At DiscoverSantaFe, we want to introduce you to the best locals and best 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!
Sue Mally – Owner at SFMA
DSF: Tell us about you and your background and how you got started.
SFMA: I was working remotely in finance, accounting, and telecommunications when I thought about where I wanted to live. In 2004, I decided and moved to New Mexico, just two years before meeting my husband, Georges. He was living in France but bicycling from Chicago to Santa Monica along Old Route 66 at the time. We met by chance, hit it off, visited each other over the next year and decided to be together. We wanted a change and decided to stay in New Mexico. He moved from Paris and started working at the ski basin and then at an adventure company, something he always wanted to do. He had a similar background in business, so when my contract ended in 2008 and we felt ready to leave the corporate world, we started our own adventure company! He was a great skilled outdoor person, and I had the business background, so we got it going. Here we are 13 years later and are really enjoying what we do. I can’t see ourselves doing anything else. When we met, I had come to New Mexico because I loved the open space and getting out in nature. We really enjoy taking people out and sharing with them the beauty of the area. People come to Santa Fe and don’t always explore. Many come from cities and have never seen these landscapes so it is really nice when we can show them places like Ghost Ranch and Tent Rocks. So I guess that is how we started!
Off-road adventures and Mountain Biking with Santa Fe Adventure Tours
7 days a week
Contact at santafemountainadventures.com
DSF: What is “New Mexican” or “Santa Fean” about your offering? Do you have something uniquely New Mexico or Santa Fe that you’d like to mention?
SFMA: Our tours allow our guests to appreciate the rich heritage that New Mexico has to offer. We want to share what we love about this place.
I moved here from New York, where most people are busy trying to get places and are engrossed in what they’re doing but here we go out and explore and there’s nobody! There is nothing but landscapes stretching on forever. It makes you feel like just a little grain of sand in the universe. The landscapes here are so humbling and really amaze a lot of our visitors.
DSF: What makes your brand different from the others?
SFMA: We offer personalized private excursions for couples and families. Our guides are knowledgeable and experienced, and we love sharing our love of New Mexico with our guests.
DSF: What is your favorite thing to explore in Santa Fe and why? This could be a river, trail, art gallery, and so on.
SFMA: We love hiking in the mountains and exploring the canyonlands.
DSF: What is your most memorable experience in relation to your business and why?
SFMA: I don’t lead as many of the tours, but we explore together and there’s always an opportunity to be in places that are special, like the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Being on top of a mountain is always special and memorable because you just have the most amazing views. Also, what is important to us is when we get feedback from guests and they really enjoyed their time with us and their trip. It makes us feel good that other people see that unique beauty and get to enjoy the outdoors with us.
DSF: What do you want your business to be remembered for?
SFMA: I appreciate it so much when we get feedback and know that our guests have really enjoyed their time in New Mexico. It is a chance for them to appreciate nature and perhaps, for families, it is an opportunity for the children to get out in nature, understand what it means to have public land, and for them to realize they need to keep it.
Basically, for our clients to enjoy being out in nature, to continue to get out, appreciate it and take care of the open spaces that we have.
DSF: What’s that one question no one asks, but should?
SFMA: What prompted us to get into the business and stay in the field. When people learn of the lifestyle changes we made to do this, it shows that things are possible and that you can make changes in your life. Pursue what you love doing. It is not always easy, but we keep doing it because we really love and appreciate what we have here.