NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – On Wednesday, the New Mexico Economic Department reports that since signing an agreement to open its first U.S. production hub in New Mexico, Netflix has spent over $150 million in the state. Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia Keyes also announced Netflix has hired more than 1,600 cast and crew members and have utilized over 2,000 production vendors in the state.

In January 2019, the streaming giant which is based in Los Gatos, California signed an agreement that allowed Netflix to purchase Albuquerque Studios and promised $1 billion in production spending over the next 10 years. In return, the State of New Mexico and City of Albuquerque would provide economic development assistance.

“Netflix has already made a splash. They have exceeded their commitment to the state, demonstrating their belief in New Mexico as a hotspot for production and growth and underscoring our ability as a state to provide the talented workforce needed to keep our film and television industry on the rise,” said Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in a press release. “I couldn’t be more excited to see what comes next.

The state’s Film Incentive Tax Credit has provided studios and production companies with rebates up to 30% of qualified production spending with an extra 5% rebate for projects working in rural areas. The state Economic Development Department also lists its experienced crew base, studio and stage spaces, and abundant sunshine as reasons the state has become one of the best locations in the film, television, and media industry.

“New Mexico has made great strides in positioning itself as a leading production center for the Southwest and is home to a welcoming business community and an outstanding crew base with experience across all types of productions,” said Ty Warren, VP of Physical Production at Netflix said in a press release. “We’re thrilled to have put down roots here with the acquisition of ABQ Studios in Albuquerque and looking forward to continuing our relationship with the state well into the future.”

Netflix, in partnership with New Mexico and NBCUniversal, will be launching a training program for below-the-line production positions to serve the state’s film industry. Both Netflix and NBCUniversal have pledged to donate $55,000 each per year over the next 10 years to support the program.

Netflix has also announced their original film, “The Harder They Fall” will start production in New Mexico in March. The western will follow the story of an outlaw who discovers the man who killed his parents is being released from prison and reunites with his gang seeking revenge.

The production stars Idris Elba and Jonathan Majors with Jay-Z, James Lassiter, Lawrence Bender, and Jeymes Samuel producing the film. The movie will be filmed at local ranches and around Santa Fe County.

The Economic Development Department reports last year, Netflix generated over $150 million in qualified production spending across multiple productions which include “Army of the Dead,” “Daybreak,” “Chambers,” “Messiah,” and “El Camino”. The company also used the services of 2,000 vendors during 2019 productions with over 1,600 cast and crew members working 17,998 days.