Gotemba was elevated to city status on February 11, 1955 through the merger of Gotemba Town with neighboring Fujioka Village, Harasato Village, Ino Village, and Tamaho Village. The city expanded through annexation of Takane Village on January 1, 1956 and the Furusawa District of Oyama Town on September 1, 1957. The Gotemba Interchange on the Tōmei Expressway was completed on May 25, 1969.
Gotemba has a mixed economy. Agriculture has traditionally been dominated by rice, irrigated by water from Mount Fuji, and has been supplemented by the growing of various green vegetables and the raising of pigs. Development of light industries, especially in food processing and electronics has profited through Gotemba's location on the Tōmei Expressway, and Gotemba is noted for a number of golf courses and a spacious outlet shopping center.