Robbie Franco wanted to share his joy of riding bicycles with Carlsbad through his new business, the Zia Bike & Board Shop.
Franco said he began riding bikes as a child, but became a serious rider about three years ago when he picked it up as a form of exercise.
“I grew up riding bikes. Now it’s more trail riding or going to the Beach or going to the hills,” Franco said.
“Carlsbad’s needed a place like this for a while, especially during the pandemic everyone started getting into bikes. Skateboards have been around for years and years just like biking but this community didn’t have any place to take bikes to fix them or to get new parts. I figured I’d bring this to the community.”
Located at 115 S. Canyon St. in downtown Carlsbad, the shop held an official ribbon cutting and grand opening May 20 as part of the Carlsbad MainStreet’s Third Thursday initiative.
The event signaled a resurgence of economic activity in the City of Carlsbad, and embodied the spirit of the renewed New Mexico True campaign, an program which promotes New Mexico’s recreational and tourism treasurers through advertising, state officials said.
On May 11 the New Mexico Department of Tourism announced the campaign would be live by the end of May.
New Mexico True efforts shifted during 2020 to promote in-state travel, as the state grappled with the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide travel restrictions. With the easing of travel restrictions, officials said it was time to once again promote New Mexico as a tourism destination.
“Our big priority now is making sure that we start that marketing machine up again so we can start advertising,” Cody Johnson, the Public Information Officer for the Tourism Department said.
“There’s a funnel. All destination marketers are trying to bring people in to. The trip-planning process takes time. Even though we’re not at June 30 and haven’t reached that 60 percent threshold of eligible New Mexicans who have been vaccinated the State is confident in that timeline. We believe it’s time to start that campaign so by the time we reach June 30 we’re ready to go.”
The campaign returns with a focus on outdoor activities and travel by vehicle, rather than airplane, in to and throughout the state.
“We’re still about adventure steeped in culture. It’s still what New Mexico True is about,” Johnson said.
“Now post-COVID a lot of what people will see is about space and outdoors. People will see stuff around fall foliage, outdoor spaces, dark skies, camping and being out in space. That’s the vibe we’re trying to deliver for folks who are looking for their next trip.”
Zia Bike & Board Shop checks all the boxes in the renewed campaign, Franco said as his vision was for the shop to become a one-stop place for outdoor activities.
The shop’s bike inventory includes road, mountain, hybrid, electric, balance, children’s bikes and children’s electric bikes. Skateboards, longboards, soft and hard paddle boards are also available and the shop carries accessories, clothing and safety equipment such as helmets and pads. Roller skates and rollerblades are not available at the shop.
Franco said the shop is deep cleaned every night and the high-activity areas in the shop are sanitized continuously.
For those who prefer to still do things online, the shop’s website allows customers to purchase gear or bikes and can schedule appointments or have a representative answer any questions they have.
For additional information, visit ziabikeandboardshop.com.
Matthew Asher can be reached at 575-628-5524, [email protected] or @Caveman_Masher on Twitter.