ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – This past weekend, Mayor Tim Keller delivered his State of the City address, covering an array of different topics that look toward the future of what residents can expect in 2020. CABQ Economic Development marketing and communications manager Jennifer Esquivel and Albuquerque Film Office Liason Amber Dodson visit the set to recap the State of the City as far as the Economic Development and Film Office go.
Amber explains that in terms of film, this past year has been unprecedented for the city of Albuquerque.
“We had record-breaking productions spend in the city and the state. In the city, we had approximately $225 million in production spent last year. We’ve never seen that,” said Amber. “We also had record-breaking permit numbers.”
Amber recalls that 448 permits were issued last year, making it the largest amount issued in the 15-year history of the permit office. Productions are also hiring hundreds of local crews further expanding the city’s economic growth.
“So essentially, each production hires hundreds of people. And with our film incentive, the more New Mexico crew that a production hires, the higher their rebate so they’re very incentivized to hire locally,” said Amber.
She goes on to say that “Army of the Dead”, a Netflix feature that has just wrapped up production in the city, hired 501 New Mexico crew members plus 2,000 plus background actors for the movie.
Jennifer explains that equates to huge numbers for the city saying that in 2019, the City of Albuquerque reached pre-recession unemployment numbers at 4.3% in November. In addition to the film industry, the city signed four new Local Economic Development Act projects which will bring in over 1,200 jobs in the next couple of years.