An Interview With:
Tour Guide and Owner at True New Mexico
At DiscoverSantaFe, we want to introduce you to the best locals and adventures around. That’s why we’ve put together an interview series for you! Get to know more about the people and businesses that keep Santa Fe alive with the adventures, historical legacies, and mouthwatering cuisine Santa Fe is famous for!
DSF: Tell us about you and your personal background.
Tom: I am a son of New Mexico, born in Taos and now living in Santa Fe. I have a Spanish, Swedish, and Native cultural background and have learned that my early Spanish ancestors arrived in the Santa Fe area in the 1640s. I was primarily raised in Tucson, Arizona, and following a professional career as a college professor, I returned to Santa Fe in 2008 where I began as a tour guide until the present. I especially enjoy the culture, cuisine, and natural beauty of New Mexico. My daughter, son-in-law, and seven-year-old granddaughter joined me to live in Santa Fe. I enjoy golf and have a great network of personal and professional friends.
DSF: Tell us about your business’s background and how you got started.
Tom: In 2008 I began work as a tour guide with the Road Scholar/Elderhostel program, providing weeklong group tours throughout New Mexico. I found that I was really good as a tour guide and decided to get away from the large group tours. In 2012 I created True New Mexico as a sole proprietor and began my own program of individual, family, and group tours. Santa Fe is both a destination and a gateway to our unique culture and I realized the pueblos and Spanish villages rely on creative, cultural tourism for their economic well-being. I helped to create the Adventure Program for the Four Seasons Resort and have mentored many other guides on our unique history. I created a portfolio of walking tours and guided outings for individuals, families, and groups of all sizes. I also joined with the Santa Fe Tour Guides to better network with the tourism and hospitality industry so vital to our area economy. To date I have completed just over 1,200 tour outings of all types and average about 140 tours per year. My business is NM Certified for COVID Safe Practices.
Check out the Sense of Place Historical Walking Tour!
- Adults – $30
- Under 16 – Free
- Groups – Special rates available
- RSVP at: truenewmexico.com
DSF: What is your favorite thing to explore in Santa Fe and why? This could be a river, trail, art gallery, and so on.
Tom: I prefer the Barrio de Analco just south of the Plaza which features the San Miguel Mission and Oldest House, site of a pueblo community in the 1300s and then settled by the Spanish in the early 1600s. The San Miguel Mission still offers mass on Sundays and is open to tour visitors daily. We also tour the Roundhouse/State Capitol and the Governor’s Art Gallery which features $5 million in every genre of art and expression.
DSF: What makes your brand different from the others?
Tom: My True New Mexico brand is solely focused on the unique aspects of New Mexico culture that are truly American and often little understood by visitors. They tend to love it.
Where to reach Tom:
Tours operate year-round.
You can visit daily by reservation or email him to schedule.
“Please join me as we explore the cultural vibrancy of the nation’s oldest and highest capital city. We will follow the Old Santa Fe Trail to our Roundhouse/State Capitol, the San Miguel Mission, Oldest House, and to our historic Plaza.”
DSF: What is your most memorable experience in relation to your business and why?
Tom: I recently had a family from Tennessee, including two younger children, who came for their first visit to Santa Fe. I always look to have children feel special about being here and tell them stories about our pueblo culture. I share with them the meaning of the Zia symbol on our state flag and their parents are often intrigued and learn themselves. The children sent me a set of drawings from their visit with a message that this was their “coolest vacation ever.” This is why I do these tours.
What do you want your business to be remembered for?
Tom: I want visitors to feel Santa Fe and New Mexico from their time here and to know that our friendly, caring way is “how we are.”
DSF: What’s that one question no one asks, but should?