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After being closed by the raging pandemic for months, the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa was brought back to life by the filming of the current season of “The Bachelorette.”
“(Having the production at the resort) helped me bring back 80% of the staff,” said Claudia Wattenberg, general manager at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa. “They allowed me to bring back my team and I wanted them to be here. We were closed in January and February and we wouldn’t have opened with the lack of demand. We were relying on the out-of-state driving market and it wasn’t happening. It was very restrictive until July 1.”
The current season – the reality series’ 17th – premiered June 7 on ABC. This season follows “bachelorette” Katie Thurston on her quest for love.
Since its premiere, the series has hovered at just under 4 million viewers and easily is at the top of the advertiser coveted 18-49 demographic each week.
According to Variety, in 2018 it cost $153,096 for a 30-second ad on “The Bachelorette.”
Wattenberg said the national exposure has been a blessing for the property, which is located on Santa Ana Pueblo. Production took place for two months earlier this year.
“For nine weeks, our property will be seen by millions,” she said. “We couldn’t pay for this type of exposure.”
The direct effect is the Tamaya is booked weekends through August and there is a significant increase in people looking at it for wedding and engagement parties.
“This is huge for Hyatt,” Wattenberg said. “We’re one of the leading brands and to have one of our resorts, it’s been fantastic to showcase not only the resort but New Mexico and most importantly, Santa Ana Pueblo.”
According to the New Mexico Tourism Department, film tourism is listed as a “special interest” activity for an estimated 10% of New Mexico visitors in 2019.
“This doesn’t mean that a film location was the reason someone made a trip to New Mexico, but it does indicate that while on their trip, 10% of visitors reported that they found an opportunity to engage in some sort of ‘film tourism’ activity,” said Cody Johnson, New Mexico Tourism Department spokesman.
Wattenberg said interest in the resort began to pick up when the location was leaked via Twitter in February.
Amber Dodson, New Mexico Film Office director, said having the production film in New Mexico has a positive impact in the state.
“Viewers from around the globe are tuning in each week and seeing the incredibly beautiful scenery at the Tamaya Resort on the Santa Ana Pueblo,” Dodson said. “The production shot during the pandemic maintaining a COVID-safe bubble. This in turn generated revenue for Native-owned businesses and the Tamaya, that was otherwise experiencing unprecedented financial hardships.”