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Attendance dips, revenues rise at New Mexico state museums

A decision to raise ticket prices and eliminate some free-entrance days at New Mexico's world renowned state museums and historic sites has provided a boost in revenue to the state's cash strapped culture agency since the start of July.

That money alone won't be enough offset this year's spending cuts to the Department of Cultural Affairs, whose top administrators told state lawmakers on Friday that a fresh round of layoffs may be the only way to balance the agency's books.

Changes in entrance fees have been accompanied by a drop in ticketed attendance at a network of eight state museums and eight cultural sites that represent an engine of the state tourism economy,...