Truth or Consequences,
City of the Sun
For the past 50 years, Truth or Consequences has been one
of the American Southwest's best-kept secrets. A small
resort town with a year round population of just over 8,000,
this little town with a big name was overshadowed by its big
brother, the neighboring city of Las Cruces. While most
towns in northern New Mexico attract tourists to their ski resorts
and chic Southwestern-style vacation homes, Truth or Consequences
has remained a lesser-known haven for nature lovers and those
who want variety in their surroundings with a mild climate.
As a result, the town has remained unspoiled and has not seen
local development run rampant or real estate prices rise beyond
the reach of long time locals. Here the breathtaking sandstone
bluffs, nearby state parks and sunny, deep blue skies remain
the biggest neighborhood attractions.
Situated on the banks of the Rio Grande in southwest New Mexico,
Truth or Consequences has long been a preferred vacation site
for New Mexico natives. Traditionally, they have come
to bathe in the soothing hot springs or partake in the many
recreational opportunities at the two large lakes nearby.
In the past decade, however, Truth or Consequences has begun
to garner more national praise. In fact, the number of
retirees relocating here continues to grow. National publications
such as Where to Retire have recently named the city
one of the top retirement destinations in the United States.
Affordability is the key to life in Truth or Consequences.
Housing costs here are impressively low; in fact, the local
realtors' association reports that the median home price is
below $60,000 here. Add to this an extremely low crime
rate, beautiful scenery, and perhaps the most moderate climate
in all of New Mexico, and it is easy to see why Truth or Consequences
has become a prized retirement locale. This little town
has much to offer, and it can deliver its amenities on a budget
as well. Although locals have had the place to themselves,
these days the truth is getting out about Truth or Consequences,
New Mexico's best-kept secret.
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One of the biggest draws of Truth of Consequences is its
climate. Located on the banks of the Rio Grande in the
southwestern section of New Mexico, Truth or Consequences sits
at 4,260 feet above the scorching heat of the lowland summers.
High temperatures average around 92 in July and 89 in August.
These figures are much more moderate than elsewhere in New Mexico,
and the famously low humidity makes warm temperatures quite
comfortable. Also, even the hottest days cool down to
the low 60s at night.
Winters are quite comfortable, with an average high of 55 degrees.
Though it does occasionally snow, the flakes usually melt away
with the afternoon sunshine. With less than ten inches
of rainfall a year, you can look forward to sunny skies and
outdoor activities that are never canceled due to weather.
Because of the wonderfully predicable weather, many Truth or
Consequences residents are unabashedly "outdoorsy,"
and can often be found hiking, golfing, or fishing at one of
the local reservoirs. Another bonus of this semi-arid
climate is the nightly show: New Mexico has absolutely brilliant
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Arts & Culture:
Cultural life in Truth or Consequences is eclectic, ranging
from flying fingers at the New Mexico Old Time Fiddlers Contest
to the solemnity of The Geronimo Springs Museum. The museum
honors the Native American chief Geronimo and showcases pottery,
mining and Apache artifacts, as well as fine southwestern art.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for festivals in and around
"T or C." The area is home to some of the most interesting
and varied events you'll ever find. Every May, the Ralph
Edwards T or C Fiesta celebrates ancient festive traditions
in honor of the game show host who brought the town so much
fame. The Sierra County fair brings midway rides, livestock
judging and entertainment every October. And the Veteran's
Day Antique & Classic Car Show at the Veterans Center is
a great time to admire America's love affair with the automobile.
Destination: Sierra County is another annual fall festival showcasing
the art of Sierra County. The monthly Art Hop in downtown Truth
or Consequences showcases art galleries, shops and restaurants.
Join us the second Saturday of every month from 6 - 9 pm.
More great events are centered around Elephant Butte Lake.
From June's Chile Cook-off to the July 4th Fireworks, the Lake
is the place to be. You can't miss the hot air balloon
regatta held here every September. As one of the largest
rallies of its kind, the regatta attracts hot air balloon enthusiasts
from all over the globe and is sure to please young and old
Of course, Truth or Consequences is blessed with New Mexico's
growing artistic reputation. You'll find a number of art
galleries here, boasting a stable of local and regional talent
as well as works by artists from as far away as New Hampshire
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A great way to begin sampling the Truth or Consequences
area's recreational activities is by visiting the three nearby
state parks. Elephant Butte Lake State Park, located a
mere five miles from the city proper, is home to Elephant Butte
Lake, an impressive 36,000 acre reservoir that offers year round
sport fishing for black and white bass, catfish, pike and crappie.
If trout are your preferred game, try casting for the trophy
rainbows of the Rio Grande River. From April to October
rafting, kayaking and tubing are other popular activities on
the Rio. Due to its great fishing and the park's network
of scenic hiking trails, Elephant Butte Lake State Park has
become a preferred destination for vacationers nationwide, attracting
over a million visitors each year.
If you want a more intimate outdoor setting, take a trip down to
Percha Dam State Park, situated just below Caballo Lake.
Just a twenty minute drive from downtown, this park also offers
great sport fishing, and its campground includes such amenities
as sheltered picnic areas, electric hookups, and restroom
facilities outfitted with showers. Supplies can be easily
procured in the nearby town of Arrey. Campsites can go
quickly during the weekends, so if you're planning a weekend
trip, be sure to get there early.
To enjoy New Mexico's beauty from the comfort of your car, try
the Geronimo Trail Scenic Byway. Headquartered in Truth or
Consequences, the road climbs over 4,000 feet from desert lakes
up to forested mountain passes. This is truly some of the
most spectacular natural beauty in the southwest.
There's no question that the main recreational draw in Truth
or Consequences is its famous mineral baths. There are
no less than nine such spas operating within the city limits.
Most are located in the downtown area, and prices are quite
reasonable. Riverbend Hot Springs, the only open air bath
in town, also offers a stunning view of the mountains.
A wide range of splendid natural environments surrounds Truth or
Consequences. To the east lie the brilliant dunes of White
Sands National Monument, while to the southwest are the strange
formations of Rock Hound and City of Rocks State Park.
North on the Rio Grande, you can run exhilarating Class 3 and 4
rapids through spectacular canyons. Due west are the Gila
Cliff Dwellings and evergreen slopes of the Mimbres Mountains.
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Truth or Consequences is home to three elementary schools,
a middle school, a newly opened public high school, as well
as AppleTree Educational Center. Here, teachers know every
student and personal attention is the rule rather than the exception.
In smaller towns like Truth or Consequences, schools often play
a role in local events, and parents can always have a hand in
their child's activities. Although the schools here are
small, students can be successful. In addition to the
Character Counts program, which is sponsored by the JROTC, the
local high school has received national recognition for its
agriculture program. The program has recently been
nationally ranked, finishing in the top five in land programs,
and in the top twenty in pasture.
Western New Mexico University has a branch community college in
the city, which offers a number of adult education classes, as
well as a top-flight nursing program. The school is also
an excellent local resource for those who wish to expand their
professional skills or take prerequisite courses that can lead
to transfer to four year colleges or universities.
Four year colleges in the area include New Mexico State
University in Las Cruces, and New Mexico Institute of Mining and
Technology north of Socorro. West of town in Silver City
is Western New Mexico University's main campus.
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Housing & Cost of
Truth or Consequences offers some of the most affordable
housing found anywhere in the United States. In fact, more
than half of the homes sold here in the past year cost less than
$60,000. Although Truth or Consequences is home to only a
handful of subdivisions, new developments in the area have
recently sold lots for as little as ten thousand dollars per
Though this is a relatively small housing market, it actually
offers a surprisingly wide variety of homes, ranging in price
from $40,000 to upwards of half a million. Most of the
high end housing is found in nearby Elephant Butte, the little
town's affluent neighbor to the north.
Everyday costs in Truth or Consequences are below the national
average, which is surprising for a small town with a tourist
economy. Any way you look at it, Truth or Consequences is
one affordable choice.
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Crime & Safety:
Crime in Truth or Consequences is scarcely more than a
rumor, as on average there are fewer than 400 crimes reported
annually. Less than 6% of these fall under the category of
"violent" crimes, as the vast majority of offenses are
petty property crimes like larceny and vandalism.
The city staffs thirteen full time police officers, with the
Sierra County Sheriff's Department employing an additional
fifteen. In addition to keeping the streets safe, Truth or
Consequences police officers are actively involved in a number
of community outreach programs, including DARE, and the torch
run, which benefits the Special Olympics.
The crime rate in outlying Sierra County is even lower, as
annual reported crimes often number in the single digits.
Truth or Consequences is certainly one of the safest places to
live in the country.
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Thanks to the many retirees in this area, Truth or
Consequences offers much more comprehensive medical facilities
than one expect to find in a town of this size. Sierra
Vista Hospital is a Joint Powers Facility sponsored by Sierra
County, the City of Truth or Consequences, and the village of
Williamsburg. The hospital is a 43-bed facility offering a
wide range of inpatient and outpatient services.
Other medical facilities include the Sierra Health Care Center,
a 110 bed nursing home, Sierra Hills Assisted Living center
and the New Mexico Veterans center. Other services found
in Sierra County include home health care assistance, a respiratory
service, and a public health office. The city is also
home to 2 pharmacies, as well as several chiropractic offices.
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Earning a Living:
To accommodate a burgeoning tourist trade, many Truth or
Consequences residents work in the service industry. The
majority of jobs are either at the local state parks, at the
resorts and spas that have built up around the hot springs, or
in the many area museums, gift shops and boutiques. Thanks
to its dependable tourist influx, the economy in Truth or
Consequences is relatively stable. The large and growing
population of retirees adds another steady source of money to
the economy without significantly impacting the job market.
Although high-tech firms are currently based in the city, the
city council still has a keen eye turned toward the
future. In recent years, the city has begun to lobby for
the state-of-the-art Spaceport program, a launch and salvage
operation that is considering Sierra County as a base.
541 Garden Dr., Bldg. R
Windsor, CO 80550
Take a Virtual Photo Tour of Truth or
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