DEMING, N.M. - A Deming resident is questioning why a private business is featured on a New Mexico tourism billboard.
Edward, who didn't want to use his last name, said he served on the state tourism board for more than six years. He said he was shocked when he first saw the billboard for Adobe Deli Steakhouse on I-10 about 20 miles from Deming.
He said its unfair for the government to advertise a private business when there are plenty of other businesses in Deming, and he wanted clarification as to how this was allowed.
The owner of Adobe Deli Steakhouse, Van Jacobsen, said the state did not pay for the billboard, but rather the restaurant itself. He said they were allowed to use the New Mexico True logo on the billboard after they were featured in a TV segment. He said they did not pay to be featured in the TV segment.
A spokeswoman for the New Mexico Tourism Department said businesses have been able to use the "New Mexico True" logo since 2012, adding that businesses can go online, create an ad with the New Mexico True logo that must be approved by their advertising team.
"This billboard is created through our industry partners website and actually we encourage tourism related partners to sign up to go through our website to create ads that they are then able to use," said Heather Briganti, spokeswoman for the New Mexico Tourism Department.
Briganti said the businesses then pay to have the advertisement on a billboard -- the tourism department does not.