wells Fargo also is the second largest SBA lender by units, extending 4,036 SBA 7(a) loans in federal fiscal year 2014, a 16 percent increase in units from the prior year.

Wells Fargo is the No. 1 SBA 7(a) lender in dollars in 10 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas  – and the No.1 SBA 7(a) lender in number of loans (units) in 8 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, North Carolina, New Mexico, South Carolina and Virginia.

Navajo Settlement

Navajo will receive $554 million settlement

The Navajo Nation is poised to receive $554 million from the federal government over allegations of mismanagement of tribal resources in the largest settlement of its kind for an American Indian tribe, according to an Associated Press report.

Much of the land on the sprawling reservation has been leased for uses such as farming, grazing, oil and gas development, mining and housing.

The leases once were largely overseen by the U.S. government, which mismanaged the revenue and failed to properly invest and account for it, according to the tribe.

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is scheduled to visit Window Rock, Arizona, the Navajo Nation capital, to formalize the deal Friday.

She released a statement Thursday saying the agreement strengthens ties between the Navajo and U.S. governments and helps empower the tribe’s communities.

Navajo officials hailed the settlement as a positive end to a long ordeal. President Ben Shelly, in a statement, called it “a victory for tribal sovereignty.”

The tribe agreed to settle the case months ago but has been awaiting approval from federal agencies before the deal could be finalized. The Navajo Nation originally sought $900 million when the lawsuit was filed in 2006.

The 27,000-square-mile reservation is larger than any American Indian land base, and covers sections of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Almost two-thirds of the 300,000 Navajos live on the reservation that has some of the most iconic landscapes in the Southwest and is rich in natural resources.

energy policies

SRP Ranked No. 1 in Performance by J.D. Power

Salt River Project’s electric customers continue to give SRP higher marks for customer satisfaction, according to a report issued today by J.D. Power. With an increase of 21 performance points from a year ago, SRP ranks highest for residential electric service in the western United States among Large electric utilities for the 13th consecutive year.

With a Customer Satisfaction Index score of 730 on a 1,000-point scale in this year’s ranking, it is the 15th time in 16 years (1999, 2000, 2002-2014) that SRP scored the highest in the West among large electric utilities (500,000 or more residential customers). The average score in the West Large Utility region, which covers utilities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming, is 657.

SRP’s score was bolstered by ranking highest in the study’s Large Utilities segment in the West region for all six components, Power Quality and Reliability, Billing and Payment, Corporate Citizenship, Price, Communications and Customer Service.

The 2014 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 104,000 online interviews conducted from July 2013 through May 2014 among residential customers of the 138 largest electric utility brands across the nation, which collectively represent more than 96 million households. More information on the Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction study can be found at http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/2014-electric-utility-residential-customer-satisfaction-study.

Today’s announcement was the second in the last week by J.D. Power in which SRP was recognized. On July 9, SRP was recognized for contact center operation customer satisfaction excellence under the J.D. Power Certified Contact Center Program. The Certified Contact Center Program distinction acknowledged a strong commitment by SRP’s service contact center operations to provide “An Outstanding Customer Service Experience.” SRP achieved certification for the live phone channel (ninth consecutive year), including interactive voice response (IVR) routing and customer service representative (CSR), as well as for the IVR self-service and Web self-service channels (first year, respectively). For J.D. Power 2014 Contact Center Certification Information, visit jdpower.com.

SRP is the largest provider of electricity to the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, providing electric service to more than 990,000 customers. SRP also is the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 1 million acre-feet to agricultural, urban and municipal water users.

eyes

Medical Practice Announces New Scottsdale Location

Southwestern Eye Center announced the opening of their new Scottsdale Office. The move allows the physicians to provide greater patient access and services to those in the Scottsdale area, whether or not they have insurance.

“We appreciate the support from our patients, here in the Scottsdale area, that have been with us for many years, and have welcome many more to our practice recently,” said Dr. Matthew Palmer, OD. “We are excited for the new facility to help us continue to provide the best care to the community and allow for a greater patient experience.”

The new office will be located at 3301 North Miller Rd. in Scottsdale, increasing its previous size by 1000 square feet. The location will be much more accessible, with improved signage and better visibility. With six exam lanes and a minor procedure room, Southwestern Eye Center will be able to better meet the needs of the ever aging population and the influx of young professionals into the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. The local medical practice has 25 locations throughout Arizona and three in New Mexico, serving a wide range of eye related needs in each office.

Dr. Daniel Adelberg M.D., Dr. Michael Champion M.D. and Dr. Denise Garcia M.D. will work alongside Dr. Palmer in providing comprehensive eye care and specialty ophthalmologic services. With the ever changing health care climate, they felt a bigger office will enable them to provide increased services while maintaining close relationships with their patients. The new space will remain in close proximity to the previous office so doctors can continue to see their established patients and allow for continued growth.

For more information on Southwestern Eye Center and its physicians, visit www.sweye.com. Follow Southwestern Eye Center on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SWeyecenter and on Twitter at @SWeyeCenter.

eyes

Medical Practice Announces New Scottsdale Location

Southwestern Eye Center announced the opening of their new Scottsdale Office. The move allows the physicians to provide greater patient access and services to those in the Scottsdale area, whether or not they have insurance.

“We appreciate the support from our patients, here in the Scottsdale area, that have been with us for many years, and have welcome many more to our practice recently,” said Dr. Matthew Palmer, OD. “We are excited for the new facility to help us continue to provide the best care to the community and allow for a greater patient experience.”

The new office will be located at 3301 North Miller Rd. in Scottsdale, increasing its previous size by 1000 square feet. The location will be much more accessible, with improved signage and better visibility. With six exam lanes and a minor procedure room, Southwestern Eye Center will be able to better meet the needs of the ever aging population and the influx of young professionals into the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. The local medical practice has 25 locations throughout Arizona and three in New Mexico, serving a wide range of eye related needs in each office.

Dr. Daniel Adelberg M.D., Dr. Michael Champion M.D. and Dr. Denise Garcia M.D. will work alongside Dr. Palmer in providing comprehensive eye care and specialty ophthalmologic services. With the ever changing health care climate, they felt a bigger office will enable them to provide increased services while maintaining close relationships with their patients. The new space will remain in close proximity to the previous office so doctors can continue to see their established patients and allow for continued growth.

For more information on Southwestern Eye Center and its physicians, visit www.sweye.com. Follow Southwestern Eye Center on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SWeyecenter and on Twitter at @SWeyeCenter.

Virtual Schools, Online Education

Pima Community College gets interim director

The retired president of a New Mexico community college has been named the interim director of a two-year college campus in Arizona.

Former Santa Fe Community College President Sheila Ortega said she starts her job at Pima Community College on Monday.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Ortega will be paid $173,000 a year as interim president of the college’s Community Campus, which focuses on adult basic education, workforce training and online learning.

Ortega is under contract to serve in the job through June 2014.

The college in Tucson has six locations throughout Pima County.

Ortega retired as president of the community college in Santa Fe in 2012, after a nearly 30-year career at the two-year school.

electricity

Customers Rank SRP Highest in West, U.S.

Salt River Project’s electric customers continue to give SRP high marks for customer satisfaction.  In a report issued today by J.D. Power and Associates, SRP received the top score for residential electric service in the Large Utilities segment in the western United States for the 12th consecutive year and the highest total among the nation’s largest utilities for the fifth year in a row.

SRP’s ranking was bolstered by sweeping the No. 1 spot in the survey’s Large Utilities segment in the West region for all six survey components, Power Quality and Reliability, Billing and Payment, Corporate Citizenship, Price, Communications and Customer Service. Among all large utilities across the nation, SRP scored highest in customer satisfaction for the eighth time in the 15 years J.D. Power and Associates has conducted its study of residential customers.  With a Customer Satisfaction Index score of 709 on a 1,000-point scale in this year’s ranking, SRP is the only electric utility that has been ranked among the top 10 in the U.S. in all 15 years.

It is the 14th time in the last 15 years that SRP scored the highest in the West among large electric utilities (500,000 or more residential customers). The average score in the West large region, which covers utilities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming, was 654.

The 2013 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study was based on responses from about 103,000 online interviews conducted from July 2012 through May 2013 among residential customers of the 126 largest electric utility brands across the nation, which collectively represent more than 94 million households.  More information on the J.D. Power and Associates’ study can be found at www.jdpower.com/library/index.htm.

SRP is the largest provider of electricity to the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, providing electric service to more than 970,000 customers.  SRP also is the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 1 million acre-feet to agricultural, urban and municipal water users.

eyes.care

Southwestern Eye Center expands in New Mexico

Southwestern Eye Center is expanding its services across New Mexico with the acquisition of a well-established eye care business. The Mesa-based eye care center acquired Southwest Eye Clinics in Las Cruces and Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Southwestern Eye Center currently has one location in Deming which opened in June 2011.

Just as the names Southwestern Eye Center and Southwest Eye Clinic are very similar, changes in the day to day operations will also be very subtle. Southwest Eye Clinic is owned by Robert Villalobos, M.D. who has been helping patients for more than 20 years. Doctor Villalobos and Paul Gomez, O.D., will both stay with the practice and join L. Lothaire Bluth, M.D., a leading cataract surgeon in the Southwest, in providing medical eye care across New Mexico.

As the founder of Southwestern Eye Center, Dr. Bluth has developed one of the largest and most respected ophthalmology practices in the United States, celebrating 30 years in business. He has performed over 20 thousand cataract surgeries and is a strong believer that the best patient care occurs when the patient’s doctors are involved in every aspect of their health. Dr. Bluth accompanies Dr. Villalobos in being fluent in Spanish, which will help individuals of those areas that only speak that language.

With offices in Las Cruces, Santa Teresa and Deming, Southwestern Eye Center will provide more convenience for patients in need of cataract surgery and other areas of medical eye care in New Mexico. The Las Cruces office is located at 2030 South Solano Drive and the Santa Teresa location is at 1245 Country Club Road. Southwestern Eye Center has 23 additional locations in Arizona and is continuing to grow statewide with new practices and physicians. For more information about Southwestern Eye Center and its new practices, visit www.sweye.com or call (480) 892-8400.

SWEEP Provides Energy Efficiency Ideas for Arizona

Since its inception in 2001, The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, or SWEEP as it is more commonly known, has tried to find new and innovative ways that will advance energy efficiency in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Covering such topics as buildings and transportation efficiency programs, SWEEP mainly focuses on electric utility programs and the impact they can have on each state if they were to be adopted.

Recently, founder and executive director of SWEEP, Howard Geller, spoke to a group of industry professionals about the new study conducted by the company that analyzes “best practice” utility energy efficiency programs and their benefits not only for the Southwest, but more specifically how they benefit the state of Arizona.

In the new study, SWEEP introduces 18 new programs for residential, commercial and industrial customers based on “best practice” programs that are offered by leading utilities and other companies and each were selected to demonstrate maximized cost-effective energy savings by 2020. Some programs that Geller believes should be implemented are to provide affordable weatherization services to homes, allow buildings and homes to receive retrofitting services, provide education and incentives to both homes and companies for using energy-efficient lighting, to implement a program for refrigerator and freezer recycling and provide incentives for both homes and companies to install proper cooling and heating units. According to the study, investing in high-energy efficiency programs like the ones listed above will allow commercial and industrial companies to see an average cost of saved energy of 2.2 cents per kilowatt hours (kWH) and residential units to see an average cost of saved energy of 3.6 kWh.

With the implementation of these programs, in addition to the other programs included in the study, SWEEP believes that by the year 2020 the state of Arizona can see a net economic benefit of $7.3 billion. With these allocated resources, Arizona would have the opportunity to invest in more energy efficiency programs, resulting in the creation of 10,400 new jobs. In addition to the economic impact, the state of Arizona would see a large decrease in air pollutant emissions. Carbon dioxide emissions, which result from cars and power plants, would be reduced by 9.6 million metric tons per year by 2020. This is the equivalent to taking approximately 1.9 million passenger vehicles off the roads in Arizona. Other toxic gases such as nitrous oxide and sodium dioxide would have less of a presence in the atmosphere, resulting in fewer cases of chronic bronchitis and asthma, as well as fewer hospital admissions for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases throughout the Valley.

However, just like how the old saying “you gotta spend money to make money” goes, the cost of obtaining these benefits costs a pretty penny. Gellar suggests that Arizona, and the Southwest region as a whole, can one day see these amazing benefits if they are willing to invest $17 billion collectively. Despite this, SWEEP is confident that by the year 2020, the Southwest region could see up to $37 billion in utility and public health benefits, meaning that the region would see a net economic benefit of $20 billion. Gellar stated that the only way Arizona and the Southwest are going to see this “$20 billion dollar bonanza” would be to adopt energy savings goals, decouple utility fixed costs and electricity sales, reward performance of adopting the programs, maximize participation by increased funding for all programs and allow all utilities to be involved.

Arizona is currently in the lead in the Southwest region toward adopting more sustainable and energy efficient programs.

For more information on the study conducted by the Southwest Energy Efficient Project or to read the full report, visit http://www.20billionbonanza.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

104234506

Federal plan to streamline solar development in Arizona OK’d

Federal officials on Friday approved a plan that sets aside 285,000 acres of public land for the development of large-scale solar power plants, cementing a new government approach to renewable energy development in the West after years of delays and false starts.

The government is establishing 17 new “solar energy zones” on 285,000 acres in six states: California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. Most of the land — 153,627 acres — is in Southern California.

At a news conference in Las Vegas, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called the new plan a “roadmap … that will lead to faster, smarter utility-scale solar development on public lands.”

The plan replaces the department’s previous first-come, first-served system of approving solar projects, which let developers choose where they wanted to build utility-scale solar sites and allowed for land speculation.

The department no longer will decide projects on case-by-case basis as it had since 2005, when solar developers began filing applications. Instead, the department will direct development to land it has identified as having fewer wildlife and natural-resource obstacles.

The Obama administration has authorized 10,000 megawatts of solar, wind and geothermal projects that, when built, would provide enough energy to power more than 3.5 million homes, Salazar said.

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said the effort will help the U.S. stay competitive.

“There is a global race to develop renewable energy technologies — and this effort will help us win this race by expanding solar energy production while reducing permitting costs,” Chu said in a statement.

The new solar energy zones were chosen because they are near existing power lines, allowing for quick delivery to energy-hungry cities. Also, the chosen sites have fewer of the environmental concerns — such as endangered desert tortoise habitat — that have plagued other projects.

Environmental groups like the Nature Conservancy who had been critical of the federal government’s previous approach to solar development in the desert applauded the new plan.

“We can develop the clean, renewable energy that is essential to our future while protecting our iconic desert landscapes by directing development to areas that are more degraded,” said Michael Powelson, the conservancy’s North American director of energy programs.

Some solar developers who already are building projects were complimentary of the new approach, saying it will help diversify the country’s energy portfolio more quickly.

Still, some cautioned that the new plan could still get mired in the same pattern of delay and inefficiency that hampered previous efforts, and urged the government to continue pushing solar projects forward.

“The Bureau of Land Management must ensure pending projects do not get bogged down in more bureaucratic processes,” said Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Salazar said the country four years ago was importing 60 percent of its oil, and that today that number has dropped to 45 percent.

“We can see the energy independence of the United States within our grasp,” he said.

View of a California beach

Summertime Cool: For Temporary Relief From The Arizona Heat, Check Out These Neighboring Attractions

Summertime is fast approaching, and that means it’s time to plan a summer escape. Luckily, you don’t have to go far: the Southwest is full of fun, exciting destinations no matter what your vacation style. From the beaches of Southern California to the mountains of Colorado, there’s something for everyone right here in our own backyard.

Southern California
San Diego: As if San Diego’s 70 miles of coastline and reliably sunny weather weren’t enough, the city is also home to many museums, a world-renowned zoo, theme parks, famous golf courses and a lively theater scene, as well as great food, shopping and nightlife in the historic downtown quarter.
www.sandiego.org

Los Angeles: The question in Los Angeles is never what to do, but where to begin. Your choices include amusement parks, architectural landmarks, art museums and galleries, beaches, parks, hiking and shopping — just to name a few. A region of great diversity, you’ll discover a world of culinary adventures. After the sun goes down, you’ll find there’s an abundance of nightlife options, including live music and comedy provided by performers both legendary and yet-to-be-discovered.
www.discoverlosangeles.com

Santa Monica: Drop a line at Santa Monica Pier. Sure you’ll find rides and restaurants, but the pier is a great place for fishing, with bait and tackle available. Experience it and you’ll understand why it continues to be a location favored by still photographers and film crews who use the pier extensively as a backdrop for magazine layouts, movies, television shows, commercials and videos.
www.santamonica.com

Northern California
San Francisco: San Francisco is considered one of the greatest cities in the world for many things, including five-star dining and a happening theater scene. Beyond the 50-square-mile city in the surrounding Bay Area, there’s much more to explore — including Silicon Valley’s innovations, Marin’s Headlands, the Napa Valley’s vineyards and Berkeley’s free spirit.
www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com

San Jose: You don’t really know San Jose until you explore some of its unforgettable attractions; from its earliest adobes to a mysterious mansion, and innovative museums. Nearby small towns make for rewarding day trips from Campbell and Mountain View to Los Gatos and Saratoga. San Jose is a gateway to some of the most amazing sights in California, from wine country to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Spend a day or a week and begin to unlock the area’s secrets.
www.sanjose.org
CALIFORNIA SOURCE: The California Travel & Tourism Commission, www.visitcalifornia.com

Nevada
Las Vegas: This is a city that needs no introduction. With its top-of-the-line resorts, shopping, dining, exciting entertainment and nightlife, Las Vegas has earned its place as one of the world’s premier tourist destinations. Nevada’s largest city has long outgrown its adult playground moniker, and is no longer just a gambling mecca.
SOURCE: Nevada Commission on Tourism, www.visitlasvegas.com

Utah
Salt Lake City: Utah’s capital and gateway to the state’s renowned ski resorts, scenic national parks and recreational areas. Salt Lake is a well-known ski destination, having hosted the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Skiers continue to flock here to enjoy world-class facilities and the “greatest snow on earth.” The historic Mormon Temple Square is a popular tourist attraction, and the city also offers lively entertainment and nightlife.
SOURCE: Utah Travel Industry Website, www.visitsaltlake.com

Provo: Just an hour south of Salt Lake City on Interstate 15, there is a section of the state called Utah Valley. The area is home to Provo, Utah’s second largest city. To the west of Provo lies Utah Lake, and to the east of the city stands a towering range of mountains called the Wasatch Front.
www.provo.org
SOURCE: Utah Travel Industry Website, www.utah.com

Colorado
Denver: Urban sophistication meets outdoor adventure in the Mile High City. With 300 days of sunshine, a walkable downtown, thriving art and cultural scenes — with the Rockies as a backdrop — Denver offers affordable exploration of the world’s most spectacular playground.
SOURCE: Denver Convention and Visitors Bureau, www.denver.org

New Mexico
Albuquerque: The true Southwest lives in New Mexico. Immerse yourself in rich culture and heritage, rooted in centuries of history. Soak in blue skies and sun that shines 310 days a year — perfect for outdoor activities. Breathe in the high desert air scented with sage and piñon, and you’ll understand why the area is a destination like no other.
SOURCE: Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau, www.itsatrip.org

Leigh Anne Zinsmeister contributed to this report.