The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines HOSPITALITY as hospitable treatment, reception, or disposition. The activity or business of providing services to guests.

Whether we are inviting people to visit the Grant County area to share the weather, the sites, or the way of life that we enjoy… we should always try to be hospitable and friendly toward them. Rather than asking "Why on Earth would you come here?", we should be saying "Thank you for choosing to visit southwest New Mexico!".

For some reason, visitors are making the decision to travel to our little spot at 6000 feet in elevation. Thus, we should be very thankful that they have made such a decision. Each visitor brings fresh money to our area. Each visitor unknowingly helps our local businesses retain workers. Sometimes these visitors help investors make the decision to create new jobs in our communities. So, HOSPITALITY should be very important for a region like ours.

When we think about jobs created by tourism, we usually think of hospitality jobs. I'm certain you know what I mean. We think of waitresses, busboys, maid service at the hotels, you know… those kind of jobs that are providing a direct service to guests. Yet there are many other types of skilled jobs that can come from tourism and the hospitality industry.

For instance, if the Town of Silver City were to vote to allow side-by-side vehicles to be driven on the local streets, we might find a business person willing to open a store that sells side-by-side vehicles and provides repair services. That business would need to hire salespeople, possibly office staff and they would undoubtedly hire quality, certified mechanics. Right now there's not a great an incentive to open such a business, but if the future changes… well, who knows what might happen? Some business will need to be around to change the knobby off-road tires to smoother street tires. And what if this vision grows and someone begins a service to provide side-by-side trail rides in the Gila National Forest and on BLM land. As long as it is legal on the trails… why not? Gosh… Moab, Utah attracts people from around the world for those kind of adventures, so why couldn't it happen here? And to think, it could begin by the Town of Silver City making a single decision about the legal use of side-by-side vehicles.

I think everyone would agree that HOSPITALITY comes in many forms and fashions. Many tourists make their decisions to visit a certain place or region due to the amenities or the hospitality services available. At the Chamber of Commerce office, we are questioned daily about what people can do, what people can see, what people can find, and what people can experience when they visit our region of New Mexico.

We are always happy to tell visitors that we are darn proud to see you… what can we do to help you have a great visit to the area?

Whether we are hosting July 4 activities or the Silver City Wine Festival… or we are helping set up a Quilt Festival or the Gem and Mineral Show… or maybe we are just putting visitor information in the hands of a family that is still trying to decide where to go on their vacation… what we do is about service to our chamber members and service to our guests… HOSPITALITY.

If you have questions or comments, call the Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce at (575) 538-3785 or visit www.silvercity.org. Of course, you are always invited to stop by our office in the Grant County Conference Center.

Live from Silver City

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