Community

Organ Mountains are located in Las Cruces, New MexicoSouthern New Mexico is a great place to grow a family or a business! It is also a treasure trove of attractions for those who are just visiting. Forbes Magazine ranks it among the top 25 retirement towns for 2014 too! Las Cruces and the surrounding Mesilla Valley communities that make up Doña Ana County, New Mexico, have a rich and diverse heritage along with new developments and a out of this world opportunity. A few highlights include:

White Sands National Monument

As you drive Highway 70 from Las Cruces over the San Augustin Pass of the Organ Mountains, the Tularosa Basin spreads before you, a feast of open land, open air and open sky. At this southern end of the basin is the world’s largest gypsum dune field at White Sands National Monument. The pure white dunes cover 275 square miles and are even visible from space. Several types of tours are available, including Sunset Strolls and Full Moon Bike Rides. On your own, after buying or renting a plastic saucer in the visitor center, drive eight miles back into the dunes, find one suitably high and sled down the sand like a kid in the snow.

Town of Mesilla

The Town of Mesilla ("Little Tableland") is the best-known and most visited historical community in Southern New Mexico. Since its' beginning, around 1848, Mesilla has had a major influence on the economic, cultural, historical, and political life of the Mesilla Valley. From the Gadsden Purchase, to the Civil War, to the Butterfield Stage Coach Trail, to the trial of Billy the Kid, to being a lively social center in the 1880s--Mesilla has been a prominent part of the rich history of the Southwest. Today come and enjoy the town plaza and its many wonderful shops and dine in one of its fine restaurants and enjoy this local treasure steeped in rich history.

Military Connection

White Sands Missile Range is the largest US military installation at 3,200 square miles. At its northern edge is Trinity Test Site, where the world’s first nuclear bomb was detonated. You can visit the site on the first Saturdays in April and October. The base’s missile museum, located north of Las Cruces, is open year-round. The museum is dedicated to the history of rockets: Stroll outside to view the rockets and missiles arrayed in the bright quiet desert against the backdrop of the Organ Mountains. A few miles north of White Sands National Monument are Holloman Air Force Base and the town of Alamogordo. Here you will find the New Mexico Museum of Space History and the Clyde W. Tombaugh IMAX Theater and Planetarium.

Spaceport America

Spaceport America is the first spaceport in the world built-from-the-ground-up to host private enterprise, intended to be the launch-pad of the global commercial spaceflight industry and the second space age. The $209 million project has attracted worldwide attention because of its bold premise, stunning architecture and the fact that it is home to the world’s first commercial passenger spaceline company, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

Designed, built and operated by the New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA), Spaceport America is nearing completion of the first phase of construction, which includes basic operational infrastructure such as an airfield, launch pads, terminal / hangar facility, emergency response capabilities, utilities and roadways. The site will be capable of accommodating the activities of both vertical and horizontal takeoff space launch vehicles, serving as the base for pre-flight and post-flight activities, and providing a tourism experience for interested visitors and spectators.

 

Population

  • The median age of our residents is 32.4 (Census 2010); with 12.3 percent of the population over the age of 65 (Census 2010).
  • Between 2000 and 2011, the Doña Ana County population grew by 22.2 percent—from 174,682 to 213,598 (American Community Survey 2011).
  • Our Mesilla Valley communities include:

Geography and Climate

  • Our elevation ranges from 3,730 feet along the Rio Grande River to 9,012 feet on the peaks of the Organ Mountains.
  • Our average low temperature in January is 28 degrees Fahrenheit and the average high is 96.5 degrees Fahrenheit in June.
  • We average 340 days of sunshine annually.
  • Our average precipitation is 9.7”, less than 4” of which comes from snowfall, and our average relative humidity is 27%.

Public Safety

  • Fire and emergency services are provided by the City of Las Cruces and Doña Ana County.  The City maintains numerous stations in the metro area and the County maintains a number of volunteer stations in the rural areas.  These are augmented by the other incorporated communities’ departments.
  • The City’s police department and the County Sheriff’s department are augmented by the New Mexico State Police as well as a number of federal agencies including Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.
  • The county’s crime rate is relatively low. In 2011, the violent crime rate was 367.7 per 100,000 residents.

Education & Schools

  • Las Cruces is home to New Mexico State University (NMSU), the state’s second largest public university. Total enrollment in its 5 campuses exceeds 29,000 with 17,600 attending the main campus in Las Cruces.  Arrowhead Park Early College High School, the state’s first early college high school, is on the NMSU campus.
  • Doña Ana Community College has 6 campuses located throughout the county. Its headcount includes 9,900 in credit enrollments and 7,000 in non-credit enrollments.
  • The Las Cruces Public School District is the second largest school district in New Mexico. Located 45 miles north of the Mexican border, it encompasses the City of Las Cruces, the villages of La Mesilla and Doña Ana, and covers the middle third of Doña Ana County. It has 38 schools and an enrollment of over 24,000 students.
  • The Gadsden Independent School District, covering an area of 1,400 square miles, educates approximately 14,200 students. It reaches from El Paso, Texas on the south to the Las Cruces Public School district on the north.
  • The Hatch Valley Public Schools is the northern most district in Doña Ana County. Its enrollment is 1,367.

Cultural Arts

  • New Mexico State University’s Center for the Arts
  • The $5 million Las Cruces Museum of Nature and Science
  • The Pan American Center  attracts top music acts and concerts to our area
  • Theatrical performances at the American Southwest Theatre Company at NMSU, Las Cruces Community Theater and Black Box Theatre/No Strings Theatre Company.
  • Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra brings fully staged musical productions to the community as well as the classics and youth and family concerts.
  • The Las Cruces Civic Concert Association brings several concerts a year that include both national and international acts.
  • The Las Cruces Chamber Ballet, Doña Ana Lyric Opera, Lo-Fi Productions, area dance companies, and Boba Café entertain us with unique productions.
  • New generations of theatrical talent is being cultivated with the help of NMSU Theater Arts Children’s Theatre Workshop, A Children’s Theatre of the Mesilla Valley, Starlight Children’s Theatre Company of Las Cruces and theater companies at local high schools.

Some Fiestas, Festivals, and Annual Events

  • Country Music Festival
  • Trinity Site Tour
  • Cinco de Mayo Fiesta
  • Southern New Mexico Wine Festival
  • Hatch Chile Festival
  • Frontier Days
  • Diez & Seis de Septiembre Fiesta
  • White Sands International Film Festival
  • The Whole Enchilada Fiesta
  • Southern New Mexico State Fair & Rodeo
  • Mesilla Jazz Happening
  • La Vina Wine Festival
  • Dia de los Muertos
  • Renaissance Arts Faire
  • International Mariachi Conference & Concert
  • Fiesta of our Lady of Guadalupe

Health Services

  • Two community hospitals serve the area with 454 beds.
  • A new rehabilitation hospital, an acute care hospital and two psychiatric hospitals are in the area with numerous clinics and other health care facilities distributed throughout the valley.
  • The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso campus offers a professional growth experience like no other, turning out some of the best doctors and health professionals, evident by the number of physicians selected for the Best Docs in America list year after year.