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Focus on Carlsbad Fall 2020 | Carlsbad MainStreet Director’s Note


Get your MainStreet on!

Our economy’s roller-coaster has been an interesting ride with our ever-changing industry standards and statistics, prices, and production. Droughts and floods changed our land affecting our rivers, our farming, and ranching. The changes that follow when incidents happen bring new people to our community while, unfortunately, causing others to leave. Tourism survives during the ebbs and waves (they’re bigger than tides) of the government shutdown and a pandemic. Our community together remains strong through feasts and famines. The heart of our community, Carlsbad MainStreet, will continue to beat for years to come.

Buying gift cards, ordering take out, generously tipping waitstaff, shopping locally, hiring locally, charitably donating, and writing a good review will help keep our economy strong.

Each of us is an essential part of the strong fibers that weave us together, strengthening our community’s connection. We should applaud the community members who, over twenty years ago, recognized the vital role downtown plays in the heart of our community. I was honored to be given the opportunity to serve as the Executive Director of this wonderful program for the last five years. At last, the dream of building a gazebo on the courthouse lawn has come true after years of dreaming, planning, dueling piano-ing, crying, sweating, and begging. The best story of my reign at MainStreet happened one day in a meeting with three of my board members as we conceptualized a crazy idea for a new city event. 

We talked about all the possibilities; we knew what we wanted to do in less than an hour. We wanted live bands, music all day, sidewalk sales, mariachi and barbershop quartet, vendors, food trucks, bounce houses, face painting, and so much more. 

Our enthusiasm blinded our inexperience. Presenting potential sponsors with the idea that nobody had seen in Carlsbad wasn’t easy. Thanks to many sponsors, including the city of Carlsbad, on June 11, 2016, less than seven months after the crazy idea, we hosted MainStreet’s first annual CavernFest. Seeing our community working together so diligently was incredible, seeing the community and tourist enjoying the event was exuberant.

The MainStreet Project continues to gain momentum and is rising to new heights; in other words, "GAME ON."

As I turn the page into the next chapter of my life, I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to serve our community through the heart of our community, Carlsbad MainStreet. I will cherish and plan to foster the friendships that have developed over the years. I will miss the MainStreet monthly family gatherings (board meetings) and visits with the downtown merchants and business owners. I will never forget the support given by the city of Carlsbad during events and Eddy County for the use of the courthouse lawn. A copious appreciation goes to all of the generous sponsors that provided the means necessary for MainStreets endeavors’ success.

I embrace the opportunity given to me as I begin my next chapter. Serving as the Marketing Manager at CEHMM, I look forward to cultivating your interest and increasing awareness about our programs. CEHMM is a wonderfully diverse 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation focused on conservation and environmental services, with a mission to protect human health and the environment.

The theme of this issue of Focus Magazine, “Game On,” can be interpreted in many ways. Utilizing information from previous directors along with the guidance of the Board of Directors, the new Executive Director will offer a fresh perspective and energy as well as new ideas! The MainStreet Project continues to gain momentum and is rising to new heights; in other words, “GAME ON.”

It is exciting to pass the baton to the new MainStreet Executive Director, Ashly Key. Serving on the MainStreet Board of Directors as Co-Chair on the Economic Vitality Committee, she has demonstrated her passion for Carlsbad and the success of the program. 

Past successes of the program have been noted, current pieces are being composed, and strategies for the program’s future are aligned to create a beautiful masterpiece.

Karla Hamel Niemeier

Article written by Karla Hamel Niemeier and originally published in Focus on Carlsbad 2020 Fall edition.

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