New app showcases eight itineraries that make up the Santa Fe experience - Albuquerque Journal

New app showcases eight itineraries that make up the Santa Fe experience

Visitors to Rancho de Chimayo enjoy a meal. (Courtesy of Santa Fe County)

In the ever-changing landscape of delivering travel information to potential visitors from both near and far, Santa Fe County has launched a smart-phone based app that will allow users to tap into a wide-range of information.

“The idea is to get more people out in the county, both visitors and residents,” said Chris Hyer, Santa Fe County economic development manager. “There is so much culture and so much history in the county that people really don’t go to visit. If it’s in your backyard, you don’t go.”

The Santa Fe County Experience app, which is still evolving, he said, provides itineraries for various types of visitor experiences county-wide.

“I am amazed at how many beautiful vistas there are to see in our own backyard,” Hyer said. “How many cool places. Understanding the history that’s right here around is something that people should know about. There are lots of reasons why we live here and the more we learn about the history of it, places to go, what makes this place to impressive, the more pride you’ll have in where you live.”

The idea started about five years ago when the county created a local trails app.

“It showed a map of all trails, but is also had a GPS locator that you didn’t need WIFI to access,” Hyer said. “So you could find your position on trails, elevation profiles, conditions of the trail and so you know where you are and what’s coming up.”

That was so successful that the county expanded it to include an outdoor adventures app, he said.

“It was geared towards activities you can do outside,” Hyer said. “Whether going for a hike or a mountain bike ride or skiing, snowshoeing, it was an app that tells you where locations are, how to participate in those activities, where to park, fees, hours of operation. It gave you more of an idea of what’s available.”

The idea, he said, that while shopping the Plaza is a wonderful experience, the area offers so many other opportunities.

“After a while, after you’ve gone to all the stores, you’re wondering what else is there to do,” Hyer said.

Now there’s an app that fills that gap, he said.

“We put it all into a super app,” Hyer said. “We have eight itineraries currently and we’re going to make five more to give visitors and residents alike ideas of how to explore the county.”

A visitor enjoys Nambe Falls, one of the sites featured on Santa Fe County’s new app designed to help people enjoy the county’s many excursions. (Courtesy of Santa Fe County)

The current itineraries include:

• Ale & Spirits Trail

• Exploring the Turquoise Trail

• Pathways Through Paradise

• Trails Through Time

• Where Traditions Run Deep

• Parks & Monuments

• A Feast of Elevated Flavors

• Local Favorite Trails to Hike and Bike

“It covers the total Santa Fe County experience and it’s going to have other things in it, like public art locations, movie shooting locations, where certain films were shot,” Hyer said. “We’re also going to include a buy local campaign. With the buy local campaign, we’re going to have collecting points for the user and it will eventually reward them with Santa Fe County swag, like T-shirts or hats.”

Local web design company Mindshare Labs created the original app and built the new one, and local contributors provided the content, which the county will continually update, all costing less than $50,000, Hyer said, in the hope that it provides significant local bang for the buck.

“The idea is to go see something you haven’t seen before,” he said. “That’s the whole idea of having an experience and this gives you a few ideas and helps you identify some of the things to look for.”

The app is available for free at the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

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