The Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce and the City of Carlsbad are still receiving complaints from visitors attempting to tour Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Earlier in the year, the issue at the parks was related to long lines – people were coming to visit and then having to wait for several hours only to sometimes find out that they weren’t able to make it into the cavern due to the limited number of people allowed in each day because of COVID-19 restrictions.
The Caverns changed its rules in March to a program requiring online reservations. This helped in that people who made reservations knew what to expect. However, this has caused its own set of problems, as some people are driving to Carlsbad not knowing that online reservations are required and then, after they get here, finding out that the spots have already been taken. We also understand that the phone lines to the park have been down.
We know everyone has been trying to balance returning operations to normal with pandemic safety concerns, but our COVID-19 numbers have been extremely low for several months now. We believe it is time that our national park amend its policies to a more accommodating policy allowing more visitors into the cavern each day. Tourism is a vital part of our local economy, and we want everyone who comes to Carlsbad to have a positive experience.
On Tuesday, we had a great visit from officials with BayoTech Inc., a company who develops and manufactures hydrogen generation plants. Members of the BayoTech group delivered an informative presentation about their facility in Albuquerque, and we had an informative discussion about whether these services might work well in Carlsbad and Southeast New Mexico. We had members of the potash community, WIPP and the oil and gas industry participate in the discussion, as well as Xcel Energy and other key stakeholders. We are supportive of an “all of the above” approach to energy and industry in Carlsbad, which could include hydrogen.
Thanks again to BayoTech respresentatives Viswanath Krishnamoorthy, Michael Koonce, Stewart Stewart and Andrea Edmonds for visiting us in Carlsbad. John Heaton and Roger Nelson played a very important role in organizing the discussion as well. Thank you again to Senator Heinrich’s office for helping set up this visit and to Boutique Air for helping with travel arrangements.
Our local college is working hard in making the transition into the independent Southeast New Mexico College. We want this to be a community process. They are asking for your ideas in the design of a new logo. Please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5YHFJLM to complete the survey.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway