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Lifestyle

March 18, 2013

'Breaking Bad' brings tourists to Albuquerque

(Continued)

Other popular shows over the past decade like “Sex and the City” and “The Sopranos” have generated tours and widespread interest in the filming locations, but “Breaking Bad” has seen a unique twist with drug-themed products that have been springing up around Albuquerque.

Debbie Ball, owner of The Candy Lady store, recently capitalized on the show’s popularity by selling blue “Breaking Bad” meth treats — sugar rock candy that looks like the meth sold on the show. Ball provided her candy as props of the show in the first two seasons and said she has sold 20,000 bags of the stuff at $1 apiece. She also launched her own “Breaking Bad” limo tours this year with a driver dressed as Walter White.

“The show is amazing,” said Ball. “I don’t live too far from Walter White’s house.”

A pastry shop called the Rebel Donut has among its specialties “Blue Sky” Breaking Bad doughnuts, pieces decorated with blue rock candy. And the Great Face & Body shop recently developed a new line of blue bath salts called “Bathing Bad.” (It’s actually bath salt used to bathe, not the street drug also known as “bath salt.”)

Meanwhile, Masks y Mas Mexican folk art store near the University of New Mexico sells papier mache statues of La Santa Muerte — Mexico’s folk Death Saint who counts drug traffickers among her devotees. During the chilling opening scene of the show’s third season, a pair of cartel assassins is shown crawling to the saint’s shrine in Mexico to request some divine help.

“We provided the Santa Muerte statues for that shrine in that episode,” said store owner Kiko Torres. “The stuff now sells out all of the time.”

Tania Armenta, a vice president for the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the city has seen positive benefits from the show’s popularity, from demands for tours to inquiries from other production companies seeking to film in Albuquerque. The Legislature also passed what has been labeled the “Breaking Bad” bill this year that provides tax breaks to TV shows that film in New Mexico.

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