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Why Move to Roswell, NM?

Sure, you may know Roswell for its otherworldly experiences, but this New Mexico oasis offers the perfect blend of affordability, recreation, arts and charm.

By Kim Madlom on December 9, 2022

Alien themed art in downtown Roswell, NM
Nathan Lambrecht

One of the Southwest’s most livable places, Roswell and Chaves County, New Mexico, blend affordability, a diverse and growing economy, and a warm and inviting environment that makes everyone feel welcome. People who move to Roswell will be greeted by friendly neighbors, tree-lined streets, mountain views and much more.

William Atkinson’s family has deep roots in Roswell, but he and his wife, Olga, are relative newcomers. Atkinson’s grandfather was a cattle rancher in Roswell, and both of his parents grew up there but raised their own family on the West Coast.

Years later, Atkinson’s parents returned to Roswell to help care for his paternal grandmother. In 2020, Atkinson took that same path and moved his family to Roswell to be near his now-older parents.

A data scientist with a doctorate in statistics, Atkinson has lived and worked in Austin, Seattle and Omaha. The pandemic allowed him to work remotely, making a move to Roswell accessible for the family. Unsure how long they would stay, they bought a small house at first. It turns out they liked their new town and recently bought a larger home.

“The ease of integration into the community has been really smooth for us.”

William Atkinson

“When we came here, it was supposed to be temporary,” he says. But Olga found a job she enjoyed as finance director of the Roswell Job Corps Center, and Atkinson became involved in community theater. He was cast in the lead role in a play last year and performed in an Agatha Christie play in 2022.

Armed with a love for history, music and culture, Atkinson is now documenting his discovery of Roswell on his newly launched podcast, “The William Atkinson Show.”

“A curious and cool thing about Roswell is the quality of the theater and visual arts scene,” Atkinson says. “It makes the community attractive and interesting. The art culture here has a legitimately large footprint with the galleries, museums and community theater.”

Downtown Roswell, NM
Nathan Lambrecht

Affordable & Thriving

The local economy is thriving with major employers in the health care, aerospace and energy sectors. Agriculture thrives in Chaves County – ranked the 12th largest dairy-producing county in the country and home to the largest mozzarella plant in the world.

The typical home value is $155,000, less than half of the New Mexico average and 41% of the U.S. average, and new housing developments are underway throughout the county.

A planned subdivision development in northwest Roswell includes more than 800 new single-family homes and a community park. Several apartment developments are in progress in the city and county.

Along with Chaves County, Roswell has a rich history, growing economy, and the perfect amount of quirkiness that comes with the reputation of being the purported site of an alien spacecraft crash.

The International UFO Museum & Research Center attracts more than 220,000 visitors to Roswell annually, and thousands more attend the Roswell UFO Festival each July.

Enjoy a great day at Bottomless Lakes State Park near Roswell, NM.
Nathan Lambrecht

Outdoor Oasis

Roswell has three dozen recreation spaces and 11 miles of trails, and residents have easy access to gems like Bottomless Lakes State Park and Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Emphasis on the Arts

Galleries line Main Street and the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art showcases the work of artists from all over the world. The jewel of the visual arts scene is the Roswell Museum and Art Center, a 50,000-square-foot space that includes 12 galleries dedicated to art and history exhibitions, the Patricia Lubben Bassett Art Education Center and the Robert H. Goddard Planetarium.

The community has live music at The Liberty Social Club and Pecos Flavors Winery & Bistro. Performing arts are presented by Roswell Community Little Theatre and Way Way Off Broadway Theatre Co.

“What makes Roswell special is the people,” says Andrea Moore, president and CEO of the Roswell Chamber of Commerce. Moore has lived in Roswell for nearly 25 years, raised her children there, and has been active in the community.

“Our community is full of fantastic people who work together to make our community better,” Moore says. “Anytime there is a call to action to support a project or a family in need, the outpouring of support is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Everyone comes out to help. I can’t imagine living anywhere other than Roswell. People here can earn a decent living and enjoy life.”

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