The Ottumwa Courier

Entertainment

August 12, 2013

Albuquerque hopes 'Breaking Bad' ending a start

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — It's been five years of meth addicts, deadly shootings, violent drug traffickers and hidden secrets of the desert.

And throughout the filming of AMC hit television series "Breaking Bad" in Albuquerque, interest in this Southwestern city from tourists has grown and local businesses have sought to cash in. A doughnut shop sells treats laced with blue "meth" toppings, for example, while a bike rental business gives tours of characters' favorite spots.

But now that "Breaking Bad" is returning for its final episodes, Albuquerque shops and tourist attractions are trying to take advantage of the popular show's last moments before the series fades from memory.

The city's visitors' bureau hosted a watch party Sunday for the premiere of the last season's first episode, drawing more than 450 fans. Stores held specials to sell "Breaking Bad" memorabilia. There was even a "Breaking Bad" marathon at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Albuquerque, followed by Mass, then its own watch party for the last season's premiere.

"It's been great for us," said Debbie Ball, owner of The Candy Lady store, who sells blue "Breaking Bad" meth treats and offers limousine tours of scenes from the series. "People are always coming in and asking about 'Breaking Bad.' I hate to see it end but I also can't wait to see how it ends."

"Breaking Bad," which was filmed largely in Albuquerque, follows former high school teacher Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston, producing and selling methamphetamine with a former student, Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul. The show, with its dark themes and addictive story-line, often features different parts of the city from a regular carwash to well-known local restaurants.

"At first, Albuquerque was shown through its skies and a lot of local spots," said Tania Armenta, a vice president for the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau. "The fact is that Albuquerque really has become its own a character in the show."

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