Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
|The City of Truth or Consequences|
|— City —|
|• Total||12.8 sq mi (33.1 km2)|
|• Land||12.7 sq mi (32.8 km2)|
|• Water||0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)|
|Elevation||4,245 ft (1,294 m)|
|• Density||576.0/sq mi (222.4/km2)|
|Time zone||Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)|
|• Summer (DST)||MDT (UTC-6)|
|GNIS feature ID||0897496|
Truth or Consequences is a spa city and the county seat of Sierra County, New Mexico, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 6,475. It is commonly known within New Mexico as T or C.
Originally named Hot Springs, the city changed its name to Truth or Consequences, the title of a popular NBC radio program. In 1950, Ralph Edwards, the host of the radio quiz show Truth or Consequences, announced that he would air the program from the first town that renamed itself after the show. Hot Springs won the honor. Edwards visited the town during the first weekend of May for the next fifty years. This event was called "Fiesta" and included a beauty contest, a parade, and a stage show. The city still celebrates Fiesta each year on the first weekend of May. The parade generally features area celebrities such as the Hatch Chile Queen. Fiesta also features a dance in Ralph Edwards Park.
Truth or Consequences is located at (33.133614, -107.252897).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.8 square miles (33 km2), of which, 12.6 square miles (33 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.86%) is water.
Before World War II, there were about 40 hot springs spas in Truth or Consequences. By 2008, the Hot Springs Association in Truth or Consequences had 10 spa facilities as members. Five of those obtained their water from wells, and La Paloma Hot Springs & Spa (formerly Marshall Hot Springs), Indian Springs Bath House and Hay-Yo-Kay Hot Springs are from free flowing hot springs. The New Mexico State Energy and Minerals Department created two demonstration projects using geothermal energy in Truth or Consequences in the 1980s. The Carrie Tingley Hospital for children with physical disabilities, which has since moved to Albuquerque, used the state money to create a physical therapy program. The local Senior Citizen's Center benefits from a geothermal space heating system.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,289 people, 3,450 households, and 1,859 families residing in the city. The population density was 576.0 people per square mile (222.5/km²). There were 4,445 housing units at an average density of 351.3 per square mile (135.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.35% White, 0.63% African American, 1.77% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 9.36% from other races, and 2.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 27.4% of the population.
There were 3,450 households out of which 20.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.5% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.1% were non-families. 41.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 22.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.04 and the average family size was 2.75.
In the city the population was spread out with 20.2% under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 20.1% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 29.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females there were 96.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $20,986, and the median income for a family was $28,750. Males had a median income of $23,214 versus $18,207 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,415. About 15.6% of families and 23.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.3% of those under age 18 and 18.1% of those age 65 or over.
The city is a popular tourist destination for New Mexicans, who come to soak in the hot springs or to visit nearby Elephant Butte Lake. It is also a common retirement location, partly due to low house prices (median $75,000) and a mild climate. Outdoor sports such as golf, hiking and fishing are popular.
Truth or Consequences, a photographic portrait of the town, was published in 2001 by British photographer Nick Waplington.
The city is home to the Geronimo Springs Museum and the Hamilton Military Museum (opened November 2009), which is part of Veterans Memorial Park.
The New Mexico State Veterans' Hospital, originally built as Carrie Tingley Hospital for Crippled Children in 1937, is also located in Truth or Consequences.
Truth or Consequences has the only franchise of K-Bob's Steakhouse actually owned by the company, which is based in Santa Fe. The company chairman is Edward R. Tinsley, III, a rancher in Lincoln County who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in the 2008 general election.
The first bath in the area was built at "John Cross Ranch" over Geronimo Springs in the late 1800s. However, major settlement did not begin until the construction of Elephant Butte Dam and Reservoir in 1912. The dam was completed in 1916. Elephant Butte Dam was a part of the Rio Grande Project, an early large-scale irrigation effort authorized under the Reclamation Act of 1902. In 1916 the town was incorporated as Hot Springs. It became the Sierra County seat in 1937.
Government and Spaceport America
Spaceport America, 30 miles (48 km) east, is "the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport", to be the headquarters of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority. Virgin Galactic plans to provide sub-orbital spaceflights to the paying public.
Serial killer David Parker Ray lived in Elephant Butte, which is 5 miles from Truth or Consequences. On September 20, 2001, he was sentenced to 224 years in prison for abduction, rape, torture and — in some cases — murder of at least 12 people, although the FBI estimates the total number of victims could be as high as 60.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Truth or Consequences, New Mexico– A Spa City, John W. Lund, James C. Witcher,GHC Bulletin, December 2002.
- Hay-Yo-Kay Hot Springs and Spa in Truth or Consequences, David Burch, SouthernNewMexico.com, 2003
- David, Leonard (2007-09-04). "Spaceport America: First Looks at a New Space Terminal". space.com. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
- "Work starts on New Mexico spaceport". BBC. 20 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-30.
- Ohtake, Miyoko (August 25, 2007). "Virgin Galactic Preps for Liftoff at World's First Commercial Spaceport". Wired Magazine (15:10). Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- Fielder, James (2003). Slow Death. New York: Pinnacle Books. pp. (pgs. 10, 11 and 28). ISBN 0-7860-1199-8.
- "David Parker Ray: The Toy Box Killer - Crime Library on truTV.com", Accessed August 8, 2008
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Truth or Consequences, New Mexico|
- City of Truth or Consequences official website
- Truth or Consequences-Sierra County NM Chamber of Commerce
- Map of commercial hot springs spas in Truth or Consequences
- Visitor information for Truth or Consequences NM
- Trails.com description of Truth or Consequences hot springs
- Introduction to Truth or Consequences - from Frommers.com
- City-Data.com - Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
- Truth or Consequences, New Mexico travel guide from Wikivoyage