On Wednesday, the City Council will consider a request to spend between $50,000 and $100,000 from Tourism Santa Fe’s reserve budget in an effort to attract the popular ABC-TV dating show to town to film one of next season’s episodes.
The New Mexico Department of Tourism has already agreed to a letter of intent to commit $50,000 to the effort.
Randy Randall, Tourism Santa Fe’s executive director, said a cost-sharing offer has already been made to the show, subject to City Council approval. He said that if the city is serious about developing a relationship with “The Bachelor,” it can’t be shy about it. Instead, it needs to be an assertive suitor.
“Timing is critical,” he said, adding that filming would take place for 20 days in October. “We get these kinds of opportunities from time to time and they require some quick turnaround.”
A Santa Fe hotel would also be a participant, providing rooms and meals to cast and crew.
Randall said at least two hotels have expressed interest in providing 20 to 100 rooms per night during the filming.
“The Bachelor,” which debuted on ABC in 2002, revolves around an eligible bachelor who, over the course of a season, goes on a series of dates to narrow his choice of a potential bride from a pool of 25 women down to one. Each episode generally ends with a “rose ceremony,” during which the man presents roses to those women he’s still interested in pursuing.
Near the end of each season, “The Bachelor” travels to an exotic location with three finalists for a series of one-on-one dates. At the end of each date, he may offer the woman the keys to a “fantasy suite,” where the two spend the night out of sight of the intrusive cameras.
Randall said it costs producers about $300,000 to film an episode and up to $50,000 would be spent on “activities.”
“It could be hot-air balloons, a private dinner with a personal chef or river rafting,” he said. “It would be something having to do with what the area is known for and something we do well.”
The presentation Randall will put on for the City Council on Wednesday includes testimonials from hotel and tourism officials from all over the world.
“The effects are instantaneous with the airing of the show, but also have a dramatically long life span,” reported Lee Banks, owner of Costa Rica’s The Springs Resort in Spa, in the materials prepared for the council. “We received over 40,000 emails requesting information and immediate reservations within the first 48 hours of the show’s airing.”
Randall said “The Bachelor” gains additional exposure from shows such as “Access Hollywood,” “Entertainment Tonight” and talk shows, and in print and online media.
In addition, it is the top broadcast show mentioned on Twitter on Mondays when it airs, has more than 1 million Facebook likes and is the No. 1 show on ABC for women in the 18-34 demographic.
“If we’re able to confirm this filming opportunity, it would be great for the city,” Randall said. “It would show that Santa Fe is a destination for all ages by highlighting our venues. It’s a great opportunity for Santa Fe to get expanded awareness.”