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Essential Guide under new ownership

Kelly Haug is the new owner of The Essential Guide, an annual publication that highlights Santa Fe and Taos. (Courtesy The Essential Guide)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

The Essential Guide, an annual publication that highlights the arts, architecture, culture, fashion, history and lifestyle of Santa Fe and Taos, has changed hands.

New owner Kelly Haug said she will not only continue publishing the guide, but also plans to revive the currently defunct Santa Fean magazine.

“With the addition of a few new members, the Essential Guide team will begin re-establishing the bimonthly Santa Fean as a go-to publication that celebrates the city’s unique culture, events and diverse history,” a news release said.

The Santa Fean ceased publication late last year after being in existence since 1972.

Haug bought The Essential Guide brand – which also publishes local versions in the Pacific northwest, Napa Valley and the Charleston, South Carolina/Savannah, Georgia market – from Trish and Chip Byrd. The Byrds owned the 32-year-old guide for the last 14 years, and said the brand is in good hands with Haug, a “rising star” in Santa Fe’s business community.

“You can expect a seamless transition and the same high-quality content, along with fresh, new touches Kelly will bring to the enterprise,” they said in a statement.

Trish and Chip Byrd, who owned the 32-year-old Essential Guide for the last 14 years. Courtesy image.

Trish Byrd will stay on as brand advisor for both the guide and the Santa Fean, and the current staff will remain intact.

Haug and husband Martin, who have daughters ages 3 and 7, settled in Santa Fe in 2018. She formed two publishing companies – SF Publishing LLC and City Different LLC – earlier this year.

“I fell in love with Santa Fe’s art, architecture, food, customs and people the first time my husband brought me to his hometown,” Haug wrote in a news release. “My goal is to help The Essential Guide readers experience what makes Northern New Mexico unique.”


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