March 15, 2013

'Breaking Bad' brings tourists to Albuquerque

Russell Contreras / The Associated Press

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This image released by AMC shows Bryan Cranston as Walter White at the fictional restaurant "Los Pollos Hermanos" in a scene from season 2 of the AMC series "Breaking Bad." A Twisters burrito restaurant in Albuquerque that serves as the location for the restaurant has become an international tourist attraction.

AP

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FILE - In this Aug. 20, 2012 file photo, Debbie Ball, 60, owner of The Candy Lady store in Albuquerque, N.M., displays her new line of "meth candy" made from sugar rock candy. The store supplied some of its "meth candy" to be used as a prop for the blue crystal meth on the TV hit series "Breaking Bad." As �Breaking Bad� finishes filming its fifth and final season in Albuquerque, the popularity of the show is providing a boost to the economy and creating a dilemma for local tourism officials as they walk the fine line of profiting from a show that centers around drug trafficking, addiction and violence. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras, File)

AP

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"It's raised the visibility of the city," said Armenta. "They are intrigued by the scenic images that they see."

Still, tourism officials and business owners are quick to point out that they are walking a fine line in trying not to promote the dark themes from "Breaking Bad." But their pride in the show taking place in Albuquerque — and the money that it brings in — is often enough to offset their concerns.

Ball said the show doesn't glorify the drug war but rather educates the public on its dangers.

"Watch it with your children. Yes, it's dark," said Ball. "It actually educates you about meth, about making it and what actually happens to you when you walk down that road."

The show's themes prompted Miguel Jaramillo, 28, and Kim Shay, 38, both of Albuquerque, to take their own tour of the "Breaking Bad" sites around town during a recent afternoon.

While at the Crossroads Motel, known on the show as a den for meth use and prostitution, Jaramillo took photos with a smartphone and uploaded them to his Instagram account. In a day's time, the pair had visited more than six sites and planned on seeing more.

"This is part of my geekiness, I guess," said Jaramillo, who recently fell in love with the show before realizing how big of a role Albuquerque played in it. "I'm geeking out today."

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This image released by AMC shows Bryan Cranston as Walter White, left, and Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in a scene from the season 5 premiere of "Breaking Bad."

AP

  


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