With more than 300 sunny days on the calendar each year, weather in El Paso isn’t a challenge – it’s a pleasure.
“El Paso is a very advantageous for those who love the outdoors,” says Wayne Thornton, public relations manager for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. “We want to provide opportunities for leisure activities, competitive events and a family lifestyle anywhere in the city. Even in October, November and December we do activities, because people demand them here.”
The city’s 240 parks, among them a municipal rose garden, include smaller neighborhood parks and larger community parks with sports fields for adults and youth; 12 walking trails in the city and the mountains are popular. Aquatics programs for kids and swimming facilities are a major city priority. Youth ages 8-17 can also learn about the outdoors through a special eight-week Trailblazers program. And the city’s very active older people are enthusiastic about the annual El Paso Senior Games.
Sunny Cultural Events
Gorgeous weather has an important effect on the city’s cultural and social life too. Scores of outdoor celebrations and music, art and dance events take place on the city’s streets, virtually year-round.
“With our really great weather, often the best place to hold these events is outdoors,” says Ben Fyffe, cultural program supervisor with the city’s Museums and Cultural Affairs Department. “We almost never have to cancel.”
Music Under the Stars, now in its 31st season, brings 60,000 people out for free Sunday evening concerts in the summer. Chalk the Block, another MCAD event, averages 30,000 attendees over three days bustling with chalk artists, vendors, popup galleries and music downtown.
Just under three years old, El Paso’s weekend Art and Farmers Market in the Union Plaza District has become a huge success. With growers, artists and artisans, cottage industry vendors, food trucks, kids’ activities, gardening workshops and cooking demonstrations, “It’s not unusual to see families there every week – it’s their Saturday,” Fyffe says.
The Neon Desert Music Festival in May and summer’s Al Fresco! Fridays offer music of virtually every kind to downtown crowds. And the free Cool Canyon Nights summer music series fills the dramatic McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater.
Hiking, Climbing and Golf
Hikers trek through Franklin Mountains State Park and McKelligon Canyon, which also offers challenging rock climbing, as does Hueco Tanks State Park, an area of natural rock basins.
Year-round warm and dry weather means golf is king here. Painted Dunes Desert Golf Course, Vista Hills Golf Club, Horizon Golf and Conference Center and the Butterfield Trail Golf Club challenge golfers of all accomplishment.
Weather As An Economic Driver
Sunny weather is more than just the key to a relaxed, outdoor-oriented lifestyle. It’s an economic driver, too.
“One reason we have seen such growth is that people want to live and work in places that have great amenities,” says Carey Westin, the city’s economic development director. “They’re not just concerned about their job, but also about their lifestyle – and weather is certainly plays a big part in that.”
Consistent, stable weather also attracts businesses, which are drawn by ease of transportation, fewer lost days due to weather, and shorter construction times.
“From an economic development standpoint, people look for predictable operating environments,” Westin says. “And that is what we offer in El Paso.”