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Los Angeles native Adeline Ashley is founder and president of a new website With over 15 years experience in the gourmet foods, corporate gifts, catering and event planning industries, she has become an expert in providing creative gifts and event planning ideas. Special artistic care goes into creating extraordinary celebrations and fabulous gifts to deliver that extra “WOW” factor—hence, she has a long list of celebrity and corporate clients from Oprah to Aerosmith and Boeing to Warner Bros.

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Best Boomer Towns Columns

Las Cruces, NM a Lovely Place for Boomer Golfers

Las Cruces, NM a Lovely Place for Boomer Golfers

LAS CRUCES, N.M - Boomers seeking second or retirement homes in areas that are warm and dry with plenty of golf to choose from should check out Las Cruces, N.M.

Located in the Mesilla Valley with 350 days of sunshine each year, the state's second-largest city has been ranked by Money magazine as one of the "best college towns to retire," AARP as one of their "dream towns" to retire, and Best Boomer Towns as one of its 21 top U.S. communities.

Surrounded by desert and the jagged Organ Mountains, Las Cruces sits along the banks of the Rio Grande River less than an hour from El Paso International Airport.

It is home to 21,000-student New Mexico State University, (NMSU) and the 46-year-old University Golf Course, one of the area's top public courses and a great practice facility with a large driving range, contoured putting greens and new short game practice area that opened in 2007. All 18 holes are visible from the clubhouse. The club hosted the 1968 NCAA men and 1988 NCAA women championships.

Other Las Cruces-area public-access courses of note include:Photo of goler and golf cart in Las Cruces

• Las Cruces Country Club. Located in the city, the semi-private club was originally built in 1928. The facility prides itself on staying affordable, has active men and women associations and a busy program schedule.

• Dos Lagos Golf Course in Anthony. Built on the site of an abandoned silica mine, it blends well with the natural surroundings of the old quarry site.

• Oasis Golf Resort in Elephant Butte. Located within a retirement community, the Dick Phelps design has a 200 feet of elevation change from one area to another, affording magnificent views of the surrounding countryside. It expanded from nine to 18 holes about 10 years ago.

• Rio Mimbres Country Club in Deming about 50 miles west of Las Cruces. Opened in 1950, Rio Mimbres is well maintained and provides outstanding views of surrounding mountains such as Cooke's Peak to the north and the Floridas to the southeast.

• Santa Teresa Country Club. Located 40 miles from Las Cruces toward El Paso, the club has two 18-hole courses designed by Lee Trevino. The Spanish Dagger Course is the tighter design and features more undulating greens than the Yucca Course.

Photo of Sonoma Ranch flag for BoomerVisitors can choose from 37 hotels, motels, bed and breakfast inns, or RV parks in the Las Cruces area.

Home ownership is very affordable in Las Cruces and neighboring Mesilla. According to Best Boomer Towns, the tax rate is $26.985 per $1,000 of assessed value; in Mesilla, it is $22.937 per $1000 of assessed value. Homes are assessed at 33.3 percent of market value. Tax on a $195,000 home, minus the $2,000 homestead exemption, would be about $1700 in Las Cruces and about $1445 in Mesilla.

Residential communities are available within and near Las Cruces golf courses. Two of the most popular are Sonoma Ranch and Picacho Hills.

Sonoma Ranch allows buyers to accessorize homes with everything imaginable from pools to palm trees and boasts a Cal Olson-designed course that was a Golf Digest "Best New Course" nominee. Opened in 2000, the 18-hole layout sits among rolling hills dotted with bunkers and undulating bentgrass greens. Photo of Sonoma Ranch logo for Boomer

Within Sonoma Ranch, the Del Prado community won a 2008 Gold Achievement Award for The best of 50+ housing. Del Prado offers everything from the low-maintenance condominiums of The Villages to the single-family homes of The Collection. The master-planned community features a mix of residential neighborhoods, fine homes, golf course estates, and specialty multi-family dwellings. The National Association of Home Builders recently awarded it five Silver Medal Awards for Master Planned Community of the Year.

Photo of Picachio Hills GC for BoomerThe private par-72 Picacho Hills Golf Course stretches to 6,950 yards and is rarely crowded. Originally started in 1978, Picacho Hills is reportedly the first development in the area to be built around a golf course setting. The course has been consistently rated by Golf Digest as one of the top two country club courses in New Mexico. Residents do not have to be members of the club, but it boasts a 70 percent membership of homeowners.

Located three miles west of the City of Las Cruces in Dona Ana County, property taxes are reportedly 30 percent lower than for comparable property within the city limits. Housing in Picacho Hills offers expansive views of the Organ Mountains, valley and city lights. Within this master-planned community are a number of different residential subdivisions, with 600 home sites and 1,200 residents at present. Home prices and styles vary among the subdivisions ranging from condominiums to garden homes to single-family homes of various sizes and styles both on and off the golf course. Home prices range from $130,000 to more than $500,000.

Other communities in Las Cruces located near golf courses include Mission Bell Estates, Las Alturas and Shadow Run.

Helpful Web sites regarding Las Cruces include the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce, Las Cruces Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Best Boomer Towns.


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