Surrounded by 496,000 acres of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, Las Cruces is the second-largest city in New Mexico and among the fastest-growing urban centers in the United States.

“We are the economic engine of southern New Mexico. We are investing heavily in commercial and residential real estate and creating a safe community for our people to live and work in,” said Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima, the first American of Japanese descent elected mayor in New Mexico.

Las Cruces is among the nation’s leading locations for aerospace research, testing and development. It is home to NASA’s White Sands Test Facility, New Mexico State University’s Physical Science Laboratory and Spaceport America, the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world.

 The city forms part of the Borderplex Region, which includes El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez in Chihuahua, Mexico, which is the seventh-largest manufacturing center in North America.

Las Cruces and its surrounding areas contribute immensely to New Mexico’s role as one of the nation’s largest pecan producers. The Mesilla Valley is a major producer of cotton, corn, chili peppers and hay.

With an average of 320 days of sunshine, Las Cruces is also a vibrant city rich in culture and cuisine, and a popular destination for art lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

“Whether for business or for leisure, Las Cruces is a preferred destination. A lot of people come here to visit and they don’t want to go back. We’ve had a lot of people just fall in love with the place,” Miyagishima said.