MRGEDA Counties

Catron County

Catron County is the largest county in land mass but has the third smallest population in the State of New Mexico. Catron County covers almost 7,000 square miles which is comprised of mostly rugged mountainous terrain. Less than 20% of the land in Catron County is privately owned with the rest of the land being publicly owned. Approximately 3,500 people make up the population of the county; this translates to two square miles of space per person. Reserve is the County Seat and largest town in the county and boasts a population of about 300. Catron County has a history of the ranching, mining, Indian and Spanish hide-outs, rodeos, and dark, starry nights. Catron County is the home to one of New Mexico’s working sawmills, hunters and campers getaways, geothermic and biomass energies, and majestic mountains and views. 

Sierra County

Located midway between El Paso Texas and Albuquerque New Mexico, Sierra County is a perfect getaway spot for those wanting to escape urban sprawl and spend time in the great outdoors. Elephant Butte Lake, the largest body of water in the state and the location of one of its most popular State Parks, is connected by the Rio Grande to quieter Caballo Lake. Both lakes offer excellent boating, camping, fishing & birding. 

Downtown Truth or Consequences, formerly "Hot Springs," has some of the finest hot mineral water in the world and is touted as America's Most Affordable Spa Town. Ten commercial spas downtown are available for soaks, lodging, and other forms of pampering. Downtown Truth or Consequences also features the renowned Geronimo Springs Museum. The museum showcases’ many never seen before artifacts, fossils and murals, including prehistoric finds from the area and one of the best Apache and Mimbres artifact collections in the world.

The Gila High Country lies along the west edge of Sierra County, providing cooler temperatures and hours of exploration in the form of pristine wilderness and living ghost towns. The beautiful Geronimo Trail Scenic Byway connects the Gila to the shimmering desert lakes offering landscapes with a raw authentic southwest flavor. Now the home of Spaceport America, Sierra County merges the past with the future in the new era of rocketry. The commercialization of space travel is launching from our back yard, thanks to Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic. Come experience Sierra County!

Socorro County

Panoramic view of Socorro's historic plaza

Panoramic view of Socorro's historic plazaCourtesy the City of Socorro, NM

Home to New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, more generally called New Mexico Tech, and known nationwide as one of the top technical universities in this country, Socorro offers an eclectic combination of academia mixed with an agrarian life style. Steeped in history, the area's storied past merges almost seamlessly with high-tech and 'big science', including the Very Large Array and the Magdalena Ridge Observatory. It's not surprising that several succesful software companies have launched from here. 

Only an hours drive from Albuquerque and its International Sunport, Socorro County combines the best of small-town living with access to top-notch culture, education, recreation and its own small airport. Come visit us, relax in our 300-plus days of sunshine, and grow your business while taking advantage of easy access to rock-climbing, mountain biking, hiking, camping, star-gazing, and many more outdoor activities.

Valencia County

Scenes from around Valencia County, NM

Scenes from around Valencia County, NMPhotography by Tom Sanderson

Valencia County is in the Middle Rio Grande valley, flanked to the east by the Manzano Mountains and to the west by rolling mesas with occasional volcanic hills. The County has become increasingly diversified, while maintaining its strong agricultural base. The Village of Los Lunas has developed into the county's commercial center as well as a growing satellite community for the Albuquerque metro area. The City of Belen, farther south, maintains its identity as a transportation (primarily rail) center with a recently expanded crosswind airport.

Residents cherish a quality of life that's both country and cool in Valencia County -- access to big-city amenities but rural in character. Besides Los Lunas and Belen, the county includes the towns of Bosque Farms and Peralta, Tomé, site of the University of New Mexico-Valencia campus; Isleta Pueblo, one of the state's largest pueblos, and one of the newest municipalities to the state, the City of Rio Communities.

While many - especially in northern Valencia County - commute to jobs in Albuquerque, Valencia County has drawn industries needing room to expand. East of Belen and south of Rio Communities lies the Rio Grande Industrial Park. In Los Lunas, to the west of I25 you will also find the Los Morros Business Park. Attractions to both include low cost sites, easy transportation access, available work force, affordable housing and a positive business climate.

Transportation infrastructure includes I-25, NM 314, NM 6, NM 47 and Alexander Municipal Airport, Belen; Mid-Valley Airport, Los Lunas. The New Mexico Rail Runner Express stops at Isleta Pueblo, Los Lunas and Belen while rail freight is carried by Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railroad. Public transit is provided by Rio Metro fixed route and dial-a-ride service on week days.

Created in 1844 when the region was still part of Mexico, Valencia County once stretched from Texas to California. It was named for Juan de Valencia, who settled here in the 1660's. In 1852, the Territorial Legislature of New Mexico made Valencia one of the original seven counties. The county has been divided multiple times, most recently in 1981 when Cibola County was created from a chunk of Valencia County's western half. In 1862, during the Civil War, Confederate and Union forces fought a skirmish at Peralta, and the Confederate Army retreated southward. The Union soldiers pursuing them engaged them again near La Joya, just south of the City of Belen.

Note: some of the above excerpted from site

About Us

The Middle Rio Grande Economic Development Association (MRGEDA) is a regional non-profit organization whose purpose is to create, attract, retain, and expand sustainable economic-based businesses, and develop infrastructure to enhance economic development within our counties and our communities.

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