The ABQ Trolley Co. is growing again — and that means venturing beyond its hometown for the first time.
The tour company known for its Best of ABQ and “Breaking Bad”-themed adventures is adding some rides next month under the new “NM Xcursions” brand, including an all-day tour of Santa Fe. The company has consistently grown and diversified its programs since owners Jesse Herron and Mike Silva started in 2009, but this marks the first time it has worked outside the Duke City.
“We feel we have a good grasp on Albuquerque; I think going up to Santa Fe and surrounding areas is the next logical step,” Herron said, noting that the owners are responding to existing demand. “We get people who email us and call us and are asking if we do tours to Santa Fe or if we go to Bandelier or the Tram; it’s just been a few years of taking those questions to get to the point of doing something about it.”
ABQ Trolley Co. is now considered a division of Albuquerque Tourism & Sightseeing Factory, the larger enterprise it spawned and which now also encompasses a party-bike service, bike taxis and two local walking tours. Herron expects the company to serve 15,000 customers this year, up about 20 percent from 2015. AT&SF employs 11, including the owners but not including a few contract workers.
The company’s 2015 purchase of an 11-passenger Mercedes van dubbed ABQ Trolley X made the NM Xcursions possible, Herron said. The van can handle what he calls “small-batch” and more specialized tours, and gives Albuquerque leisure travelers a way to get to and experience places like Santa Fe without having to be part of a motorcoach-scale touring group.
The trolley company’s first foray into the City Different is called “Not Your Father’s Santa Fe,” a $99, all-day outing that includes a visit to buzzed-about art installation House of Eternal Return at Meow Wolf and lunch at Duel Brewing Co.
Other announced NM Xcursions include an evening trip from Old Town to Sandia Peak Aieral Tramway and back (a $25 round trip called “TRAMsporter”) and a full-day “Kicks on Route 66” adventure.
The company plans to keep adding to the lineup, including some multi-day tours later this year.