AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - For the first time, the Republican Party of New Mexico will host their retreat outside state lines, and have chosen Amarillo as the destination.
The retreat will take place May 14 through the 16 at the Embassy Suites downtown. The location change is due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place in New Mexico.
New Mexico currently limits mass gatherings to less than 150 people. But, since they are expecting over 400 attendees, that was not going to work.
So, they reached out to Amarillo, which the chairman says was more approachable than any other place they had tried.
“We felt very comfortable here, it is easy to get here from New Mexico, at the end of the day when we saw this facility, we were able to book that many people in the ballroom and the other facilities, have them cater the meals, it was the total package and this is a brand-new building, everything looked good,” said Steve Pearce, chairman for the Republican Party of New Mexico.
The Amarillo mayor says this event will help keep the momentum around the city’s economic growth by bringing tourism dollars to local restaurants, businesses and hotels.
“Not to mention the fact that Amarillo becomes a stage for national conversation,” said Amarillo Mayor, Ginger Nelson “If we have these VIP’s coming in to talk about ideas, whether you agree politically one way or the other, it is good for Amarillo to be part of the national conversation for the things that are happening in our country.”
She adds their work with handling COVID-19 is now allowing events like these to happen.
“The fact that the citizens here in Amarillo came and got their vaccines, allows us to be open and that is good for our business,” said Nelson.
The Republican retreat called ‘Operation Freedom’ will have workshops, presentations, and speakers such as the governor of South Dakota and U.S representative for Ohio.
Pearce says the tickets will first be available for New Mexicans but they do expect to have space for locals to also attend.
“There is an opportunity in the afternoon for residents to see them up close and be at the event so local business men are going to be hosting. One will be hosting for Kristi Noem and one hosting for Jim Jordan,” said Pearce.
We did reach out to the New Mexico Governor’s Office for their reaction on this event leaving the state, but did not receive a response.