CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – Restaurants across the state were ordered to stop serving customers inside their businesses. One southeast New Mexico community says that doesn’t work for them. It’s not about defying the health order, it’s about the heat. “We hope that the governor will see it and that she will realize how urgent this is for our businesses,” said Craig Stephens.
The Carlsbad Department of Development decided to try and help their local restaurants that could not adapt to the current health order by creating a resolution calling for the governor to re-evaluate the order. Restaurants can serve guests outside but that is the problem. The temperatures in the area are well over 100 degrees.
“Down here in southeastern New Mexico we have some special conditions and things that, have exacerbated that not everybody can just go out and say eat outdoors or hook their restaurant up to drive through or dine out that’s not always feasible,” said John Waters, executive director for the Carlsbad Department of Development.
The Department of Development said it is too hot for anyone to sit outside at a restaurant. They are asking the governor to let restaurants serve people inside to avoid the heat. In the public health order, they pointed out that outside restaurants the temperature can reach 118 degrees claiming that makes outdoor eating unhealthy.
Jannie Balzano, the owner of Trinity Hotel who defied the order of the governor, part of that reason says the shutdown is killing their business. “Well, more importantly, sir, I have 41 employees and 41 families that ends up being about 173 human beings that this effects,” said Balzano.
The other restaurants said they did not want to go on camera. They are too afraid of retaliation from the state. However, they do say no one will come to sit outside in this heat.
The Carlsbad Development Department said they have sent the resolution directly to the governor’s office asking her that southeast New Mexico get viewed differently than the rest of the state because of the excessive heat.