“It’s raised the visibility of the city,” said Armenta. “They are intrigued by the scenic images that they see.”
Still, tourism officials and business owners are quick to point out that they are walking a fine line in trying not to promote the dark themes from “Breaking Bad.” But their pride in the show taking place in Albuquerque — and the money that it brings in — is often enough to offset their concerns.
Ball said the show doesn’t glorify the drug war but rather educates the public on its dangers.
“Watch it with your children. Yes, it’s dark,” said Ball. “It actually educates you about meth, about making it and what actually happens to you when you walk down that road.”
The show’s themes prompted Miguel Jaramillo, 28, and Kim Shay, 38, both of Albuquerque, to take their own tour of the “Breaking Bad” sites around town during a recent afternoon.
While at the Crossroads Motel, known on the show as a den for meth use and prostitution, Jaramillo took photos with a smartphone and uploaded them to his Instagram account.
In a day’s time, the pair had visited more than six sites and planned on seeing more.
“This is part of my geekiness, I guess,” said Jaramillo, who recently fell in love with the show before realizing how big of a role Albuquerque played in it. “I’m geeking out today.”