It’s easy to feel comfortable in Hobbs, a southeastern New Mexico city barely a stone’s throw from the Texas border, says Sarah Yue. The nurse practitioner and restaurant owner was recruited to the city in the early 1980s from the Philippines, as part of a national program to fill nursing vacancies throughout the country.
What she found was opportunity—to advance her career, to meet and marry her husband, and to become part of a friendly community. She and husband, Jaw, own Pacific Rim Restaurant and manage the grill at the award-winning Rockwind Community Links golf course.
“I’ve got a small-town spirit, which is why Hobbs was perfect for me,” she says. “Hobbs is full of good people who want the city to prosper and remain a destination for people who want a good quality of life. That makes it a good place for people to visit, too.”
A family-friendly oriented atmosphere, with lots of activities to keep residents and visitors engaged. Fueled by the proceeds of Southeast New Mexico’s energy economy, the city boasts exceptionally maintained and equipped parks, a world-class recreation center that welcomes guests to swim, walk, lift weights, and simply play, two theater companies, and even a symphony.
Hobbs also takes great pride in its ranching and farming past. The Western Heritage Museum and Cowboy Hall of Fame, full of artifacts, memorabilia, and exhibitions on the area’s ranching and roping past, pays tribute to pioneering settlers and cowboy traditions. Hobbs and much of Lea County still hold rodeos and roping competitions that qualify individuals for the professional rodeo circuit, a reflection of the influence of area luminaries like the Cooper family, whose members Dale “Tuffy” Cooper and son Roy Cooper both hold places of honor in the Hall of Fame.
Rockwind Community Links draws golfers from as far away as Lubbock and Midland/Odessa for rounds under wide open skies on a championship 18-hole course, or 9-hole par-3 course. Those skies also become dotted with glider pilots from around the nation, floating on lifting thermals during competitions sponsored by the Hobbs-headquartered Soaring Society of America. Direct flights from Denver and Houston into Hobbs sends planes over a thriving oilfield market in a rural area. These regional jets are frequently filled to capacity, a sign of a thriving, modern economy in a western setting.
Like many small towns, the entire community of Hobbs turns out for high school football and basketball games, encouraging friendly rivalries with nearby Carlsbad and Roswell. Hobbs High School basketball is widely known for their record setting 17 state championships. During tournament weekends or when cultural or rodeo events are scheduled, it may be hard to find a hotel room, so it is always suggested to book reservations in advance. There are also restaurants like Outlaw Grill, Drylands Brewing Company, and Babe’s Sports Page Bar & Grill that are always packed with locals and swell with visitors during busy times.
“We would never be where we are right now if I’d gone to a bigger city,” says Yue. “I don’t know how others measure success, but what I have here I never dreamed of as a child—a safe, small town with really great people that’s blessed with natural resources. That’s why I encouraged my son to come back after he finished school and lived away for a while. He’s back now with his wife and I feel fortunate that he can raise his children here, too.”