SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Relief could soon be on the way for tourists near the Plaza in “The City Different” as the Public Works Department introduces a preliminary plan to install a public restroom.
“To fulfill a long-standing need we’ve had for public restroom facilities,” said Tourism Santa Fe Executive Director Randy Randall.
Randall said the historic district has never had a public restroom, which was a surprise to visitors.
“I was shocked,” claimed Michael Wright of Texas. “I was bewildered, stunned and actually to be quite candid, I was flummoxed.”
It’s been a burden on nearby hotels and businesses, and the city wants to improve its tourist-friendly image.
“The problem is the plaza was designed many, many years ago and finding a way to integrate restroom facilities and today’s needs become a little bit more difficult,” Randall explained.
Randall said an opportunity presented itself as the city gets ready to widen Sheridan for a transportation center project.
That would make more room at the southeast corner of Sheridan Street and Palace Avenue for the so-called Santa Fe Loo, one block west of the Plaza’s northwest corner.
A memo from the facilities division describes the $130,000 investment for two toilets, sinks and other amenities in one large stainless steel unit to be shipped from Oregon-based company Portland Loo.
Randall said most of the cost would come from federal funding.
The idea is already making a big splash among visitors.
“It’s always a nice feature. You know, it’s always a nice thing to have happen in a town,” said visitor Rob Taylor. “You know, if you have to use the loo, you have to use the loo.”
The proposal still has to go through the finance committee then get approval from city council.
It’s too soon to know when the loo might be installed.