Hobbs (population 38,000) is the metropolitan center of Lea County, and remains the focal point for the arts and education for southeast New Mexico. Both of Lea County’s schools of higher education are based in Hobbs. The New Mexico Junior College is a modern two-year academic and vocational college offering several degree programs leading to an associates of arts degree. The College of the Southwest is a four-year college that focuses on liberal arts with bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degree programs. The college now offers a master’s degree in selected categories.
Hobbs is the home of the Lea County Event Center, which is the second-largest conference/convention center in the state of New Mexico. This new, modern facility can host large meetings and conferences as well as indoor rodeos and tractor pulls. It seats 4,800 people theater-style in the main auditorium.
Hobbs is the headquarters for the Llano Estacado Art Association, and a member of the Lea County Commission for the Arts. These two organizations display many forms of art, including painting and sculpture. If music is your cup of tea, one of New Mexico’s largest symphonies calls Hobbs home. The Southwest Symphony and the Hobbs Community Playhouse are two of the many cultural activities that attract people from throughout the region. The area’s rich ranching history is captured in three new and exciting museums. The Western Heritage Museum and Cowboy Hall of Fame on the campus of the New Mexico Junior College, The Thelma A. Webber Southwest Heritage Room on the College of the Southwest campus and The Lea County Museum in Lovington all focus on life and times on the Llano Estacado Plains.
The city of Hobbs recently opened a $3 million facility for the area teens — a complete building with computers, games, gymnasium, climbing wall and an outside skateboard area, all supervised by talented facilitators.
For sports enthusiasts, Hobbs features one of the most popular and affordable public golf courses in a 200-mile radius. The challenging 18-hole Ocotillo Golf Course welcomes everyone from duffers to pros to play. On the golf course property is one of the best shaded walking and jogging trails in the state. Other sporting amenities in Hobbs include numerous public parks, several health clubs, baseball/softball fields, a paint ball combat park, shooting and archery ranges, swimming pools and water parks, lighted tennis courts, a full service country club with an Olympic-size pool and a championship-design golf course. In addition, the Martin Luther King Soccerplex includes eight soccer fields and a walking trail.
For campers, Hobbs offers several excellent facilities, with full RV hookups and flat pull-through pads.