Ty Ried began working at facility on July 4

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AZTEC — Ty Ried, the new general manager at Aztec Municipal Golf Course, says he will focus on marketing the facility through social media and word of mouth.

Ried approached golf course operator Randy Hodge after the San Juan Open in June with a proposal for the course.

Hodge said he decided to take the chance and hire Reid, who moved to the area this month from Truth or Consequences. Reid started work at the golf course on July 4.

Ried is a professional golfer and has managed golf courses nationwide. He graduated from New Mexico State University's professional golf management program. He also has a master's degree in business administration from NMSU.

Ried has six holes-in-one and a double eagle on his record. He described the Aztec course as unique.

“This is probably really a gem of a golf course that we have here,” Ried said.

The Aztec Municipal Golf Course, formerly known as Hidden Valley Golf Course, is located just outside of city limits on County Road 3025.

Ried said the course has a challenging 18-hole layout with extraordinary views, but it is accessible for people of all levels. He said the course also boasts the only full liquor license in the Aztec area.

The city of Aztec acquired the course in 2015 in a controversial move. The course failed to make any money, and the city had to transfer funds from the joint utility fund to the course to pay for upkeep and operations. Because it is located outside the city limits, Aztec does not receive gross receipts tax revenue from the course.

However, people who support the course have argued it adds to the community's quality of life.

The city eventually chose to contract with Hodge for operation of the course.

Ried said the course includes a walking trail and is available for community events. Last week, it hosted a class reunion, and Ried said there have been yoga classes taught on the greens.

Ried said he plans on increasing the course's social media presence. He also has an email list of more than 300 names, and he sends out regular emails about facility. That effort also includes raffling off a free round of golf each month.

He said he also wants to take advantage of word-of-mouth advertising. That means increasing the number of tournaments and community events held at the course.

“I think it’s a great challenge, but an exciting opportunity,” Ried said.

The course also boasts relatively low fees. It costs $10 to play nine holes and $20 to play the entire course. If someone chooses to rent a golf cart, the most they will pay is $35.

"We really do some good things as far as making it affordable," Ried said.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

Note: This story was corrected to note that Ty Ried is still a professional golfer.

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