ALBUQUERQUE — Albuquerque received quite a boost as it hosted the 2017 New Mexico Senior Olympics. The estimated economic impact was around $1.2 Million.
The New Mexico Senior Olympics and Visit Albuquerque estimated the State Summer Games held July 19-23, generated approximately $1.2 million in direct spending in local hotels, restaurants, retailers and other local businesses. Visit Albuquerque, the non-profit organization charged with marketing the Albuquerque as a convention and tourism destination, worked with the New Mexico Senior Olympics to promote this year’s 39th Annual State Summer Games. It was the first time the State Summer Games have been held in Albuquerque since 2006.
Cecilia Acosta, the executive director of the New Mexico Senior Olympics, said 1,141 athletes signed up to participate in 27 individual sports, more than 600 volunteers helped organize and stage the games, and approximately 1,000 spectators watched during the five-day event. In addition to New Mexico athletes, 37 athletes from out of state participated from as far away as Hawaii and Connecticut.
The State Summer Games were free to spectators and events were held all over the city, spreading the economic impact from the University of New Mexico to the West Side to Balloon Fiesta Park. Next July, the 40th Annual New Mexico Senior Olympics State Summer Games will also be held in Albuquerque. The 2018 State Summer games will serve as qualifiers for participation in the National Senior Olympics, which will be held in Albuquerque in 2019. The National Senior Olympics Summer Games will attract as many as 10,000 50-plus athletes to Albuquerque.
This year’s event that drew the most participants were Track & Field with 276 athletes; individual and team bowling with 283 athletes; pickleball with 116 athletes; and swimming with 85 athletes and cycling with 84. Shuffleboard drew 138 participants.
Athletes represented more than 25 counties in New Mexico, and more than 14 pueblos and tribes. Athletes competed in five-year age divisions. Ethel Trimmer of Santa Fe was one of three athletes to compete in the 95-plus age division.
New Mexico Senior Olympics, Inc. is funded in part by the N M Aging and Long Term Services for health promotion activities. NMSO is a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization headquartered in Roswell, NM. Contributing partners included Humana, Visit ABQ, Blue Cross, Sore No More, Jubilee, Stryker, AARP, Molina Healthcare, Tivity Health, Lovelace, NM Department of Health, City of Albuquerque and Sonic. For more information on State Senior Olympic Summer Games call or visit NMSO at http://www.nmseniorsolympics.org.