Breaking Bad tourism and shopping have become big hits in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
A surprising number of tourists would like nothing better than to hop on a trolley and spend three hours touring the scenes of the hit AMC series about a mild-mannered chemistry teacher who becomes a rogue meth producer.
And plenty of other tourists want to buy cute blue fake meth crystals to remember their visit to the town formerly famous for its place on scenic Route 66.
The second half of the fifth and final season of Breaking Bad will premiere tonight. That fun fact has caused both American and international media to check out the series’ economic impact on Alburquerque.
Mayor Richard J. Berry said that the AMC series brings one million dollars of direct spending per episode into his city.
But it has also proved to be a creative inspiration to entrepreneurs like Alburquerque Trolley owners Jesse Heron and Mike Silva. They told NPR that the Breaking Bad tours sell out in minutes.
Tourists are warned that they’re going to see back alleys and ghettoes. And evidently that’s what they’re looking for. Tickets vanish almost as soon as they’re offered.
“You just sit at the computer and watch the tickets deplete out of the system,” Silva said.
On Friday, the UK’s The Guardian actually suggested that British tourists could make the trek. After they take the Breaking Bad tour, they can buy Breaking Bad souvenirs or chow down on Breaking Bad food.
Reporter Stephen Kelly revealed that the Los Pollos Hermanos scenes were really filmed at Twisters, a typical New Mexico burger spot which offers you the usual choice between red or green chilies. You can get your green chili burger and sign their Breaking Bad guest book while you’re at it.
You can buy Breaking Bad candy from Old Town character The Candy Lady. Or you can buy Bathing Bad bath salts from Great Face & Body. Both products are intended to resemble the fake meth used as a prop on the show.
A CNN report went even further, listing a total of eight Breaking Bad tourism and shopping sights in Alburquerque.